MSA outlines semester goals, holds elections

April Samuelson

Fellowship, knowledge and discussion were among goals established by candidates at the Muslim Student Association elections last night.

Outgoing President Chereen Gamal closed her term by awarding certificates of appreciation to students who contributed significantly, including outgoing Vice President Ameir Ali.

“Mr. Ali was very instrumental in doing a lot last semester and running around the Student Center,” Gamal said.

Before the elections, Gamal emphasized that, although the president coordinates meetings and events and the vice president does introductions for speakers, the two are expected to work together.

“The president and the vice president pull equal weight, and that’s the way it’s always been in MSA,” Gamal said.

Juniors Jamal Husseini, an exercise physiology major, and Hanifah Abdul-Majid, hospitality management major, ran for president.

Husseini’s goals include establishing an off-campus center. One location he is considering is the Kent Mosque, the Masjed of Kent.

“The Kent Mosque has the possibility of being shut down if no purpose is found for it,” he said.

Husseini also said he plans on holding two Jumaahs, or Friday congregational prayers, on campus.

“It would be nice to have one on campus so Muslims and non-Muslims can see what it’s like,” he said.

Husseini also asked the group to disassociate from groups that are based on race.

“The MSA should increase fellowship, knowledge and discussion,” he said. “We are here by religion and not race, and we should not be associated with groups that bring controversy. We should not act as a pseudo-organization that furthers the rights of a specific race or region.”

Hanifah Abdul-Majid, who ran against Husseini, said she wants a religious focus.

“I would really like to enact more group prayer times and have more group discussions about Islam,” she said.

Husseini won the position. Abdul-Majid was appointed as Dawah chair.

“A Dawah tells other people who are not Muslim about Islam – whether they have misconceptions about it or they want to know more about it,” Gamal said.

Senior psychology major Shimaa Shendy was elected as Vice President, and Sehrish Khan, freshman integrated life sciences major, was elected Secretary. Both ran unopposed.

Dania Barazi, freshman international relations major, and Yacine Djemil, freshman business major, were appointed by Gamal as social chairs.

The meeting closed with a discussion about general student involvement. Husseini said although Muslims are the largest religious minority on campus, only about 20 people are involved in the MSA.

“I would like to put MSA on the map as a large religious organization because right now we have no prominence and no resources,” Husseini said.

Djemil agreed.

“Hopefully we can get more meetings and more activities so we can get more people together,” he said. “There are a lot of Muslims who don’t come to meetings.”

Contact religion reporter April Samuelson at [email protected].