Interfaith Hall, a residential community currently located in Foster-Walker Complex, will move to the fifth floor of 1835 Hinman next fall, giving the group the opportunity to accommodate approximately 50 residents as opposed to its current 20.
The community was founded five years ago as a place for students from various religious backgrounds to come together. Associate Chaplain Wendy Mathewson said Interfaith Hall allows residents to get to know each other in an informal setting.
“Often, interfaith activities center around more formal experiences,” she said. “[Interfaith Hall] is a safe space to make mistakes and learn from our mistakes and how we can better accommodate and be inclusive. Some really strong friendships have formed.”
She added that Northwestern was one of the first universities to offer an interfaith residential community, and she hopes this innovation continues. For example, the new location in 1835 Hinman will give the group sex-segregated suites, which she hopes will encourage Muslim women who wear hijab and might be uncomfortable in a mixed-gender housing situation to live in Interfaith Hall.
The group does not focus solely on religious activities. Their programming includes regular munchies and events, like other small residence halls, according to Interfaith President Nebiu Tadele, a Weinberg freshman. He hopes to increase Interfaith’s presence on campus through increasing the number of residents and becoming more involved with other religious groups.
“There’s this connotation that being in Interfaith means you are a very religious person, but that isn’t a must,” Tadele said. “There’s definitely room for everyone, even atheists. Even a lack of faith is a subset of religious beliefs… Interfaith provides a voice for this acceptance.”