Carving out a quiet space
By Carla Peterson
April 27, 2023
On April 5, Seminole State Community College of Florida’s library and disability support services teamed up to open the Raider Reflection Room in the Sanford/Lake Mary library. The room is geared towards reflection: a space to relax, exercise mindfulness and any other centering practices for both students and faculty.
After the Foundation for Seminole State College approved a $2,000 grant for the Raider Reflection Room, library and disability support staff partnered to put the plan into action. It started with a thought, Associate Librarian Jason Anfinsen said.
“There is a need for a space like this on a college campus. A safe, inclusive space for faculty, staff and students alike to decompress, meditate, pray or reflect, while studying at Seminole State,” Anfinsen said.
The room can be reserved online for 30-minute increments.
The college’s library has continually proven to be a valuable resource for the campus and all that step foot here. Not only for in-person engagement, but online and community events as well. Underlying all the great activities like Lunchbrary and Nightbrary, there was a need for a safe space to unplug and connect with oneself.
“The space is meant for something else that is not studying. It will also add to the robust culture of the library, and the fellowship the students gravitate to,” said Online Services Librarian Nicole Sotak.
The space was created in favor of intellectual health and wellness at Seminole State. Although the concept of a relaxation and mindfulness room is not new to universities, it is one of the first in Seminole State’s local college system. Traditional tables and monitors were taken out, and the space was painted differently for ambiance and relaxation. A soothing sound machine, waterfall feature, yoga mats and many other items were included to further enhance the experience.
“We have people with autism, anxiety, and persons who are sensitive to stimuli. They can become overloaded by sensory exposure and the room would be a calming space,” said Margo Weaver, the wellness and support coordinator from disability support services.
The hope is to drive more people to the library, to be more inclusive to other religions and individual needs, and to provide a designated area for tranquility. This completely collaborative idea has finally come to fruition and all the people involved, from the interior design students’ suggestions to the facilities team members who painted, were essential for the creation of the Raider Reflection Room.
This article originally appeared here.