Plans for Peace and Progress in the Pakistani Student Association 2016 Elections

Plans for Peace and Progress in the Pakistani Student Association 2016 Elections

Ginny Katz, Multimedia Contributor

The Pakistani Student Association (PSA) of Oregon State University has started strong this quarter as students discussed and voted on the 2016 leadership and initiatives in the Ettihad Cultural Center (ECC) this Monday

“We just elected our president, treasurer, and vice president, then voted and amended our constitutions, in which everyone has spoken up.” reported Energy and International Policy graduate student, Muhammad Salar Khan, adding “Elections are a step toward organization.”  

Through promoting a safe place of community and expression for Pakistani and Pakistani-American students, the group has experienced a growth from five members to 30 members since spring 2015; making organization key in accomplishing their goals.

Inspired by his own journey in the PSA, newly elected president and accounting and finance junior, Muhammad Uzair Hassan, wants to continue to develop the group while maintaining the community they have created.

“I figured out myself with the help of ECC and I want to continue to provide that support to other international students, acting like a bridge between the new students coming here and other more traditional OSU students,” said Hassan.  

Beyond strengthening their professional and personal network, members agree that the support system makes being away from home easier, reflecting positively on their academic performance. The cultural significance and connection between individuals and the Pakistani student community create a strong and vibrant society that resonates with the students.

“PSA with OSU means a lot to me, we need that sense of community being thousands of miles from your home, your parents, and your family. You find that you need someone who shares your culture. PSA is a place to show your patriotism and share your Pakistani culture with your friends and feel at home.” Khaan said.

Long standing member and communications student, Amena Mandviwala, believes the future of PSA will not only positively impact OSU culture, but will begin to bring change and hope to global culture.

“Based on our performance in the past and last year, where we had the ECC cultural festival and so much progress, I foresee many more Pakistani students coming to OSU just because of how culturally diverse OSU is,” said Mandviwala. “Pakistani students will come and take advantage of the resources that are available and will try to remove or erase the stereotypes that exist for Pakistan. They will express our culture in a more positive way and show the world that we are so much more than just what the media says we are.”

In gratefulness, Mandviwala adds: “I just want to thank OSU for giving us this opportunity. It’s definitely a really big step for people like us, coming from third-world countries to first-world countries like the US. It can be very overwhelming. The fact that we are given the opportunity to express our views and our culture, and have them believe in the people we are, is really empowering. Hopefully PSA and its people can positively impact OSU and the American people and show them that they do not need to be scared of us–we’re just like you.”

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