New prayer room (Issue 32, 2010)
La Trobe University addressed the needs of its growing Muslim student population by refurbishing its existing prayer room. The A$927 000 development will now be able to accommodate up to 300 people.
One of the 1500 Muslim students at La Trobe University, Mohamad Tabbaa, also the President of the La Trobe University Islamic Society (LTUIS), was very happy to see the campus facilities for Muslim students improved.
‘Having the washroom and prayer room facilities means we can spend more time studying, and we can pray discreetly. Prayer is very private and unique to various religions, and it is great to have a space where we can wash before prayer,’ says Mr Tabbaa.
'It may seem a bit anti-social if we were to wash our feet in the general students’ public toilet and there is a lot of movement during prayer which may be interpreted differently by people who don’t understand our religion,’ he adds.
A guide for Muslim students was released at the same time. In it, students can find useful information like where to get Halal food, Mosque locations and how to connect with external Muslim student societies.
‘La Trobe has promised an educational experience where all students feel welcome. We have a diverse student population and it makes sense that we have a wide range of facilities on campus to meet their needs, from sport and childcare to social and spiritual activity,’ says Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson.
Mr Tabbaa added that the La Trobe University Islamic Society appreciated the University’s efforts and saw the initiative as a proof for the mutual respect between the University and the society.
For more information for Muslim students, visit the Muslim students page or download the La Trobe University Muslim Student Guide (PDF 2.77MB).