Students at UNC push for new Muslim center
Posted June 2
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Hundreds of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are pushing for the establishment of a Muslim Student Center.
They say their religious group is the only one without an independent location, and they want a safe space to practice their faith.
"Muslim students are here to be safe, and they are here to get their education," said Hamza Baloch, with the Muslim Student Association.
Students say, right now, the Muslim Student Association is at a disadvantage.
"UNC MSA is the only large-group religious organization on campus without a permanent home. We use a room in the union," said former UNC student Ayoub Ouederni.
Organizers say there are about 700 Muslims on campus, using a space with a capacity of 50. Now, they are raising money to buy a new center.
"With $700,000, we could buy a home that can support the size of a place that we need and it's within walking distance for students to be able to go safely, especially for our female students on a college campus," said Baloch.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp said, in part, "we are supportive of them and have provided the MSA with advice and guidance to support them in their efforts to secure a venue of their own."