Everyone is welcome in the reflection room

Students and employees in need of a place to pray and meditate do not have to look for improvised quiet places anymore.

Once the new central room is in operation, praying or contemplating in this room will not be permitted anymore. (Photo: Sam Rentmeester)
Once the new central room is in operation, praying or contemplating in this room will not be permitted anymore. (Photo: Sam Rentmeester)

The Executive Board will designate one central room on campus for contemplation, just as Erasmus University Rotterdam has already done. It will be, as the decision memorandum says, an 'area for reflection, meditation, prayer or just a quiet moment away from daily worries'.

Up to now, there was no general policy on this topic and faculties had to improvise in order to meet these needs. Actually, there were two inter-faith quiet rooms on campus, one in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS), and the other in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering (AE).

But students were regularly found praying in other areas of the campus as well, for example on the landings in the library stairwell. As long as nobody objects, this will be allowed, but once the new central room is open, the rooms at EEMCS and AE will be closed for prayers. The special contemplation room will welcome students, members of staff and invited guests irrespective of their beliefs.

The contemplation room is solely intended for individual use rather than for group services. Use will be subject to specific rules and regulations which are still to be defined. Users of the room will be strongly requested to respect these rules.

Considerations

Before taking its decision, the Executive Board listened to the advice of a small advisory group which looked at options with fellow institutions like The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Leiden University, the University of Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Reinier de Graaf Hospital.

These institutions have different policies towards contemplation rooms. These are:

  • not offering contemplation rooms for reasons of principle;
  • offering small, not freely accessible rooms which are used for different purposes, without a general policy; and
  • offering freely accessible contemplation rooms

TU Delft followed Erasmus University Rotterdam's model of having one central place for prayer, meditation and contemplation. Although TU Delft is not legally obliged to offer a reflection room, it has chosen to do so because of the need for such a room and because of its values of diversity, tolerance and hospitality.

Delta would like to know which room you believe would be the most suitable. Please let us know at delta@tudelft.nl