UK opens Interfaith Prayer and Meditation Room

Amanda Bryant

Students have an inviting place to meditate and reflect with the opening of the Interfaith Prayer and Meditation Room in its temporary location, room 76 of McVey Hall. The permanent location will be found in the new UK Student Center next fall.

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees met with diverse members from the campus community last October to discuss an idea that developed into the secluded meditation room.

The room allows privacy for individuals who want to follow their religious practices, reflect in silence or meditate. It has already been enjoyed by several since its opening earlier this month.

Meditation is a daily practice for computer science freshman Luke Miles.

“It’s convenient because I don’t have to do the 15-minute bike ride home,” Miles said. “When you are feeling distracted, it helps bring focus for whatever you do next.”

The room is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guidelines posted by the entrance are meant to ensure that all individuals feel comfortable in the space. Furnished with pillows and warm lighting, the space brings relaxation the moment you enter.

“Our shared values of integrity, mutual respect and human dignity, and diversity and inclusion take a step forward with this initiative,” UK interim vice president for institutional diversity Terry Allen said in a recent press release. “We owe a special thanks to the students that challenge this institution to become better.”

Diversity can be found throughout the campus ranging from students of all faiths and beliefs, as well as faculty members who also welcome the addition.

“I think it is a wonderful opportunity for people to have a quiet space,” graduate admissions officer Maureen Barker said. “I’m delighted that it’s here.”

Students of the Islam faith have found the room to be exceptionally welcoming to their practice of prayer five times daily.

 “I feel like it’s not only a personal convenience for the students, but I also feel like it will make the students feel more included on campus,” journalism freshman Mohammad Ahmad said. “This is a good example of UK’s efforts to promote diversity.”