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Utah State University Diversity Council

Observing Ramadan

Ramadan

Ramadan is a Muslim holiday, celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It represents the holy month, in which the Quran (often spelled Koran in the United States) was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. During the month of Ramadan, many Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. At sunset, Iftar occurs – a meal which breaks the daily fast. In the United States, Ramadan is observed approximately June 28 to July 28. Overseas, the dates are June 29 to July 29 (the dates themselves are determined by the appearance of the new moon, and so can vary from place to place). The fast during the month of Ramadan emphasizes many things that are important to Muslim culture. The act of fasting allows adherents to engage in self-sacrifice in order to understand the experience of hunger, promoting empathy for those less fortunate. Often, Muslim communities work together during the moth of Ramadan especially to raise money for the poor, or to otherwise engage in service activities which benefit the less fortunate. It also promotes a focus on Allah, or God, rather than material items in one’s day to day life. During the month of Ramadan many Muslim people will make an effort to read the entire Quran. Sometimes this occurs through attendance at religious services, as a ritual preceding the nightly meal, or on one’s own throughout the day. The month concludes with Eid al-Fitr, where, following morning prayers, a feast and celebration occurs.


Diversity Council Grant Awards

The Diversity Council would like to congratulate the following individuals and departments on their grant awards for the 2014 – 2015 year! The Diversity Council received many outstanding applications this year, and we are grateful to be supporting these projects.

grants

The Center for Persons with Disabilities for its project Aggies Elevated. Aggies Elevated provides an inclusive, post-secondary education experience for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Aggies Elevated will provide an opportunity for students to live on campus, with full access to all student activities, while taking specialized and traditional coursework at Utah State University.

The Department of Biological Engineering for its proposal to host Hispanic/Latin@ identifying students during a summer undergraduate research program in Biological Engineering at Utah State University.

Counseling & Psychological Services office will host visual displays each month to celebrate cultural heritage months, to recognize diversity in religious holidays, and to promote a general appreciation of multiculturalism. This change to the visual atmosphere makes the CAPS space more inviting and inclusive for all students utilizing their services.

Caine College of the Arts for its proposal to engage in targeted recruitment efforts to bring underrepresented students to Utah State University from New Orleans and Los Angeles.

Bonnie Glass-Coffin & the Anthropology Department for their project Interreligious Knowledge, Relationship-Building, and Action at Utah State University. This project seeks to build religious literacy at Utah State University regarding different faiths or no faith at all.

The Office of the Vice President for Student Services for its Underrepresented Student Mentorship Program. This program will target students who traditionally would be provisional admits, and pair them with successful upperclassmen for a yearlong peer-to-peer mentorship program. This program is expected to increase the academic and social success of students who are statistically unlikely to complete a four-year degree.

These projects, alongside other ongoing projects with Diversity Council support, all work toward supporting the goals and objectives of the Diversity Council. The Council is proud to be supporting these projects, and looks forward to many more years of successful projects and awards!