Reflection Rooms are for people to reflect, meditate or pray and focus on mindfulness.
Wayne State University’s Dean of Students David Strauss says the first reflection room at the student center was developed about 15 years ago.
“We took some space and we converted it into an area because there was a request from students to have some private prayer area,” Strauss shares. “We wanted to accommodate that need as we want to be able to support our student body with all of their student life needs.”
The room was expanded in 2015.
“It was so successful, that the student government — as well as the Muslim Students Association — together, came to us and said, ‘Can we expand this thing (again)?'”
Construction on the new room began in the winter of 2021 and is now completed, doubling the space.
Students helped organize, plan and recommend the updates to create a space for everyone.
Strauss explains the reflection rooms do not have religious markings because they wanted them to be accessible for everyone, including non-WSU students and staff.
“We don’t want to make it a religious group, because it is for the entire city to use and our faculty and staff.
“We know that for the most part the majority of the use is for prayer. In today’s world, with mental health at an epidemic level, we want students to have a place that is quiet and void of any visual distractions, void of any sound distraction.”
There are about nine reflection spaces across Wayne State’s campus, and other universities across the country are taking notes.
“We’ve had other universities that visit because they want to see how we did it.”
Strauss believes the reflection rooms are a symbol of the university’s goals of diversity and inclusion.