Muslims on Campus

 

IMG_3087
The star and crescent symbol of Islam.

North Lake is a diverse multicultural community college. NLC is inclusive and helpful to make every student feel at home. But, what happened when Islamphobia hit the country?After 9-11 many people stereotyped all Muslims as terrorists. The nation started labeling Islam as a hate-based religion, this lack of knowledge or misinformation created an intolerant behavior among Americans.

Even recently some presidential candidates drag the attention of voters pointing out that ISIS is the representation of Islam and the root of evil. However, NLC’s inclusive atmosphere hasn’t been poisoned with hatred.

During the Fall 2015 semester NLC held the panel: “Islam: Myths and Facts.” The panel was a success getting student and faculty attention. After the panelists answered questions from the audience, Dr. Imam Zia, the author of Islam: Silencing the Critics said, “I would urge everyone in the future, if you really and truly want information about Islam, then interact and get involved with Muslims.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Also, NLC has a Muslim Student Association where Muslims and non-Muslims can interact and learn about Islam.

SP
Sadiya Patel is the President of the Muslim Students Association, and an officer of Alpha Zeta Eta the North Lake College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Also, she is part of various clubs and organizations on campus. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

The president of MSA, Sadiya Patel, is an example of dedication and hard work.

“My liberal side made me into an ambitious, goal-oriented feminist which combated many of the stereotypes.”

Patel is easily to recognize on campus as one of the only Muslim students that wears a Burka. Stills, a lot of people probably will think that wearing a Burka or a Hijab means oppression to women.

However, wearing a Burka or Hijab represents of modesty in her religion.

“I just grew closer to God on a spiritual level and felt like I could do more to maintain my modesty,” Patel said. “I felt that my beauty wasn’t meant for everyone’s eyes and that I could choose to be in control of my image and body.”

 

ISIS has claimed so many terrorist attacks in Europe, and with the civil war in Syria, people misassociated Islam with ISIS.

saida1
Saida Elshantaf studying for finals at NLC library. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

“Islam means peace, therefore we’re a religion that promotes peace. Just because a minority, which I would rather not call them Muslims, are promoting terror doesn’t mean that this idea applies to all Muslims,” said Saida Elshantaf, NLC student. “I respect all other religions, and I love to be in a place where I feel respected.”

Islam is a religion that actively encourage peace and tolerance, yet like in every other religion some people are extremist and have given bad reputation to the faith.

“Islam was never a religion of terror and hatred,” said Burhan Lokhandwala, NLC student. “We do not mean harm and all terrorists are not Muslims and they do not understand the real message of Islam anyways. We love everyone and we are a peaceful community.”

 

Soñadores, es así como DACA funciona para usted Usted puede ir a la universidad y se puede obtener becas

Dreamers o estudiantes DACA pueden aplicar a la universidad y se pueden solicitar becas para completar el sueño americano. DACA, es sinónimo de Acción Diferida para los jovences que llegaron en la Infancia. Acción Diferida es una política anunciada por el gobierno de Obama en junio de 2012. Esta política provee una subvención de dos años de acción diferida a ciertos individuos que no están en estado de inmigración legal y entran en los Estados Unidos como menores de edad. Son elegibles para la autorización de trabajo, lo que les permite trabajar legalmente en los Estados Unidos; que podrán solicitar un número de la seguro social y que pueden obtener una licencia de conducir dependiendo del estado, que viven. Las personas que califican para beneficios de acción diferida deben cumplir con ciertas pautas como esquema en la Oficina de Ciudadanía y el sitio web de Servicios de Inmigración (USCIS), bajo la consideración de acción diferida para los que llegaron a pequeña edad (DACA).

Estos son los pasos para calificar como DACA. 1. La entrada a los EE.UU. antes de la edad de 16.

Cinco años de residencia y presencia física en los EE.UU. desde el 15 de junio de 2012, apartir de 2007. 3. Estar inscrito en la escuela o haberse graduado de una escuela secundaria u otro programa educativo o tener un certificado de GED. GED es la equivalencia del diploma de educación general. 4. Los estudiantes deben tener un historial limpio, sin condenas o delitos graves. 5. Tener por lo menos 15 yrs. de edad en el momento de la aplicación, pero no más de 30 años. de la edad, el 15 de junio de 2012.

Las estadísticas muestran aproximadamente 65.000 estudiantes indocumentados que se gradúan de la escuela cada año. sólo el 5% y el 10% va a la universidad. Para aquellos estudiantes que piensan que la universidad está fuera de su alcance debido a las preocupaciones financieras y legales, no debe ser una preocupación más porque hay 18 estados, que permiten la matrícula estatal para ellos. Mientras que el reclutamiento para el programa de levantamiento de la estrella en las escuelas secundarias, tengo la oportunidad de trabajar con los estudiantes y padres de todas las nacionalidades. Algunas de estas familias no poseen documentos o los padres de un estudiante indocumentado potencial. Llegan a mí con preguntas relacionadas con el proceso de admisión y para ver si hay posibilidad de que sus hijos puedan ir a la universidad después de graduarse de la escuela secundaria.

