Kansas University Has A “Safe Space” Muslim Lunch Room


Kansas University has a lunch room exclusively for female Muslim students to enjoy their food in a “safe space.”

KU Director of Multicultural Affairs, Omar Rana, met with the Student Senate back in January of this year and had asked for a special “safe space” lunch area for female Muslims who can’t eat with the other students because that would require them to remove their burqas.

The student senate voted to provide the 25-30 students in the university with this special lunch room. It’s now open to the female Muslim students from 12pm to 1pm during the week. On any given day, Rana feels at least 3 to 5 students will use it.

According to the newspaper the Kansan, Rana said, “I think as long as there is that need for a student to have that sort of accommodation, the University should make that accommodation. It doesn’t really matter how many or how few are using it.”

Rana came up with the idea of a Muslim only lunch area after asking fellow Middle Eastern students how the college could be more accessible to them.

Rana said, “One thing that they mentioned is that they didn’t really have a place to go for lunch hours. They can’t really eat in the union because they would have to take off their burqa or niqab, which they can’t do, or they would have to eat under it, which isn’t always the most comfortable.”

A fellow Kansas University Muslim student, Zoya Khan, called the new lunchroom an important step forward for the University.

Khan said, “I think it’s about creating a safe space for Muslim women on campus, and I think that’s really allowing for that. I think it’s creating an environment of inclusivity and acceptance. We are part of the KU community and KU is allowing for us to feel comfortable.”

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