Muslim Student Association Promotes Inclusivity at KPU

All students are welcome to join regardless of religion, ethnicity, or culture

The Muslim Student Association promotes inclusivity at KPU. (Braden Klassen)

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) not only provides representation for KPU’s students of Muslim faith, it’s also a great opportunity to engage in meaningful student interaction. KPU students can earn volunteer hours through event planning and participation, as well as contribute to their community through MSA-hosted outreach programs.

“The MSA serves as a way for students to come together in a non-judgmental environment in which their thoughts and ideas can be expressed and appreciated,” says club president Duaa Ismail. “We are a friendly, fun, and interactive group of students that focus on creating on-campus events to improve student life and student engagement.”

The idea of a club to represent Muslim students at KPU was a popular one long before the MSA was created. Ismail explains that three years ago, “a strong team of dedicated students came together to fulfill the demand, raise awareness about the club, and build the foundation of Kwantlen’s first Muslim Student Association.”

The MSA has just finished collecting donations for its most recent project entitled Personal Pieces. This event is the MSA’s third annual item drive for clothing, toiletries, hygiene products, and many more essentials, all of which will be personally given to the Surrey Urban Mission.

“Though there are many people in need, we wanted to make sure these personal piece items went to people who are homeless and living on the streets,” says Ismail. “Surrey Urban was the most cooperative in making sure the bags went to those who needed them most.”

The Personal Pieces project was a collaboration with KPU’s Christian Fellowship and Science in Action club, which help to dispel a common misconception about the MSA.

“Many students think the MSA is only for Muslim students to be a part of,” says Ismail. “However, all students are welcome to join regardless of religion, ethnicity, or culture.”

The MSA has also recently started planning for one of its biggest events of the year: Ramadan 2019. Ramadan is a special month in the Islamic faith during which Muslims fast, give to charity, and engage in self-reflection. The MSA uses the events planned throughout this month to engage with fellow KPU students, staff, and other members of the community .

Ismail adds that this outreach “is also a way our club promotes the inclusive environment of KPU while celebrating the diversity of its students.”

There are currently three executive positions on the MSA: President, vice president, and treasurer. In terms of volunteer opportunities, the MSA generally holds meetings on a monthly basis, though more meetings are held when its members are planning events. Members receive volunteer hours for attending meetings and for helping out with the MSA’s events.

While Ismail is grateful that “KPU has been accepting, encouraging, and supportive towards the MSA,” she would like to know more about the resources available for planning events, including funding opportunities and access to facilities.

Had KPU not been so supportive, we would not be able to host such successful and interactive events,” she says. “[But] sometimes it is not as obvious that these tools are available, and so if KPU could be more informative about accessing these resources that would greatly benefit our club as well as other students.”

To get involved with the MSA, contact Ismail via email at msa.kpu@gmail.com.

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