New Multi-Faith Centre to open on Streatham Campus
The University of Exeter is planning to build a new Multi-Faith Centre on the Streatham Campus, opposite the Forum’s South Piazza on the grassed area, aiming to begin construction in 2023.
The plans include a new 50-person Muslim prayer space and a multi-faith space, along with a dedicated office for the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy. The new centre will replace the existing Muslim prayer rooms and multi-faith spaces in the Old Library.
Reaction from students has overall been positive with one stating it was “a step in the right direction” and they hoped it was “the first of many future commitments to multi-faith services at the University”. Another student suggested that the building of a new multi-faith centre would be “a further step towards inclusivity”. One student stated they were “glad that Exeter is continuing to diversify and make itself accessible to students from all backgrounds”.
However, one student raised concerns surrounding the location of the proposed centre. They stated, “while the commitment to a new multi-faith centre is positive, the ever-growing lack of green space on campus is concerning and something the university needs to address”. Contributing to this stance, a student also said that the centre could possibly “spoil the view”.
One student stated they were “glad that Exeter is continuing to diversify and make itself accessible to students from all backgrounds”
Commenting on the project the University stated that plans “have restarted after being paused during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic”. Speaking on the timescale of the project, the University “expects to submit planning permission for the building this summer 2022 with a view to start work on construction in spring 2023 (timescales are subject to change). For more information and for regular updates on the Multi-Faith Centre project, please visit the project web page”.
Guild President Lily Margaroli stated that the Guild is “really pleased that there will be a much-needed Multi-Faith Centre on campus to provide a space for all students to practise their faith”. Underscoring the significance of the project, Margaroli highlighted that “for a considerable time, the provision of appropriate spaces on campus for certain communities of students to practise their faith has been below a good standard”. She also made clear that “appropriate student reps and groups have been involved in consultations” in relation to the project as well as “various members of University staff who work with our faith groups and on equality”.
Article from print issue 733