On behalf of the Columbia University Muslims Students Association, I’d like to welcome you all to campus, and I sincerely hope that your move-in process has gone smoothly thus far. Leaving home and coming to university can be a hard process, for both your parents and yourself.
And that is where we come in. The MSA aims to foster Muslim life on campus and strengthen the bonds between our allies, associates, and members within the Columbia community. For the next few weeks and months, we have planned a variety of events that will seek to promote and address issues that are relevant to our community. We seek to educate our community about the various aspects of Islam, hoping to increase awareness about contemporary issues that may be relevant to each and every one of you.
Information regarding these events will be circulated via our listserv and our Facebook groups – one that is specific to new freshmen, and the other that is for the entire community. To join our listserv, simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your request. For freshmen, please follow this link to join the MSA Class of 2016 Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/368377113226716/. For everyone else (freshmen: join this one too!), please follow this link to join our general MSA Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2200068295/. If you are in touch with us through any one of these mediums, you can be sure to receive updates regarding our events and meetings.
For those of you who have not met our two lovely board members who are currently OLs for NSOP, our first interaction with you will be at this week’s Friday Prayer- which will take place at the Chapel at the Interchurch Center (475 Riverside Drive, between 119th and 120th). The khutbah (speech) will start at approximately 1:15pm.
Historically, it has been only through the efforts and support of the general body that the initiatives of the MSA have been brought to fruition. As a result, we hope to work closely with our community members in order to better understand and acknowledge their needs. For this reason, it is also of utmost importance that we look out for each other and ensure each other’s well-being.
That being said, last night the Columbia community was struck with heartbreaking news about an incoming freshmen (for those of you who have not yet read about it, you may do so here: http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2012/08/28/student-dies-after-fall-john-jay-window). This is something that none of us can plan for in advance. But when it does happen, it is something that affects our entire community. It brings us together on a common feeling that we experience every so often, and makes us think about life from an entirely different perspective.
If you feel as if you need to speak to someone about this, or about anything else, please do not hesitate to utilize the resources that Columbia has provided for you: Columbia’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), your Residential Advisors (RAs) and your Orientation Leaders (OLs). Additionally, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com, and I will try to help you out to the best of my abilities. We are all here to support and listen to another.
اللّهُـمَّ بِكَ أَصْـبَحْنا وَبِكَ أَمْسَـينا ، وَبِكَ نَحْـيا وَبِكَ نَمُـوتُ وَإِلَـيْكَ المَصِيْر
O Allah we enter the day time and the evening and die with your Qudrat (power) and to You do we return.
Abdul Rafay Hanif