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The Muslim Professional: MSA Strategy

The Muslim Professional: MSA Strategy

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Published by Saud Inam
This strategy is created in hopes of assisting MSAs in creating successful and well organized organizations.
This strategy is created in hopes of assisting MSAs in creating successful and well organized organizations.

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Published by: Saud Inam on Feb 04, 2013
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02/04/2013

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The Muslim Professional 
-2013 1
Muslim Students Association (MSA)Strategy
TABLE OF CONTENTS:I.
 
IntroductionII.
 
MSA PurposeIII.
 
MSA Board Structure and CommitteesIV.
 
Organizational Management and TeambuildingV.
 
Event Management, Marketing and AdvertisingVI.
 
Building a CommunityVII.
 
MSA Alumni AssociationVIII.
 
Succession Planning
I.
 
Introduction
For many Muslim Students Associations (MSAs), they deal with common problems andchallenges across the board in terms of dealing with the issues of inclusion/exclusion,succession planning, setting up well-attended events, thinking of creative an innovativeevent ideas to draw in the Muslim students on campus, lack of funding, and other problemsand challenges.The purpose of this strategy is to assist MSAs on how to build organized, professional,and successful MSAs that make an impact year after year and continually grow, expand andmake an impact on their campuses and on the lives of Muslim students.
II.
 
MSA Purpose
MSAs have always played a crucial role in the creation of spaces andcommunities for Muslims on campuses and in high schools. MSAs play a crucial rolein the development of Muslims at a young age. However, many MSAs fail tounderstand the purpose of their existence.
 
The Muslim Professional 
-2013 2
MSAs should serve the purpose of creating a community, serving the socialand educational needs of the Muslim student body, creating a safe space forMuslim students and representing the Muslim student body to the university orhigh school administration of which they are a part of.MSAs should not be designed with the purpose of supporting one ideology orway of practice of Islam, but rather should take a balanced approach to Islamicknowledge and/or practice. MSAs should remain open and safe spaces for allMuslim students regardless of their level of religious practice. Some MSAs fail tocreate open and welcoming spaces for individuals seeking to connect with theirMuslim identity by creating a clique or a tribal mentality may turn some Muslimsstudents away from the MSA.Also, on the other side of the spectrum, some MSAs may go too far with howopen they make their MSA to the point where there is no Islamic or Muslimelement to the organization. Other problems include making an MSA tooethnocentric or too culturally skewed towards one ethnic group over others. Abalance must be made which ensures that programs, events, and the overallenvironment are balanced and welcoming.Overall, MSAs should serve as safe spaces that encourage people of allethnicities, cultures, races, and levels of religious practice to come and interact andbe comfortable amongst their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.
III.
 
MSA Executive Board Structure and Committees
The following is a diagram of how an MSA should be structured to run efficiently:
 
The Muslim Professional 
-2013 3
The challenge of some MSAs is that some board structures are too large rendering theorganization inefficient, while some may have too few to run effectively as well. A goodbalance is to have a maximum of 8 board members who cover the basic needs, services,projects and programs that should be provided by the MSA. Some may argue that individualsdo not feel a part of the MSA because they are not given a position, but having too manypeople on a board can make decision making complex and extremely difficult. The followingstructure can be established to allow for more members to become active and be potentialboard members in the future. In order to ensure the quality, dedication, and professionalismof future board members, a clause in the MSA constitution should state that in order toapply to become an MSA board member, one must have volunteered for one year on one of the MSA committees. Below are short descriptions of the MSA board members
positiontitles and responsibilities. The responsibilities are not restricted to the below responsibilities,but should give an MSA a general guideline of how to effectively divide the labor amongstthe board members.A.
 
Presidenta)
 
Responsible to lead MSA and ensure mission/vision are being fulfilledb)
 
Oversee all event programming, projects and MSA initiativesc)
 
Represent MSA in meetings with non-university affiliated organizations andinstitutions, university administration, local Muslim organizations and other MSAsB.
 
Vice Presidenta)
 
Fill in for President when President is absent and make executive decisions inhis/her placeb)
 
Represent undergraduate MSA students
interests to MSA Alumni Associationc)
 
In charge of university organization relationsd)
 
In charge of other university MSA relationsC.
 
Secretarya)
 
Responsible for keeping notes at meetingsb)
 
Responsible for recording history of MSA (events, board member names, etc.)c)
 
Responsible for sending out MSA listserve emailsd)
 
Assist President and Vice President with follow up of action itemse)
 
Responsible for updating social media platforms of event specifics, times, venue,etc.D.
 
Treasurera)
 
Responsible for keeping account of all MSA expensesb)
 
Responsible for creating a fundraising strategy and model for the MSAc)
 
Responsible for outreach to MSA members
families, Muslim organizations, MSAAlumni Association and other institutions for fundraising purposesE.
 
Education Chair

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