Under the Knife: MSA fosters cultural discourse, community

The Muslim Student Association works to educate students by hosting events that showcase Muslim culture.

On March 7, MSA organized a Turkish Coffee Night, collaborating with the Turkish Cultural Center in Rochester to bring a new perspective on the country’s traditions to the event.

The event included a traditional Turkish dinner and a Turkish water marbling demonstration. It also featured a presentation on the country’s history and comments on the importance of its culture, given by Coordinator of Multicultural Programs and Services Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, and adjunct professor of English Glenn McClure.

According to MSA President junior Anum Choudhry, the event was very crowded and popular.

“People really enjoyed learning about the Turkish culture which is excellent,” she said.

Last semester MSA hosted an event with Shatki to honor the Muslim holiday of Eid and the Hindu holiday of Navrati. The event celebrated both holidays and featured free food and dancing demonstrations.

On April 3, the Office of Multicultural Affairs will work with MSA to hold an event called All-American Muslim, an interfaith discussion where students will watch clips of popular media and discuss the portrayal of Muslims in them.

According to Choudhry, events such as All-American Muslim and Exploring Celebrations: Eid and Navratri are educational tools, meant to teach students about the religion and culture of Islam and what “it is like to be a Muslim living in modern-day America.”

MSA will also collaborate with Alpha Phi Omega and Shakti on a henna tattoo fundraiser on April 10 and 11. All proceeds will be donated to Women for Women International, an organization that helps female victims of war across the globe in war-torn areas.

According to Choudhry, MSA also takes trips to Letchworth State Park and halal restaurants and hosts competitive game nights.

“[MSA] is really a great way to learn about Muslim culture and religion,” Choudhry said. “We always have a lot of fun, we’re always laughing and we learn a lot from each other.”

MSA has weekly congregational prayer Fridays in the Fireside Lounge at 2:30 p.m.