Each organization has its own history and unique story of how the group both came to be and arrived at where the organization is now. The Muslim Student Association (MSA) is no different, as the organization once began because of a group of highly involved students, and continues to remain dedicated to the present day. The organization is committed to service to their fellow students and the West Chester University (WCU) community, and provides impactful experiences to all members.
Established to bring Muslim students together, MSA started with the goal to create a sense of community for all who join. Another goal of MSA is to work, both on and off-campus, to unite students both Muslim and not. MSA has also looked to inform the WCU community about Muslims, and further diversity at WCU through their meetings and events. The organization’s meetings have served as a great place to learn more about Islam and the culture surrounding the religion. Like most organizations, MSA has been a great way to get involved on campus and connect with fellow students, especially students with shared interests. Overall, MSA has worked to create a comfortable and active environment for all Muslim students at WCU, through inclusivity, fun activities and service opportunities for all members.
No matter who you are, you are welcome in MSA. Regardless of your faith and other identities, you are welcome to come to meetings and join MSA. Should you come to any of the organizational meetings, you will be engaged with educational events to learn about Islam, and greeted by a community of peers open to everyone who joins. The organization is a great way to delve into Islamic events, and talk to Muslim peers. MSA serves as an organization recognizing a minority population at WCU, that collaborates with other religious and minority groups. The group also works to highlight the importance of respect towards all cultures, religions and identities. If your organization would like to collaborate with MSA, you would be working with an organization dedicated to respect, and focused on their peers.
Giving back the community is an important level of engagement all organizations should strive to meet. MSA serves the community through education of Islam of its membership, as elaborated before, and by taking part in collaboration service events. An example of MSA giving back would be a service activity they did with Safe Harbor, a non-profit that serves the homeless. MSA created and donated care packages for Safe Harbor, and continues to dedicate time to fundraisers to aid individuals in need. Another form of service the organization commits to, as part of the education provided, is dispelling misconceptions about Islam.
The experience of any organization is made by the board and the membership of the group, making the following testimonials of time spent within MSA an important and enlightening look into the organization.
Anum Syed, Vice President of MSA, has been with the group since 2018. On touching on why they joined the organization, they stated, “I wanted to join MSA because being a Muslim myself, I wanted to meet other Muslim students. As the only Muslim in my high school class, I was very happy to see WCU had an MSA and Muslim community.” Their experience as an MSA member has been “extremely fulfilling,” and has allowed them to connect with others within their community on a deeper level, while making friends along the way.
Fatima Ishfaq, Council of Orgs/MOAB Representative of MSA, stated, “as a Muslim, it was important for me to get involved in order to spread awareness and to have connections with other Muslims who go to my university.” Their experience within the group has been “great” and “has given” them “the chance to connect with other Muslims” as well as make friends as well.
Maheen Qaiser, social media/PR officer for MSA, has been with the organization for twoyears. Their reason for joining MSA was, “being a minority I joined MSA to feel more at home and inclusive on campus.” They say how joining the organization is “an amazing opportunity for people to get to know fellow Muslims and also to learn more about the people, from the people….”
Safoora Siddiqui, President of MSA, has been with the organization since their freshman year and they are currently in senior year. They wanted to join the organization “to make Muslim friends, since there isn’t a huge population in PA.” In terms of experience, they stated “my experience has been great,” and “I love all the friends I made through this organization, and all the different halal restaurants I discovered when I made friends here as well.”
Sehrish Khan, Secretary of MSA, has been with the group for about a year. They stated “I really wanted to look for the Muslim community in West Chester” in order to “find a place where I could find other people who would understand the struggle of being Muslim and navigating college life.”
On Thursday, Feb. 17, you can join MSA for a game night taking place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, connect with MSA over social media and via Ramconnect, where you can see their upcoming events if you follow or join them. MSA will also be hosting events during Islamic Awareness Week from April 11 to the 15. During Islamic Awareness Week you can attend the following events: Iftar Party on April 11 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Quran Night on April 13 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a speaker event on April 14 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The group is also planning to have a trip to Six Flags sometime in early spring, so you will want to join for updates on the trip as well as each event the organization holds. Lastly, MSA will be hosting a dinner event during Ramadan, from April 2 to May 2, where the members fast from sunset to sunrise.
For more information regarding MSA, connect with the organization via Ramconnect, or any of the social media listed below.
Academic Makeup (Of Those Featured):
- Majors – Political Science, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Computer Science
- Minors – Business Law, Business Analytics, [Law, politics, and society], Arabic, Linguistics, Applied Statistics
Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/wcumsa/ or @wcumsa
Ramconnect Page- https://ramconnect.wcupa.edu/feeds?type=club&type_id=19863&tab=home
Evan Brooks is a fourth-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civil and Professional Leadership EB916132@wcupa.edu.