14 faculty in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences were promoted in 2023. They received notice of their promotions on April 7 and represent six departments and a variety of positions with emphases in teaching, research, and professional practice....
CHaSS Faculty and Students Help USU Celebrate Ramadan
USU students, faculty, and community members gathered for the 2022 iftar dinner at Utah State University.
By Andrea DeHaan, CHaSS Communications Editor
Utah State University will hold multiple events in celebration of Ramadan from April 12-14, 2023. On the initiative of Muslim students, there are numerous departments, centers, and colleges working together with student volunteers to offer events honoring the ninth month in the Islamic calendar known as Ramadan — a time when observant Muslims engage in fasting, prayer, and communal festivities.
“Being a Muslim student at USU, I have personally experienced the joy and tranquility that comes with observing this month, but I have also felt a sense of isolation,” said Rana Abulbasal, event co-organizer and Ph.D. candidate in sociology. “Thus, the program was initiated with the aim of offering support to Muslim students, faculty, and staff during Ramadan and sharing the splendor of this month with the wider USU community."
Professor Bonnie Glass-Coffin, event co-organizer and director of the Interfaith Leadership Certificate program agrees that “cultivating relationships with those of other faith traditions and gaining appreciative knowledge about those traditions are important building blocks of interfaith cooperation.” Glass-Coffin said that this year’s broad-based support has made it possible to expand their offerings and “to allow for both.”
2023 Ramadan events at USU are structured around the theme of “Owning Our Narrative: Sharing Our Stories” and will feature keynote speaker Khaled Beydoun, author of “The New Crusade: Islamophobia and the Global War on Muslims.” A law professor at Wayne State University, Beydoun served on an advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has appeared on major news outlets including The New York Times, CNN, and the BBC. He also has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.
Beydoun’s keynote presentation on April 13 will include a one-on-one conversation with Patrick Mason, Leonard J. Arrington chair of Mormon history and culture at USU, to explore similarities and differences between Islamophobia and the history of aggression against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of USU’s new Heravi Peace Institute will also meet with Beydoun during a roundtable discussion co-sponsored by the institute and USU’s Center for Intersectional Gender Studies and Research.
Glass-Coffin sees the university’s celebration as “an opportunity to come together as we reflect on values that transcend religious difference and that point to our common humanity — values of charity, of compassion, and of service to a greater whole.”
Scheduled offerings include a “Fasting as Devotion” panel to explore the topic from different religious traditions, events highlighting Muslim students and their stories, and a “fast-a-thon,” which will encourage an all-day campus-wide fast in support of USU’s Muslim community. The three-day series will conclude with the annual community iftar dinner, a meal to break the daily fast.
During the 30-day celebration of Ramadan from March 23 to April 21, 2023, the university will also offer evening iftar meals for students and provide spaces for drop-in prayer and reflection.
“The USU Interfaith Initiative is proud to host events this Ramadan season and grateful to be joined in this work by so many other sponsors on campus and in our community,” Glass-Coffin said. In addition to the Interfaith Student Association, events are supported by more than 25 units, including USU Extension, the Office of Global Engagement, and seven colleges.
For a full listing of events, visit https://chass.usu.edu/interfaith/resources/on-campus/ramadan or http://interfaith.usu.edu.