Hellooo, so you are also on Team Halal! Rest assured, our Dining Hall folks got your back. Even though I am one of the few students who requested halal food options, they made sure to accommodate us from day one and there is halal meat available for us at lunch and dinner. Other than that, the range of vegan and vegetarian options is huge so there will always be something for you to eat, whether you’re eating in the Dining Hall or the Student Center or some campus gathering.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a designated prayer room or mosque on campus, but you don’t really need that to pray anyway and you will find many, many quiet spaces on campus (and off-campus) for it if you need to. This year, a bunch of us got together and celebrated Bakra Eid with the Williams College MSA and it was a result of interested Muslim and non-Muslim students getting together to organize the effort since there was not much that happened last year. There is also enough interfaith activity happening (and growing) on campus with the Interfaith Group (here’s David Black talking about it) so that you will have a strong community of people from various faiths sharing their experiences. The Interfaith Group holds a meeting every Friday and has been hosting a speaker series for a while. Recently, Amer Latif from nearby Marlboro College spoke about the concept of The “Other” in the Quranic Worldview, and tomorrow, Fr. Justin Lanier, the new reverend up at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, will be coming to deliver a talk on Contemplation and Social Justice: Who Do You Say I Am? Then there was Sam Watts, a recent graduate, who set up a Sacred Space in Bennington as part of a project to advance interfaith dialogue on campus. In fact, my Plan is centered on Islam and conflict resolution in law, politics and international relations. Sooo, lots of academic and non-academic activity and dialogue going on whether you believe in nothing, everything, one god or several. In my experience, at least on campus and around town, there has been no Islamophobia or religious discrimination — instead people are either knowledgeable about Islam or curious to find out more. Anyway, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more about this and we can continue the conversation there.
— Maliha ‘14