With the coming of September and the Fall school season activities are beginning to pick up on each of the campuses. USC starts about a month before UCLA, with the latter starting in the last week of September.
The beginning of school at USC meant the beginning of the “Sacred Light Scholars Program” on the campuses. In this program the students will cover readings from modern scholars of Islam in the United States, many of whom have traditional Islamic Studies backgrounds. The idea is to give students a deeper understanding of their faith in a language and context that is familiar to them.
In this month we also began a class for the students and community at Masjid Omar ibn al-Khattab in LA. It is a weekly educational and social gathering that focuses on knowing and loving the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). So far we have had good attendance and we are hoping that it will increase with time. Anyone in the region is welcome to attend.
The last week of September was also the first week of school for UCLA and so we began our educational and spiritual programming for the year over there as well. The new school year brings much excitement and it is truly a pleasure to see new and old faces at these gatherings.
The other big accomplishment this month was that we were able to build relationships with some of the administration and other chaplains at UCLA. This included meetings with Methodist Pastor Jeanne Roe Smith, Janet Doak, President of the UCLA University Religious Conference, and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Janina Montero. These are all great steps in formalizing our presence at UCLA and helping us to better serve the students there.
Jamaal and Muslema
IOK University Chaplains