Multi-Faith At Gustavus
Gustavus Adolphus College, and its connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, now has a multi-faith advisor, who happens to be a Muslim.
Harvard-educated Ailya Vajid hopes to open up Gustavus to a better understanding of Islam, having a Muslim to speak to face to face, rather than read about or watch on TV.
Along with that outreach work, she'll also focus on the students and their needs.
Vajid says, "I work with students in an environment where they feel people may not understand them. Also help them engage with their faith more deeply. Help them. Work together to understand."
Hanan Mohamud, a psychology sophomore says, "She knows what my religion means to me because she is a Muslim herself. She also knows what it's like to be a Muslim American. She went to college here and she grew up here. And as a woman, I feel that I can relate to her more. She told me she also struggled with her faith. We all do. So knowing that and keeping that in mind I can tell her where I'm at, the type of help I need, and I knew she will help in any way she possibly can."
Vajid says, "Some of them having grown up with grown up with something and figuring if it's still who they are now, when they're free to make these decisions outside of their family. Also exploring something new for the first time. I think that's actually the most fun part of the work. Getting to work with students when they're working through these identity questions."
Vajid splits her time at Gustavus doing the same job at Macalester and Carleton College, as even small schools try to reach out as far on the diversity spectrum as they can.
-- KEYC News 12.