The University of Cambridge’s Student Union (SU) last week passed a motion to help Hindu students have a dedicated place of worship in the university town.
The motion was proposed by PhD student Yugal Kishore and seconded by Cambridge SU’s Postgraduate President, Vareesh Pratap.
“While having multifaith spaces within colleges and departments can help students access to help to some extent, the availability of a dedicated worship place has its own importance. Some religious rituals cannot be feasible in a multifaith room due to potential contradictions with other religious practices,” read the motion.
With a student population of about a thousand - spread across all 31 colleges - Hindus make up the third-largest faith-based community in the university and the largest faith-based student community without a dedicated worship place in the town.
“In line with diversity requirements, the university is obligated to provide prayer spaces for all students. With the aim of becoming a multicultural and welcoming university, Cambridge University has an obligation to provide spaces for all students and staff to practice their faith,” notes the motion.
It added: “The university has a responsibility to ensure that the diversity of its student membership is recognised, and equal access is available to all student members regardless of origin or orientation.”
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In the motion, published by the union, Cambridge SU resolved to:
- Assist Hindu students in having at least one dedicated worship place in the town.
- Lobby with the collegiate university to make necessary arrangements, individually or jointly with other identified allies, in this matter.
- Lobby to have a worship place within convenient walking distance from any of the U Bus stops.
- Continue supporting students of faith within the university and to campaign against faith-based microaggressions and acts of violence or harassment.
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