Reflection Lounge might be moving

Student Government unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday to relocate the Quiet Reflection Lounge from its current location next to the Women’s Center to an enclosed room.

Student Government’s Vice President Idman Ibrahim introduced this resolution to move the lounge to either CSU room 256 or any enclosed room in the Centennial Student Union due to the lack of quietness that area has.

“It’s like a closet and in the middle of the hallway. Nobody wants to hear Justin Bieber while they reflect and get interrupted every minute,” Ibrahim said. 

This space is mostly used by students who practice the Muslim faith and pray. With over 150 signatures from students of all different backgrounds in support of the relocation, they hope this resolution passes without hesitation from the CSU board and onward. 

“At the end of the day, the student union is funded by student fees. So if there is widespread student support for something to happen in the student union, that needs to be recognized,” Student Government President Emma Zellmer said. 

The topic of relocation for this space has been in discussion for a few years as the Student Government had a task force to review the reflection space. The result concluded the space should be moved to a closed room instead of an open space in the middle of the hallway. As for the potential relocation, CSU room 256 was presented due to the proximity to the foot washing station. 

“We are going off of the recommendation of a university task force that had students, faculty and staff on it, and that has been recognized by president Inch,” Zellmer said. “We’re hoping to use the work of former student governments to push this forward beyond the student support.”

MSU is ranked ninth in the nation for international students population according to the annual “Open Doors Report” published by the Institute of International Education.

“If you want to recruit more diverse students, you have to have spaces for those students,” Ibrahim said. “We have a huge population of students who use this space to reflect,” Ibrahim said. “We don’t have that right now.” 

In other Student Government news:

Zellmer said MSU President Edward Inch is not going to honor Student Government’s resolution to keep the split payment option for international students regarding health insurance, which the university requires of international students. Split payments allow international students to pay for health insurance in two installments.

Voted unanimously by the Senate in October, this resolution proposed to keep the split payment option introduced to ease the financial burden during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Inch said in an email to Zellmer that roughly 400 international students still did not make their second half of the payment, which resulted in the loss of their insurance coverage.

“A significant amount of time and personnel resources went into connecting with re-enrolling affected students,” Inch’s email read. “Sadly, not all were able to be successfully re-enrolled and subsequently lost insurance coverage and VISA eligibility status.”

During the 2023-24 academic year international students at MSU will go back to paying their insurance fees on a one-time payment plan. This year, insurance for international students costs more than $2,000 if paid up front, but a bit more if paid in two installments. Failure to pay results in loss of insurance, which is a violation of VISA eligibility requirements.

Student Government voiced they may bring this back up at Students United — a statewide, student-run advocacy group for students in the Minnesota State system — to advocate for student choice regarding payment plans, and making it a system-wide option instead of each state school being able to decide on their own.

Header photo: Vice President Idman Ibrahim speaks about the Reflection Lounge at Student Government’s recent meeting. The Reflection Lounge is a space for all students located in the Centennial Student Union next to the Women’s Center. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Julia Lin at

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