My second year of chaplaincy at CSULB has been amazing! This is the second year that IOK has been offering chaplaincy services at the university, and from the very first week of school the MSA created a warm and welcoming environment for incoming freshmen and transfer students. Their excitement and enthusiasm allowed us continue with a full year of study circles and office hours.
Our weekly study circles have been a potpourri of eclectic yet relevant topics chosen by our very own students. Rather than cover a book or treatise over the course of a semester, we chose to have our attendees choose subjects that they felt were relevant to their personal and scholastic lives. At their request, we covered topics such as the rules of salah, the etiquettes of giving advice, and how to treat one’s parents. Rest assured, there is no shortage of potential topics for our young college audience!
As for our office hours, our students have been just as engaged. We have logged over 60 hours of office hours throughout the school year. Students face numerous challenges on campus on a daily basis, and have taken full advantage of the presence of a chaplain at school. Students have not only discussed how we, as Muslims, should respond to challenging ideas presented in the classroom, but have also sought advice on how to deal with personal issues. The importance of having someone on campus who is accessible and grounded in Islam cannot be overstated.
Overall, our second year at CSULB has yielded better than expected results. Our students have shown great enthusiasm and engagement during our study circles and office hours. We look forward to the new academic year and continuing to enrich the lives of our young Muslim community.