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Resources for Muslim Students

OVERVIEW OF RESOURCES FOR MUSLIM STUDENTS

Living on Grounds

The University of Virginia is aware that some Muslim students may face unique challenges related to housing during their first year. These may include situations that could compromise their ability to adhere to religious norms, such as:

  • The presence of members of a different gender in the room with the student’s roommate;
  • Adherence to co-ed social expectations (for example the need for some women to cover in front of men);
  • The presence of certain foods in students’ room;
  • Experiencing social isolation if a group of roommates / hall mates go to a social function that involves alcohol.

Incoming Muslim students may request to live with another Muslim student. The Muslim Student Association (MSA) facilitates this process through their roommate request form found on the MSA website. Please refer any inquiring students or parents to email us at msacouncil@gmail.com

Prayer Room

Room 466 on the 4th floor of Newcomb Hall has been designated as a quiet space for meditation and reflection for the University of Virginia community. The room is centrally located and is especially convenient for students who wish to pause during the day when they are on Central Grounds between classes. Room 466 will be available for use by University students, faculty and staff for this purpose. For more information, please refer to the contact information for the MSA or the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS). See Community Resources as well for additional prayer spaces.

Dietary Needs

Halal Meals: UVA Dining offers Halal options. All non-processed chicken in the dining halls (bone-in, breasts, thigh, wings) are Halal. Processed chicken like nuggets and patties are not Halal. For more information, please contact dining@virginia.edu.

Ramadan: Meal plan accommodations can be made during Ramadan when it falls within the school year. For more information, please contact dining@virginia.edu.

Iftar at the Mosque: Please see the section below on Community resources. The local Mosque offers a hot meal every evening during Ramadan at sunset. Contact the Muslim Student Association (MSA) if you would like to carpool or walk with others.

Psychological Support & Counseling

  • Students and parents should contact Karen Painter, Licensed Professional Counselor (CAPS) and CAPS Care Manager for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the Elson Student Health Center: klp3k@virginia.edu or call (434) 924-5556
  • Marc Paulo Guzman, Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Services at the Office of the Dean of Students: mguzman@virginia.edu or call (434) 924-4195
  • If necessary, students may be referred to Muslim Psychiatrist, Mudhasir Bashir, M.D., an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences: mb5qd@Virginia.EDU

Muslim Student Association

The MSA website (http://www.msaatuva.com) lists upcoming events for Muslim students, prayer times in the local community and more. You can also visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/msaattheuva/.

  • Ibtesam Zahid, President: igz5ff@virginia.edu.
  • Dr. Aliaa Khidr, PhD & M.D: Faculty Member in the Communication Disorders Department at the Curry School of Education and the Medical school. (434) 924-7838, aak2x@virginia.edu.The Islamic Society of Central Virginia
  • The ISCV offers the Masjid (mosque) as a local prayer space and community center for Muslims in the Charlottesville area. On Friday evenings, there are often community events and refreshments along with a short religious teaching. There is quite a large community of UVa professors, graduate students, residents and undergraduate students who attend their programs. www.charlottesvillemasjid.com
  • This space is located at 708 Pine St., close to UVa and is approximately a 10-15 minute walk from Central Grounds.  It is close enough for students who want to travel to the Masjid for their daily prayers.
  • During Ramadan, members take turns preparing hot meals for the community. Often 50-60 people attend and they also offer boxes so that you can bring food home for your morning meal the next day.

Getting Involved:

  • The University Programs Council has a number of different programs throughout the year that are open to all students and serves as a great alternative especially for students who are looking for social outlets that do not involve alcohol. Please visit the UPC website for more information: www.uvaupc.com
  • The Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention has many non-alcoholic events throughout the year in its initiative to in order to promote healthy campus environments and decrease the negative consequences associated with hazardous drinking and illegal drug use among college students. Please visit the Gordie Center website for more information: http://gordiecenter.studenthealth.virginia.edu/
  • The Student Council at U.Va. organizes a number of events for the entire student body throughout the year.
  • The Lorna Sundberg International Center at UVa also offers a variety of programs for students at the university ranging from speaker series to cooking classes and a number of other social activities. For more information on the center and their programs, please visit their website: http://www.virginia.edu/iso/ic/
  • Visit the Student Activities Fair where you can find over 350 contracted independent organizations (CIO’s) that are present on Grounds. The Student Activities Fair is scheduled for Monday, August 21 from 11am-2pm on the South Lawn.