 

El Dallas County Community Colleges ha sido un paso importante para un número de estudiantes indocumentados. Pueden solicitar la admisión si proporcionan toda la documentación requerida. Una vez admitidos a la universidad, pueden solicitar la Beca Rising Star u otras becas disponibles para usted. En los colegios de la comunidad DCCCD, los estudiantes completarán la solicitud de ayuda financiera o la solicitud FAFSA en papel. Se requiere una transcripción de impuestos que debe atribuirse a la versión impresa. Una transcripción de impuestos es un resumen de los datos fiscales de sus padres con respecto al año anterior. La transcripción de la declaración de impuestos proviene de los Servicios de Impuestos Internos (IRS) cuando sus padres reportan impuestos. Soñadores DACA o estudiantes con la acción diferida, se puede ir a la universidad y usted puede lograr un título de dos años en los colegios comunitarios como North Lake College y se puede transferir a una institución de 4 años. Hay fondos estatales para los estudiantes indocumentados o con la accion diferida y se puede aplicar para ciertas becas. No renuncie a sus sueños de obtener una licenciatura o de cumplir de sus metas académicas. Los sueños se hacen realidad si realmente lo desea.

 

 

Changing the world

11136617_10152770626917944_8103119819072037732_n
Alejandra Zavaleta Melara during a Texas Intercollegiate Press Association contest in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Joanna Mikolajczak

Changing the world could be difficult, and so many believe it is impossible. There are more than seven billion inhabitants on Earth with different ways of thinking. Diversity makes our society rich in knowledge and beauty, but also the misunderstanding of this diversity could create conflicts. Journalism can change the world with a simple article, blog or photo. I am Alejandra Zavaleta Melara, a Journalism student in North Lake College that dreams to change the world of so many with my photography and articles. Being part of the News-Register  is one of the most satisfying experiences in my life because of the close contact with students and faculty members on campus. I’m transferring in Fall 2016 to The Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism-Photojournalism. I might be dreaming big about changing the world, but I’m sure that one of my photos or written pieces can lead people to the truth, and the truth to equality.

“Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault,” said Henry Anatole Grunwald.

 

Expelled or not to be expelled?

Oklahoma_Sooners3-1024x768Two  University of Oklahoma students were expelled after they were seen in a  video slurring out a racist song about . This took place in a charter bus with others in it which were also singing along to the song. Although you can not see their faces, you can see both of the students who were expelled. Now the question is should they have had only expelled those two students for being the presumably leaders of the song or expelled the whole bus who were singing along to it also? This has sparked protests at OU and in front of the students home. So with all of this going on I believe it is more than enough to teach the others not seen in the video to teach them that what was done was morally wrong and way out of conduct. Expelling the two students who seem to be leading the crowd was enough for the others to be taught a lesson. Who knows what lead to them even singing the song but hopefully after this incident, those who were singing along learned something from this. Sadly this shows how much work is needed to be done because racism still exist.

Guns here, guns there, guns everywhere!

gun-control-150x150If this campus carry policy passes, you can bet my butt will be switching to online classes and I’m probably not going to be the only one. This will bring so many complications to most colleges such as, norms and policies for carrying it, and student and staff that will avoid physically putting a foot on these campuses.

I remember when I was little, coming around a cop would scare the bejeezus out of me for the plain fact that they carried a gun and it could be used. Of course my biggest fear was that they were going to shoot me but I soon learned that that was very unlikely. Think about it though, what are your kids, nephews, nieces, siblings or little people in your life going to react when they start seeing people everywhere, including in their schools with guns? How are you going to answer all those questions effectively to a child? What necessity do YOU, who support this have in carrying a gun everywhere you go? Does it make you tougher? Do you feel more confident? Are your psychological troubles and intimidations a reason for you to cause this trauma for others? There are people that would probably wanna shoot me because of my interrogations. Isn’t that scary?

For protection you say? Protection from what? Bears or wild animals? In the country, OK. Rapists or your crazy ex-boyfriend? Girl, chances are, he’s on something and you can probably use a glass bottle or the heel of your shoe more effectively. There’s law enforcement who is there for the shooting and arresting and the setting of protective orders.

Fact is, we DON’T need these ‘open or concealed carry’ laws. We need a stronger ethics society.

Trouble in the Air

gun-control-150x150There is no legit reason as to why anyone should be walking around campus or anywhere with a gun. If you have a gun with you, it should be a part of your job; for example, as a cop you are required to carry a gun in case you run into a risky situation. My biggest concern in school should be stressing over a test or printing papers not wondering if they guy or girl sitting next to me is carrying a gun. I am not fully aware of what my classmates are capable of, or what they would be capable of doing with a gun in their purse or backpack. Although, having a law against guns does not prevent all shootings it does lower the risk on any campus. There is no strict background which means anyone could have access to a gun. Better to be safe than be sorry.

Racist Idiocy

Oklahoma_Sooners3-1024x768Racism and higher education are two things that should be mutually exclusive with each other. But, once again, what should be and what is are two very different things. Last week two students from OU were expelled for seemingly inciting a bus to take part in a racist chant. There are some who say that the two and the rest of the students on the bus should not be expelled. That they were simply exercising their right to free speech. That is absolutely correct, they are exercising their right. But this is the real world, with real consequences for actions. They can spew their filth all they want, but they should be ready to accept all the consequences for their actions. But the question remains, why only those two students? Should everyone else on the bus be expelled or should the two alleged leaders of the chant take the brunt of the consequences? I think we need more information before we can reach a fair answer to that question.