This new school year has been an exciting one for the IOK Chaplaincy program welcoming many new additions to the team and making our dream of supporting Muslim students at all the major universities in the region a reality.
When we started the program in the beginning of 2015 this was our dream. We started out small, serving students at UCLA and USC. Then in 2016 we added UCI and UCR. Now we have expanded to many others, eight campuses with eight chaplains.
UCLA – Sh. Suhail Mulla
USC – Sh. Jamaal Diwan and Sha. Muslema Purmul
UCI – Sh. Jamaal Diwan and Sha. Muslema Purmul
UCR – Sh. Ahmad AlKurdy
UCSD – Hz. Asim Billoo
CSULB – Sh. Jameel Besada
CSUN – Sh. Suhail Mulla
CPP – Sh. Shahid Ali
The main focus of the program is to provide spiritual care, guidance, and education to Muslim college students on these campuses in a way that is grounded in the teachings of Islam, relevant to the context, and considerate of best practices in counseling and chaplaincy. In doing so we continue to offer weekly office hours and study circles on all of the campuses. So far this school year we have had about 400 individual office hours appointments with the different chaplains across the campuses. These appointments are 30-45 minute slots where students can come and speak to the chaplains, in confidentiality, about anything they would like to discuss.
As part of the ongoing development of the program we are also exploring partnerships and ways to collaborate for mutual benefit with other Muslim community organizations and service providers. Through these collaborations we hope to offer more and more support to the students and also continually develop our chaplains to serve at a higher capacity. The first of these, that has been recently finalized, is a collaboration with Purify Your Gaze which will enable students to access their sexual addiction recovery program for free and also train the chaplains in the best practices they have learned over the years in dealing with such cases.
As always, and as the program continues to grow, we need your continued support. College is definitely one of the most transitional periods of life for people. For many young people in our communities it is where they determine who they are and where they fit in the world. It is critically important that we continue to support these students and work together to maintain this program for the future.
Yours in Service