Members of MSA speak out on diversity
Members of CU’s Muslim Students’ Association are working to encourage diversity on the CU campus by inviting individuals of all faiths to work toward mutual understanding.
Sophomore electrical engineering major Asad Chaudhry said there are many Muslim, non-Muslim, Jewish, Hindus, atheists and Christians who make up the 30 active members of MSA.
Chaudhry recalled a trip MSA took to University of California Berkeley.
“It really shocked us, there was so much diversity there compared to CU,” he said. “One of the reasons members join MSA is to be a part of an organization that embraces diversity. We are minorities, so it’s important for us to come together, especially on a campus that is lacking diversity.”
MSA is not just an organization; it is a place where students of all religious and cultural backgrounds can come together and be united as friends, said Mohammad Azimi, a sophomore MCD biology major and international student who met all of his friends through MSA.
“If you are in MSA, your perception is that CU is diverse but it really isn’t,” said sophomore business major Bader Akacem.
Students said they are worried about the newly elected CU President Bruce Benson’s experience with diversity.
Azimi, who is vice president of MSA, said Benson was not qualified enough for the position and didn’t have enough experience with different backgrounds to help CU become more diverse.
Other students said they fear Benson will cut funding for organizations that focus on diversity.
“Benson said that the diversity clubs have the possibility of being cut and I think diversity is important and the clubs and organizations shouldn’t be cut,” Chaudhry said.
MSA was established in 1980 by a handful of Muslim students. Its purpose is to help inform Muslim and non-Muslim students about Islam in order to clarify any misunderstandings about the religion. On Friday afternoons the group meets for a general meeting and conducts a prayer service.
“MSA is a place where you can meet different types of people and have fun,” Chaudhry said. “It’s not all religious. We have all made friends and have grown very close to each other.”
Senior sociology major Matthew Beres said in order for students and administrators to improve the diversity at CU, individuals need to listen to other peoples’ viewpoints constructively and critically.
“Since I am not seen as an underrepresented student the lack of diversity doesn’t affect me directly,” Beres said. “But since I am a member of MSA I know what it feels like to be accepted.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Katelyn Bell at Katelyn.email@example.com.