First UB Muslim Student Association event of the semester sees large turnout
Event brings together those who practice Islam and those who do not
To help celebrate the new semester, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) hosted a welcome back event open to all students in the Student Union on Friday.
More than 200 students attended the welcome back celebration – a turnout that barely fit in 145 Student Union. The event allowed students who are outside the religion and culture to learn more about their Muslim peers, as both members of MSA and the general student body dined together and spoke about culture – creating a welcoming atmosphere for the first week back.
The event was split by a divider in the center of the room by gender – men on one and women on the other – because socialization between genders is forbidden in Islam.
Aminah McBryde, a junior sociology major and member of MSA, explained to students what typically takes place on the women’s side of the room during these events.
In order to get students to feel comfortable enough to remove their veils, there cannot be a man present. The gesture of removing one’s veil is reserved for when a woman is alone with her husband and when she is in an environment with women exclusively.
MSA served an Indian cuisine with plenty of tandoori chicken. Once everyone ate, members began to pray. Prayer in the Islamic religion is done five times a day. Dessert was served after the prayer, which allowed students who do not practice Islam to re-group with those who do.
For a student group centered around religion on a college campus, there was a variety of students with different faiths who attended.
Mohamad Zambri, a junior mechanical engineering major, attended the event because he said it would provide an opportunity to see what the association had planned for the semester.
Shadman Ahmed, a junior mechanical engineering major, described the MSA event as more of a celebration of making it to another semester, rather than it being a formal time to discuss future plans.
MSA plans to host events with other student groups on campus.
Ahmed said he would like to see MSA collaborate with the Organization of Arab Students.
“Working with other organizations is something we’re very open to,” Ahmed said.
The next MSA event will be a general body meeting next Friday in the Student Union at 6 p.m. for all members and anyone interested in joining.
Jaamal C. Allard is a features staff writer. Features desk can be reached at email@example.com.