Most Fridays through the year, members of the University’s Muslim community gather in the Perkins Student Center for prayer meeting. Before formal prayers or handling the Quran, Muslims perform a ritual of cleansing, or wudu in Arabic. The wudu ritual includes washing the hands, face, head and feet, which can cause slippery conditions when using the sinks in Perkins’ communal bathrooms.
This summer, the University of Delaware will build separate ablution stations for males and females in Perkins to make wudu easier and safer. The stations will be ready for use by September.
Dr. Scott Stevens, director of the English Language Institute (ELI), and other members of the ELI have advocated for these accommodations to be approved for many years. Most recently, ELI associate director Joe Matterer served on the committee that helped determine the location and overall design of the stations.
“Our hope is that the installation of these facilities will help all Muslim students, professors, and staff feel more welcome and supported on the UD campus,” Stevens wrote to current Muslim students at the ELI to share the happy news.
The University of Delaware will be among only a handful of U.S. universities providing this service to its Muslim students.