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Muslim students push for ritual sinks on campus

On October 26, 2011

When Omar Subei would perform wudu, the Islamic cleansing ritual before praying, he often felt uncomfortable when other people would walk into a public bathroom on and see him putting his foot over the sink.

"You have to raise your foot and put it on the sink and as you're taking your foot off the sink, your leg is dripping water," Subei said, a senior majoring in biochemistry.

Wudu involves an individual washing their hands, feet and face before engaging in prayer.

Subei said Muslims felt this was disrespectful to non-Muslims and the watery mess left over on the sinks would leave a bad impression on how non-Muslims saw them.

To solve this, Subei and other Muslims have been looking to install a small sink that would allow them to perform wudu cleanly.

Legislation was passed by Student Government to install the new sinks on the third floor of the Student Union near the Muslim Prayer room Tuesday.

The legislation states that two small sinks with drains at the bottom would be installed in both the men and women's restrooms. It calls for construction during winter break with the sinks completed by spring 2011.

Student Government President Matt Rubin said he was working with Tom Trimble, former director of the Student Union, to install these sinks.

"We noticed that paper towels were always running out and still [are]," Rubin said regarding the bathrooms on the third floor of the Student Union.

An extra dispenser was installed, but Rubin said this still was not accommodating.

"We've been asking so many questions about it and trying to find out what to do. We worked with Tom Trimble last fall to try to find ways to do it but there wasn't enough money," Rubin said.

Subei is not sure how much the project costs, but said he is first trying to get the plan finalized before costs are calculated.

Subei said this is something Muslim students have been wanting for a long time.

Idris Yakabe, a senior majoring in pharmacy, has also been working on getting the sinks installed on campus. He named the wet floors in the restroom as a safety hazard.

"Muslims can feel better about themselves when they make wudu, and they don't have to worry about making a mess," Yakabe said.

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