Random Book

Some religious books from the Middlesex College Library

Middlesex College offers a multi-faith prayer room in College Center, Room 314, from Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m to 7 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for students, staff and faculty who may be interested in praying without any disturbance while on campus. 

Student Life coordinator, Mary Tutalo, said anyone could access the multi-faith prayer room by contacting either herself, Student Life director Ode Hoppie or Student Life facilitator Danielle Nolan. 

Tutalo said that since the room is small, they control how many people can pray together by keeping it locked.

“Prior to COVID-19, we had the room open at all hours, but to make sure the room doesn’t have any large gatherings, we are keeping it closed until someone asks to use it,” Tutalo said.

She said, “Anyone can come to the Student Life office and ask us to open the door to the prayer room and we will allow them access, however, it just can’t be in large groups because it’s hard to social distance in a small area.” 

Tutalo said few people had used the room this semester. She said that this is due to most individuals leaving campus after class, and very few night classes are happening.

Currently, no information about the multi-faith prayer room is available on the college website or on-campus advertisement. 

Tutalo said, “For the most part, faith-based clubs are the ones who advocate and share information with their members about the room and that’s how most students learn of its existence.”

Before COVID, Tutalo said Student Life was in the middle of working with the Muslim Student Association to find a larger room to accommodate large gatherings, but those plans have been put on hold until further notice.

Tutalo said, “In the future, once in-person gatherings are allowed on campus and let’s say 30 people want to pray together, we may try to accommodate them with a bigger room, but that’s still too early to tell.”

Talal Khan, an alumnus who attended the college before COVID, said, “I used to frequently use the prayer room, when I attended Middlesex [College]. It may seem a little hidden, but once you know it exists, it’s easily accessible. They even had a selection of Qurans on a bookshelf and other religious books like the Bible as well. I think the prayer room is a great escape to anyone on campus who needs to pray.”

Jaleel Golphin, a freshman from New Brunswick, said he wasn’t aware of the prayer room and didn’t think he would use it because he prefers to sit outside while the weather is nice. 

“I don’t know if I need the prayer room right now. I find a lot of quiet places on campus that are nice enough to just sit and relax by myself,” he said.

Golphin said, “I just download an app on my phone and whenever I want to pray or listen to the Bible, I just put on my air pods when I’m waiting for my bus.”

Alexandra Marino, a freshman from Flemington who is an out-of-county student, said, “I wasn’t aware there was a prayer room. I come very early in the morning on campus and there are a lot of quiet places and empty rooms to just read or do your homework. Sometimes if I want to pray, I find some quiet places on campus that allow me to do that.”

Marino said she wouldn’t mind exploring the room, though she has yet to go toward College Center because her classes are not in the building. 

Senior lab coordinator of business and computer science Felix Gomez said he is religious but has never had to use the prayer room himself.

“I’m glad it’s accessible for others who may be interested in using it,” Gomez said. 

(1) comment

Jenniferm

This is very nice and considerate to the students and teachers who are religious.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.