Reflection Room opens as new student sanctuary

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BYU faculty and students gathered together to celebrate the opening of the new Reflection Room in the Wilkinson Student Center on April 19.

The Reflection Room, previously the Memorial Hall, is a space designed for students to ponder and meditate.

BYUSA surveyed students back in October to identify what renovations students were looking for in the WSC. Students were asked to share their opinions on different possibilities such as more TV screens, updated furniture in the Cougareat, or a fountain in Brigham Square, according to BYUSA president Avery Harding.

“There was actually an overwhelming response that students wanted a quiet place, that the Wilk is really busy,” Harding said.

To get ideas for such a space, Harding and BYUSA Executive Vice President Addie Hulme visited different colleges across the state and noticed they had meditation spaces.  The process to create the room included continuous student input and collaboration with the ROTC.

This new room offers a revamped location for the Memorial Wall, a wall dedicated to honoring those who gave their lives while in the service of the United States.

Army cadet Hyrum Dean said the ROTC were involved to ensure the Memorial Wall could maintain its location and give students an opportunity to reflect on the country, as well as God. Dean said he believes the Reflection Room has fulfilled this purpose.

“I think the most important thing was that the Memorial Wall was able to stay here and be a part of this process and everything because it does bring that spirit of gratitude and selfless sacrifice,” Dean said.

Hulme said the creation of this room aligns itself with her and Harding’s “Remember Y” initiative.

“This project really reflects what Avery and I are passionate about, which is helping students see that through the struggle of tests, homework, and dating, that there is a bigger picture that they are working towards,” Hulme said. “We hope this room can be a place where students can get away and discover that.”

BYUSA student leadership director Nathan Ward said their team met with Army and Air Force ROTC representatives to plan for the new space. Ward said he hopes students are able to come to the Reflection Room for peaceful reflection and to remember those who have sacrificed for their country.

“(The ROTC) have been great at sharing what is important, what is significant about this space and what would be the way to properly honor the memory of those who served while still adding an element of reflection on the Savior’s life,” Ward said.