Hiram is known for being diverse, especially when it comes to the clubs and organizations across campus. Student Senate executive board members, Rafah Hussain, vice president of communication, and Ryan Streator, vice president of administration, recently took part in creating an inclusive space for the campus community known as the Interfaith Relaxation Room.

Located on the first floor of the library, Hussain and Streator both wanted a space where students could practice any spiritual and meditative activities in a safe, calming and quiet space. The two worked closely with Student Senate, Janet Vogel, director of the Hiram College Library, Mick Steiner, assistant dean of student, and Reverend Chris McCreight, the College’s chaplain, in making the space available to students.

“The leadership of Student Senate listened to the requests from our student body for additional space and room to pause, meditate, and pray during the day. They initiated conversations with Dean West about their options for physical space and budget, and then began researching and conversing with other folks (like me) in discussing some ideas for the nature of the space and materials or symbols to include within it,” said Reverend McCreight.

The room has various religious books, prayer mats, prayer scarves, yoga mats, LED lights, pillows, and further resources about the Chapel. Additionally, the room is lavender scented for added relaxation and peace. Students are encouraged to use the space at any point of the day and both a “vacant” and “occupied” sign can be used on the door for students to be aware when the room is in use.

“The space is meaningful and something campus needed,” said Hussain. “We hope that creating this space will allow students to feel more comfortable with practicing their faith and feel supported on campus.”

By Elyse Pitkin

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