The Muslim Students Association and the Union Program Council hosted Kansas State University’s first annual Hijab Day on Thursday in the K-State Student Union.
K-State’s MSA and UPC’s multicultural committee talked about the culture surrounding the hijab and give away free hijab scarves for attendees to try on.
Camila Rivera, graduate student in architecture, serves as the adviser for UPC’s multicultural committee. Rivera said the MSA planned to put on a similar event last year, but they ran out of time in the school year.
“When I became the multicultural graduate adviser, I posed the question of the event again, and MSA said they would love to do it and have a whole conversation about it,” Rivera said.
The Hijab Day event was planned to raise awareness about the hijab and break down negative stereotypes surrounding it and other aspects of Islam, as well as provide a way to further promote diversity and inclusion on campus.
“I think it’s important to show that we support all of our students, including our Muslim students, and this event is an amazing way to show it,” Rivera said.
Yusuf Ciftci, president of the MSA and sophomore in biochemistry, said the purpose of the event was to educate and inform the public about what wearing a hijab is really all about.
“There’s a lot of misperceptions and a lot of biases toward the hijab,” Ciftci said. “When people see the hijab, they sort of immediately think of negative things and they think that it’s oppressive. Being from this culture, I see that that’s not true. It’s the woman’s choice to wear the hijab, and it shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing.”
Aayat Kazi, vice president of the MSA, said the event was a great way to teach acceptance for the hijab and Muslim students.
“With recent events in the world, the perception of Islam is negative, and we’re trying to promote otherwise one step at a time,” Kazi said.
Ciftci said he is thankful for K-State and its efforts to promote diversity on campus, but events like Hijab Day are essential to further promoting the conversation regarding inclusion.
“K-State has been so open and welcoming to Muslim students, and we’re very thankful for that,” Ciftci said. “MSA is aiming for people to look at Islam with a different perspective. That’s our main goal.”