By Roadra Mojumder ’16
The Stuyvesant High School MSA is a group of students whose primary goals are to serve the needs of the Muslim community in Stuyvesant. They are also trying to create a friendly environment for fellow students (both Muslim and non-Muslim) to meet and socialize,which has been generally accomplished over the years.
However, the MSA isn’t perfect and the board knows that. In an attempt to improve the MSA as a whole, the MIST social media team took a survey and a couple of personal interviews with club members. After scanning through the survey and organizing the data, we concluded that one-seventh of the students are dissatisfied with the MSA and about a third of the students think it could use some improvement. In an interview with Sophomore, Tahmid Khan,he said that the main issue is that the meetings are “too dry”. He complained that he would easily get bored halfway through the meetings. A suggestion that he made was to make the meeting more interactive than lecture-like talks for forty minutes. Senior, Shahjada Islam stated, “I think the meetings should be less informative, and more inspirational. It’s Friday afternoon, these guys want to party, not listen to a 45 minute informational lecture on this topic or that topic. By inspirational, I mean sharing amazing Prophetic or Quranic anecdotes pertaining to a certain theme, inspiring people to do good things, showing how great of a religion Islam is, etc. Similar to a khutbah. The informative stuff can still be laced in there, but presented with the goal to inspire feeling within the audience. Nouman Ali Khan style, the crowd will leave the meeting knowing a bit more about Islam and feeling hyped to act on what they just learned.”An additional suggestion made was to select more appropriate topics for meetings. A couple of students argued that if the topics were geared towards teens they would be much more interested in the meeting.
Another major problem we noticed was the unity among the MSA. In the last couple of months there have been quite a few disagreements between the MSA board members and club members.This is creating a disunity in the MSA. Disunity between members means that the MSA isn’t serving it’s purpose of creating a friendly environment for students to come, socialize, and learn about Islam .So how can we combat this problem? One suggestion was to make MSA a more democracy based club rather than an oligarchy. However, one could argue that the MSA is already very democracy based.They have surveys for a lot of the club activities and try to incorporate the students in as many ways as possible.
Another suggestion that was made, was to make an Ask.FM ,a social networking site where users create profiles and send each other questions, with the option of doing so anonymously. People who are too shy to participate in the club can anonymously send in ideas and suggestions. However, as with any great idea there are disadvantages. People can send inappropriate questions , and can repeatedly send the same question in to make it seem like many of the club members want this idea.