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Muslim Students, Here Are 6 On-Campus Resources You Can Use During Ramadan

With Ramadan coming up on March 22 and lasting until April 20, many Muslims are preparing for nearly a month of fasting and nightly prayer. For Muslim students, unclear university policies can make this process a lot more difficult, so it is important for students to understand what resources can be at their disposal. With Muslim Women’s Day on March 27, it’s important to know what resources campuses can provide to their students. 

When it comes to supporting your Muslim peers, Layla, 18, a Muslim student at Columbia University says, “There is not one way to support your Muslim friends during Ramadan, but the steps are simple — reach out to them and ask how you can support them, or any other clarifying questions you have to learn more about Ramadan. Things may look different for us this month, especially for first years like me who are doing this for the first time in a college setting, so please give us grace and understanding during the day.”

If you are a Muslim student observing Ramadan on campus, here are a few resources you should have at your disposal that you may not have known about.

Campus DEI Office

Many university campuses have some sort of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) office, or some other variation, which you can find online. Some schools don’t have this office as explicitly named, but it usually still exists in some form under the offices of Campus Life, Student Life, or Student Engagement. This office should be able to help you secure any religious accommodations you need, including class breaks or special meals. Some campuses (including mine!) offer pre-packaged Suhoor bags for students to pick up for their pre-dawn meals. Check with your DEI (or DEI-adjacent) office on campus to see what your school can provide for you.

The DEI office can also get in touch with housing or chaplain services if you’re looking for a better environment for Ramadan, or for your college experience as a whole. Muslim Campus Life, an organization dedicated to informing Muslim students about their options on campus, has a Muslim Campus Index that details the chaplain options and housing choices on various college campuses.

Muslim student groups

In the case that your DEI office isn’t able to fulfill all of your accommodations, or if you’re just looking for a community of other Muslim students, check to see if there is a Muslim student group on campus. These groups usually do fundraising or hold events for Muslim students to establish solidarity and ensure that students are able to have a community to fall back on if needed. A club like this is also great to meet other Muslim students and enjoy fun programming they may have throughout the year!

Dining Services (for specialized meals)

Regardless of what school you go to, dining halls are notorious for having weird and inconvenient closing hours, which can be unfortunate for students that are fasting. If you’re able to get in contact with your university’s dining services, you can ask and see if they have any hours that Muslim students will be able to eat at. You can also see if they’d be able to have halal meals prepared for Muslim students, if that’s not something they already provide.

Class dean or academic advisor

For academic-related questions, such as taking breaks during class, a class dean or an academic advisor is the person to go to. These professionals will either be able to directly contact your professors or can speak on your behalf to ensure that you get the accommodations you need.

Student Government Association

Your school’s Student Government Association, whether that be a senate, council, or something else entirely, is a great resource to use. These students were elected to benefit you, and if you’re not already a part of those organizations, you should see if they can advocate for you and other Muslim students in any way. Many student governments have discretionary funding that they are able to give out to valid causes as grants, and they also have the platform to demand change from your school’s administration. Either way, this organization is a great way to see what more your school can do for you.

University chaplain and prayer space

Check to see if your university has a chaplain’s office — they’re responsible for students’ religious and spiritual well-being on campus, and you can ask them any questions about how to make Ramadan on campus a smoother experience for you. If your school has a dedicated Muslim prayer space on campus, the chaplain can also help direct you to it and let you know how to gain access to the space if you haven’t been there already. There, you’ll have a safe, secluded environment to pray. Some universities, like NYU, even have an Islamic Center that will plan events, classes, and more for Muslim students on campus, so be sure to check what other services your school offers through the chaplain’s office or administration.

Inica Kotasthane

Columbia Barnard '26

Inica Kotasthane is a student at Barnard College in New York City. She's a big fan of writing (duh!), making zines, and curating her Spotify playlists. Prior to becoming President of the Columbia/Barnard Her Campus chapter, she was a National Writer for Her Campus. She is passionate about journalism and politics, and is especially interested in uplifting minority and queer voices in these areas.