A new start for the Bangladeshi Student Association

Hossain leads new e-board, which aims to rebuild BSA's reputation

The Spectrum

The memory of the fireworks pushes her forward.

Tazrin Hossain, a sophomore political science major, vividly remembers the New Year's celebrations and warm nights she spent shooting off fireworks and watching them explode into thousands of shimmering pieces. New Orleans was her home. The community there was more than just another Bengali tie; it was her family.

Now at UB, Hossain is searching for a new family in the Bangladeshi Student Association.

The Bangladeshi Student Association (BSA) was once derecognized due to mismanagement and the overall lack of interest by members and the executive board. The club was re-recognized four years ago, but its return from tumult has been slow and challenging. Hossain is striving to keep the club afloat.

She joined BSA as secretary last semester and saw the club's potential. She stepped up and ran unopposed for the role of president this year.

Hossain grew up in a Bengali community around New Orleans. The children with whom she grew up were more than just friends - they were like little brothers and sisters or older siblings.

"We were very close [and] dependent on each other," Hossain said.

Now, many of the members of her community back home have moved on and started their adult lives. Hossain realizes the importance of finding a similar close-knit community here at UB.

Though she doesn't think the club will ever replace her Bengali family back at home, she thinks BSA can help students feel like they are a part of a community - the way she once did.

Some of the members are excited with the direction Hossain and the new e-board have taken.

Shah Muhammad Abdullah Sayem, a sophomore architecture major, said the club is in strong condition and that the new e-board promotes all of the events in a "cool" way.

"We have been much more involved in the SA this year than we have ever been," said Fahim Joarder, a senioraccounting major and the club's treasurer.

He joined BSA because he wanted to help develop the club for a sustainable future.

Joarder and Hossain believe the first step is promoting the club and reaching out to all Bangladeshi students. So far, the events that they've carried out have been successful, including a dessert and lassi - a popular yogurt-based drink - night the club hosted recently.

"I was expecting maybe 30 people, and 50-plus showed up," Hossain said.

The club is culturally diverse, and there are not a lot of Bangladeshi students involved, according to Sayem. He believes this could be due to the past issues within BSA.

Joarder said the club is planning to advertise through the help of other international student associations, like the Organization of Arab Students and the Indian Student Association. He believes BSA can flourish with the help of these established clubs.

Sayem said the club is a great way to learn about Bangladesh's exciting cultural history. Even with the lack of Bangladeshi students, Sayem believes the club represents the culture well.

"[I joined] because I wanted to represent my country," Sayem said.

He hopes students will take an active role in discovering what BSA has to offer. He believes all students should learn about the culture and history of different countries.

BSA is planning several upcoming events. The club will continue to put up its henna tables in the Student Union - in which students can have the designs drawn on their bodies - and there will also be a Halloween-themed design available during "Creep Your SA" Oct. 29 in the Union, according to Hossain.

The club also plans to host a discussion with the UB College Republicans about Bangladeshi citizens' conservativeness.

Hossain encourages all students to come to the events and talk to her if they have any suggestions or questions regarding the Bangladeshi Student Association.

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