In many universities and campuses, Muslim students often engage in student associations to offer support and guidance to their colleagues.
Serving both Muslims and non-Muslims, they also strive to promote understanding, acceptance, and social cohesion. This is why Watfae Zayed decided to run, and she won.
She has been elected as vice president of DePaul’s Student Government Association (SGA)
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The position is not the first for Zayed at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She served as senator for Commuter Students this year and also as a Chicago Quarter Mentor, The DePaulia paper reported.
She has also conducted leadership training at her mosque serving in different leadership positions, making her a perfect candidate for the position which she won after a general body meeting last Thursday.
“In my role as manager there, I was the treasurer, the chief of staff, the facilitator [and] the president,” Zayed said.
“I kind of had to do it all including taking notes, planning our budget [and] assigning tasks. So in terms of understanding cabinet, I kind of understand how most of the positions on cabinet run because I had to do them all in one, and I am currently still doing that at my mosque.”
Zayed hopes to listen to students, solve their problems, and to better advocate for their needs.
“I know I can never walk a day in anyone else’s shoes in this room,” Zayed said.
“Similarly you can’t walk a day in mine. When you bring an issue to me, I want to know how you want to see it solved and what you think I should do to advocate for you.”
Islam is the third largest religion in the US after Christianity and Judaism.
According to 2016 estimates, there were 3.3 million Muslims living in the US forming about 1% of the total population.
In today’s America, Muslim students have been facing rising negative attitudes, ranging from blatant Islamophobia to microaggressions.