For years, Muslims on campus have been served by inadequate facilities. Currently, Muslim students split their time between their small office in the Marvin Center and prayer services at Western Presbyterian Church. Given that both Catholics and Jews enjoy the increased opportunities a religious center provides, Muslim students should be commended for taking proactive steps to improve their own situation on campus.
For many people, a religious experience at college can be an important part of higher education. For Jews and Catholics, having a center of their own has dramatically improved the ability to foster a sense of community and offer cultural programming. Muslims would no doubt benefit from an ability to have an adequate prayer space, as well as the opportunity to offer resources and programming space for the several student groups affiliated with the religion.
This page wholeheartedly supports the concept of a Muslim student center, but it should be constructed independent of University funds. Just as both Hillel and the Newman Center were constructed with outside funds, the Muslim student center should be as well. The University, however, could assist the Muslim Students’ Association in making an under-utilized University-owned property available for purchase or rent.
Muslims represent a significant percentage of students on campus. Although the University should not support the center financially, it should work with Muslim students to ensure they have a fair opportunity to flourish culturally on campus with adequate facilities to accommodate the growing population.