Baruch should install a larger multifaith center

The Editorial Board

Muslim students protested for a place to pray on campus in the Clivner=Field Plaza on March 9. 

These students deserve 24/7 access to a prayer space so that they can complete their five obligatory prayers. The last two prayers, Maghrib and Isha, occur at and after sunset, respectively.

Previously, the administration designated room 2-125 in the William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus as a prayer space during the 2021-2022 school year. When club-life resumed in-person in fall 2022, Muslim students lost the space and were reassigned to a smaller room.  

It is understandable that the administration cannot provide a prayer space solely for Muslim students due to a lack of space on campus. But it is still possible to grant them access to the larger 2-125.

First, 2-125 is a conference room used for club events, meaning that it isn’t occupied daily. Since the multipurpose room will no longer be used for COVID-19 testing, clubs will get that additional space for their events, freeing up room 2-125 for prayer or meditation purposes.

Baruch also has plenty of open classrooms. A lecture-style classroom without chairs or tables could provide enough space to pray. 

President S. David Wu revealed plans to allocate funding toward renovating the underused study area in Baruch’s Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute on 22nd St., another potential location for a multi-faith space.

In the long run, Baruch College could try and replicate Hunter College’s multi-faith center, which provides a space shared by six different faith-based clubs, to meet the religious needs of all students. 

The Real Estate Institute could also house a temporary multi-faith space until renovations begin.

The center could include room for Chaplains of different faiths as well as space designated for multifaith programming. Such a center would speak to the remarkable diversity at Baruch.