Pacific welcomes a brand new club to campus this semester. The Muslim Student Association (MSA), which has seven active members, holds weekly meetings discussing upcoming events to help others on campus learn more about the Muslim culture.
“Our main goal is to challenge stereotypes and prejudices and to have an open space for discussion.” French Fulbright teaching assistant Emna Hamila, one of the initial founders of the group, explains that “People hear so much about Islam and it’s hard when the main source is the media.”
Hamila also explained that sometimes stereotypes and prejudices are formed from not knowing someone who is Muslim.
Although the association wasn’t officially a club until this semester, MSA has been holding weekly meetings since October.
“We gathered a small group to have weekly meetings to get to know each other and discuss what we want to do as a club,” Hamila said.
After having meetings and electing officers at the end of last semester, MSA began the search for an advisor.
Doctor Katharine Loevy, a professor of philosophy, has a concentration in Islamic studies and perfectly suited for the position.
Although MSA hasn’t had any official events this semester, they hosted a bake sell to create homeless care packages for those in the surrounding Forest Grove area.
In the future, they would like to continue doing charity orientated events. Students can look forward to seeing Arabic classes, opportunities to visit a mosque, and also listen to different guest lecturers.