Published on October 16, 2013 | by Caroline Clastres

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CSM prayer room wrangle unresolved

CSM prayer room door

CSM’s prayer room is in the basement below a toilet [Ekaterina Anchevskaya]

Complaints about the new “quiet” prayer room at Central Saint Martins are still unresolved after a year of consultation.

Jeremy Till, head of CSM, promised that work on the new prayer room would be completed by Easter, but the project is so far incomplete.

CSM has a large number of Muslim students who want to practice their faith while at college, but some complained to the Students’ Union (SUARTS) about the room’s unsuitability.

It is currently situated in the basement of CSM, below a toilet, in a small room with no windows and pipes linked to the toilets running across the ceiling.

Disturbing

“When we do have access to the space, it is frankly disturbing that we have to hear the sound of others above flushing the toilets and waiting for the sewage to pass through the pipes,” said one member of UAL Islamic Society (ISOC).

“I honestly would much rather embarrass myself in front of other students and pray in front of them than utilise that room,” they added.

Students say they often have to wait up to 30 minutes while a member of security becomes available to let them in.

“By this time, we would have usually missed our prayer, so this results in us finding a quiet staircase in the building or even simply praying by the bins next to the space itself,” the ISOC member said.

The president of SUARTS, Shelly Asquith, agreed it was “undignified” for the many Muslim students at UAL that the prayer room is situated below a toilet: “I would say it is unfit for use and would guide students not to use it.”

CSM say they are working to resolve the issue and hope the new prayer room will be completed before the end of the year.

 

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