CU-MSA Statement: Student Union Building Referendum

In the name of Allah the most beneficent the most merciful,

During the past few weeks most Carleton University students have been made aware of the upcoming referendum regarding the new Student Union Building (SUB), a campaign titled “Shaping our skyline”. A referendum will be taking place on December 6th and 7th. The Carleton University Muslim Students’ Association (CU-MSA) has a duty to raise awareness about a campaign of this magnitude and highlight certain aspects that might be of specific importance to its members. However, The CU-MSA is not at liberty to decide on behalf of thousands of Muslim students what they should and should not endorse. The CU-MSA respects the diversity of its membership and their opinions and feels that its role should simply be raising awareness within its constituents and trust their judgment on the decisions they make. Therefore, the CU-MSA executive team has unanimously decided to neither support nor oppose the “Shaping our skyline” campaign. In addition, the CU-MSA believes that it is extremely important to highlight two aspects about this new building which might be of specific importance to Muslim students, staff and faculty on campus:

1-Prayer space: The current Muslim prayer room will stay as it is; However, the Multi-faith room will be relocated and expanded from 400 Square feet to 1400 square feet. This space will be booked for use during peak prayer times and will be shared with other faith groups. The space would be more than 3 times the current multi-faith space size. [1]

2-Payment for the building: Since the building will not be paid for by students until its completion date (estimated 2020/2021) students who will be using the building in the future will be paying a fee of around $40/Semester. This fee will cover the capital cost, operating fees and an interest on loan of 4.7%. This means that the current payment arrangement for the space would require all future students (building users) to pay interest at 4.7% on the loan used to build the space. This fee will be paid by students until the building is paid for in full. [2]

Finally, the CU-MSA would like to reiterate that it neither endorses nor opposes the building. It is important to note that these are not the only points relevant to the decision but the CU-MSA executive team believes that those are the two points which are specifically important to Muslim students, we strongly encourage all students to refer to (http://www.cusaonline.ca/about/student-union-building-project/) for more information so that they shall make an informed decision and cast an informed vote on the referendum. May Allah guide us all and help us make the right decision. We wish you all the best and success in your exams.

[1] Reference link about the prayer space

[2] Reference link about the payment for the building

by CU-MSA