The president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) has hailed an exciting weekend for the union, as several members were officially elected for a two-year term to the body’s national executive committee. With a sizable percentage of members having gathered this past weekend at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) for an inaugural National Qur’an Conference, the union resolved to simultaneously host its elective conference.
The three-day Qur’an conference itself was held with the objective of re-encapsulating the essence of the holy text as main source of guidance for Muslims, and the broader community as a whole.
Newly elected president Muhammad Sheikh praised the dual event as one of success, particularly in terms of the logistics and the numerous speakers who took turns addressing the gathering.
“We (also) had a good representation of Western Cape (members) with 20 students attending the Qur’anic conference, as well as participating in the election process. I think overall the objective of this election was to give other youth the opportunity of stepping up into the plate of leadership,” he stated.
From the plus minus 13 positions available, the Western Cape region had five nominations. Of those, two were successfully elected to the MSA executive committee, in the vice-chairperson and treasurer general positions respectively. The remaining three were elected to other portfolios on the national committee. This marks the Western Cape’s highest representation on the MSA union since its inception.
He added that these students’ experience and success on a campus and regional front was what helped steer the success of the MSA Union as a whole.
“These five students have been extensively involved in their respective (campus) MSAs and the MSA Western Cape, and now this is an opportunity for them to expand their ideas holistically on a national, and perhaps international level,” he said.
In addition to the elections, the MSA Union also held four ‘strategy sessions’ in which members gathered to try and form goals and objectives for the impending two-year term ahead. Sheikh said they had sought to identify issues that were relevant within each campus setting.
“Basically the University of Cape Town (UCT) might have a specific challenge which another university might not have. So basically it is the role of the national body to identify these types of issues, and discussing it amongst others,” he explained.
Speaking on a personal capacity, Sheikh said the Union’s focus in the coming months and years would be to address and issues and aspects that were relevant to a student’s daily life. This would be to bring about a more direct involvement in providing student services. One such idea was the potential establishment of a bursary fund.
“As a means of Muslim unity and brotherhood, one of the ways we believe can really affect the life of an individual is reaching out to them by means of a service towards them,” he added. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)