Muslim Students Association
at Virginia Commonwealth University

New Student Guide

Be A Part of MSA

Being part of the Muslim Students Association can be one of the most enriching and memorable of your college experiences. It serves as a platform for students to be able to focus their efforts in working for the cause of Islam in whatever capacity they can. Any Muslim can be part of the MSA and there is no official membership or dues. If you would like to be more involved in MSA be sure to check out our website to learn how and to sign up for our email list-serv to receive announcements.

“Hold tightly together to the Rope of Allah and differ not amongst one another. Remember the blessings of Allah upon you. Though you were enemies, he knit your hearts together and you became, by His grace, brothers, though you were on the edge of the abyss of Hell, He snatched you away from it. Thus, Allah reveals to you His signs, perhaps you will be guided. And let there be among you a nation inviting to goodness, which enjoins righteousness and forbids wrong-doing, such are they who shall know success. ” [Surah Aal-‘Imraan, 3:103-105.]

Here is a general list of some of the activities we do:

  • Weekly Brothers’ and Sisters’ activities
  • Friday and Daily Prayers
  • Taraweeh and iftar in Ramadan
  • Deen Intensives and educational programs
  • Halaqas
  • Islam Awareness Week
  • Fast-A-Thon
  • Parental, Eid and End of the Year Banquet
  • Inter-faith and inter-club activities and dialogues
  • Intramural sports

ICEBREAKER

Don’t know anyone on campus? Are you wondering where all the Muslims are at? Well, the Icebreaker is a chance to stop wondering and start knowing. At the beginning of the year, the MSA hosts an Icebreaker event to introduce new students to the MSA and Muslim life in Richmond, as well as each other. The Icebreaker is an event that focuses on socializing and participating in community building exercises that strengthen the bond between brothers and sisters (Not together of course, but amongst one another :). And let’s not forget the free food, because after all, we are college students. The Icebreaker will be held after the second Friday of the fall semester, so mark your calendars!

Social Life

Throughout the year MSA hosts many social activities for brothers and sisters; everything from Madden to Makeovers, whatever suits your fancy. Brothers and sisters have individual weekly social events in addition to the Eid Banquets, Cook-off Competition, and the End of the Year Barbecue. MSA also participates in many intramural sports including football, basketball, and soccer. Be sure to contact our social committee chairs for more information on upcoming activities. (https://vcumsa.wordpress.com/contact)

Where to pray on campus?

It’s the classic situation: You just got out of class and Maghrib time is almost over. You run around frantically looking for a deserted place to pray as the sky turns nearly black. You quickly duck into an open closet and begin to make salaah. Slam. The door closes behind you and you’re locked inside� Okay, maybe this never happened to you, but it could. Alhumdolillah, at VCU you won’t have to worry about that because there are many places students can pray on campus. In the Commons, there is an Interfaith Meditation Room near the Forum rooms, behind the Convenience store that is available for anyone to pray. There is also an empty space in the Cabell Library in back of the Media Services Center on the 3rd floor for when prayer time falls during your study time. Also, Jumma prayer is held every Friday in the Student Commons at 1:10 pm.

Halal Restaurants on campus

Hey, eating halal is tough; BUT Shaffer Dining Court also provides zabihah/halal food almost every day. Just check it out! If you have any trouble, feel free to contact anyone on MSA Shura.

MSA Library

Read any good books lately? If your like most people, then probably not. So, forget The Da Vinci Code and throw out those Sunday Comics, the MSA has an ever-growing compendium of Islamic books and media that be sure to ease your thirst for knowledge. Currently we have a wide variety of books ranging from Islamic History to Purifying the Soul. We also have lecture and Qur’an CDs, as well as different movies and programs on DVD. The library is part of the MSA office and is a crucial resource for Muslim students on campus.

Ramadan and Eid

It’s not easy being away from home during Ramadan. However, every year the MSA tries to make Ramadan a great experience for everyone at VCU by providing iftaar every day to break your fast, taraweeh prayers at the local masjid, and special programs to help you make the most of Ramadan. We also have transportation for Eid prayers and host an Eid banquet for everybody to celebrate. One of our most notable programs during Ramadan is the annual Fast-A-Thon, in which we get non-Muslims to pledge to fast for one day to show solidarity and raise money for the poor who go hungry everyday.

Halaqas and Classes

You can’t have an MSA without halaqas! There is at least one halaqa held each week in the Student Commons. MSA also holds student-taught Quran and Arabic classes for both brothers and sisters. There are many resources and avenues available here for you to benefit from.

Housing

Should I live in off-campus housing or on-campus housing?

We recommend that if possible, you should try not to live in dorms (whether that be with your parents or in your own apartment). Here is what Muslims had to say about their dorm experience:

  • “Dorms are generally more expensive when figuring in the mandatory meal plan and housing”
  • “Dorms are loud and there is almost always drinking and opposite gender shenanigans going on”
  • “Unless you know who you want to room with, you may get individuals who are incompatible with your expectations. This may lead to internalized anger, confrontation and a lot of headaches.”
  • Studying in your room can be big hassle with all the activity going on
  • There is a plus side to living in dorms, in that you are usually grouped with people who have similar classes and majors. Connecting with these people can help you greatly in schoolwork.”

If I have to live in the dorms, do you have any advice or suggestions?

Despite the These are some helpful tips on surviving dorm life:

  • Try to find a Muslim or someone you know to room with and put them down on the housing application (have them put your name down on the application as well
  • Try to connect with other Muslim students who may be stuck in dorms”
  • Make sure you establish your expectations early on and password protect your computer”
  • Get the smallest meal plan allowed. You rarely use the whole thing and if you need more money, you can always add more on it.
  • Be careful about invitations to hang out or lending money to people in the dorms, and always be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Dorm life can be challenging, but it’s not the end of the world, mantain a positive attitude, and if you are having trouble, your Muslim brothers and sisters will probably be able to offer you support or help.
  • If you stay on-campus on the weekends, wash your clothes on either Friday/Sunday or early Sunday morning (like 7-8 AM). Otherwise you will be up until 2 AM Monday morning doing laundry.
  • Find Muslims on and off campus who stay on the weekends and hang out with them
  • Don’t wander late at night around campus or Richmond, it’s just not safe.
  • Go home once in a while, if you can, to get away from the dorms.
  • Learn to balance school work and recreation, time-management is key to success in college!

How can I find a Muslim roommate?

EASY! Browse through the listings in the MSA Forums. Contact those that interest you, or feel free to post your own. www.vcumsa.org

How can I find an apartment?

The Apartment Locator is a free service that will assist you in finding an apartment in Richmond. They can be contacted at: The Apartment Locator (804) 329-6666 (phone) (800) 368-7669 (toll-free) (804) 329-6698 (fax) theapartmentlocator@gsc-apt.com http://www.gscapartments.com

Still have more questions or concerns? Do not hesitate to contact us at vcumsa@gmail.com

12 Responses to “New Student Guide”

  1. I am looking for Muslim roommate entering VCU this year…

  2. i’m a muslim male looking for roommte. please help!

  3. Hello
    Iam muslim female ph.d student looking for roommate to share my apartment if any interest can message me at e mail
    biologyme1983@yahoo.com

  4. Salam! I’m looking for a Muslim female roommate for the upcoming school year. I don’t have a place yet either so if anyone needs a roommate, please let me know.

    aja2657@email.vccs.edu


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: