To the Muslim students of the Class of 2021:
Assalamu ‘alaykum! Welcome to Princeton University, home of the exciting next chapter of your lives! Pretty soon, you’ll have the chance to pick classes taught by great professors, get lost on your way to them, explore new and old interests, and learn more about yourself as a person. One great way for you to do the latter is by getting involved with the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) on campus!
The Muslim community at Princeton is one of the most vibrant the university has to offer. The MSA, in conjunction with the Muslim Life Program, offers a mix of religious programming and regular social events for Muslim (and non-Muslim!) students to get together and bond. Throughout your time here, you will have the opportunity to listen to prominent Muslim speakers address a variety of social, political, and religious topics, and you will have access to religious instruction and guidance from the Muslim chaplain on campus, Imam Sohaib Sultan. At the same time, the MSA will make sure you have the chance to take part in movie nights, cook-offs, poetry performances at Rumi’s Tavern, and interfaith board game nights, to name just a few activities. Just keep in mind that our events basically never end — even if the email says 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the MSA loves spending quality time together!
More important than the activities that Muslim life at Princeton offers, however, is the sense of community that it provides. Between the current political climate and the academically rigorous and personally testing atmosphere of Princeton, it may at times seem overwhelming to try to maintain a Muslim identity while being a student here. This is where current MSA students come in; we are all more than glad to help you with anything you need, whether it be religious, academic, or social advice, or anything else! Muslims on campus can be found in all sorts of circles, so don’t be afraid to reach out for advice.
Lastly, don’t be intimidated or afraid that you are not “faithful enough” to be involved with the MSA; anyone and everyone is welcome! We all face our own trials and tribulations on and off campus, and the MSA is meant to be a place where Muslims can be among like-minded people and be stress-free for a few hours of their day or week. We look forward to seeing you all on campus next month!
With love and open arms,
The Princeton Muslim Students’ Association
Editor’s Note: This piece is part of our Opinion section’s ongoing welcome series. Groups and individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and identities are encouraged to share advice and opinions on the Princeton experience. If you are interested in submitting a guest column, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.