The Black Muslim experience at Warwick
Although the corona virus is currently dominating our lives, I know there are prospective students who are disappointed that they may no longer be able to visit the university in the same way as previously planned. When I was once in a position of researching universities, I always wanted more insight into how I would fit in to the environment and whether it was somewhere that suited my needs. It got tiresome scrolling through threads on The Student Room to find specific information so in this blog post I want to give more insight into life here at Warwick – but more specifically, my experience as a Black Muslim woman in an attempt to encourage more people like me to come here!
Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that we are a minority but do not let that discourage you because I promise you, we exist! Finding others like you can be hard sometimes which is why I encourage people to go to societies. The Warwick Afro-Caribbean society is one of the best in country, hosting a wide range of events that cater to a wide range of people. There is a massive pool of people that you can interact with, many of whom you probably share similarities with. Although sometimes feeling like a minority because of your religious background, there are steps being taken to ensure there is more religious inclusion this coming year (e.g. more Halal food or social events that don’t involve drinking). The Islamic Society is also another place where you can maintain and develop your spirituality but also build relationships with people that you share a common identity with. Be assured your Islamic needs will be met in social environments with Halal food and events as well as a prayer hall on campus that runs Jumah prayers weekly.
Secondly, in terms of food, we have to bear in mind that Warwick is a campus university and you may have to travel to get certain things. A short bus ride will take you to Coventry market where you can find a Halal butchers or Afro-Caribbean food shops where you can find anything from lamb chops to yam. However, in times of emergency, the grocery store on campus (Rootes) has a small Halal food section that includes an array of products from chicken strips to sausages.
Thirdly, regarding living arrangements, you can indicate on your accommodation application form if you would prefer to live in a single sex flat. You can also further specify more details that ensure your flat is most suited to you and your lifestyle. In doing so, you can make sure you end up with like minded people even if you come from different backgrounds.
Finally, it goes without saying that open-mindedness is essential. You are going to meet a wide range of people and not everyone will be like you but that is not always necessary to foster a relationship. Know that you are never alone and find strength in the complexity of your identity and how being at different intersections means you will have unique experiences.