Pacific constructed a new space in the former Undergraduate Student Senate Room (located on the bottom floor of the U.C.) designed for Pacific community members to engage in prayer, meditation, and reflection: the Prayer and Reflection room.

The project was begun and developed in part by Pacific’s former director of the Center of Peace and Spirituality Reverend Chuck Currie. Stephanie Stokamer, the director of the Center for Civic Engagement, and Jean Garcia-Chitwood,  the director of the Student Multicultural Center, heavily emphasized that he be given acknowledgement for his immense role and contribution to this project coming to fruition. 

“For many of our students, and especially our Muslim students, there was really not an adequate space on campus designated for their prayer needs,” Stokamer said about the need for the new space.

Garcia-Chitwood also emphasized the importance of the Prayer and Reflection Room needing to be secure and safe for students to be able to comfortably engage in their spiritual practices. 

“It will have a keypad for folks as well, which was something that was brought up by students just feeling that it would be a safe space for them, so there will be limited access,” said Garcia-Chitwood

Stokamer and Garcia-Chitwood both said that it was imperative to them that students, staff, and faculty would be able to feel safe engaging in their spiritual practices, so only Pacific community members will have access to the code to enter the room. 

Students are already expressing their interest in utilizing the Prayer and Reflection Room, like senior Drew Arruda-Akine.

“I hope that it works out. That sounds really good,” said Arruda-Akine.

Additionally, Arruda-Akine expressed interest in using the room as long as it was completed by the end of his senior year this spring, which it will be. 

Currently, the room is unfurnished, but available for use. By spring, the Prayer and Reflection room will be furnished with a foot-washing station, holy texts, and other things to make it a comfortable and spiritual space. An open house is planned for the spring. — Kyla Wilson

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