USU to install foot-washing stations to aid in religious observance

ASI is installing foot-washing stations in the University Student Union by the end of the spring semester to accommodate religious students who need to wash their feet before prayer.

For some religious groups, foot-washing before prayer is a must. Before Muslims pray, they are required to perform a purification ritual called Wudu, in which they wash their faces, hands, arms and feet. Without a proper area to wash feet, this task can be difficult.

The foot-washing stations will be available by the end of the spring semester, and will be fully functional by the beginning of the fall 2019 semester.

Chair of the University Student Union Board of Trustees, Maritess Inieto, explained that the installation of the foot-washing stations in the USU will provide users with a comfortable experience.

“It’s better because students would previously wash their feet in sinks, which is a safety hazard,” Inieto said.

The idea to install the foot-washing stations came from the “student-led” desire to make the USU more “accommodating” and “inclusive” for all students according to Inieto.

“We do have a meditation room here on campus, and we do have students who need to wash their feet before prayer for religious reasons, so I believe it was a student led thing where we wanted to have a foot washing station here on campus to accommodate to students who need it,” Inieto said.

Angela Gutierrez, a junior communication studies major thinks the new addition to the USU is a step forward for Long Beach State.

“It’s good to know that students of all religions are being catered to on campus,” she said.

Inieto said the new installation is meant to make students feel “at home” on campus.

“I really do think that ASI really does keep the students first and we really want to make sure that everyone has a space here on campus – especially here at the heart of campus,” Inieto said.

Mark Beltran, a sophomore political science major said the new installation makes him happy to be a LBSU student.

“It’s another example of why I’m proud to call Long Beach my school,” he said.

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