Writing this article is definitely bittersweet. I am sad that this will be the last article I publish with The Lance, but I am happy I am graduating in Spring 2019. I’ve decided that the focus of this article will be on my time being a writer for The Lance and the last event I covered here at the University of Windsor.
The best part about being a writer for The Lance for the last two years was getting to know so many students at the University of Windsor. I am always honoured when someone trusts me to write their story or cover their event because it is a great responsibility. Journalists and photographers have the ability to display someone’s reality, so it is important not to stretch the truth.
Writing the series ‘Existing on Campus’ was so important to me because I was able to shine a light on students who belong to a minority community. We may be on a smaller campus than others across Ontario, but it is still so easy to get lost in so many faces. The Lance provides an additional and personal platform to inform students of what is going on around the university and what our fellow lancers are like.
Being able to cover events on campus helped expand my own knowledge. When I attended and covered Islam Awareness Week hosted by the Muslim Student Association (MSA) between March 4 and March 8, I learned so much about Islam and talked to different Muslim students on campus.
Maryam Farag is a third-year student in the Communications, Media, and Film program and a volunteer for MSA.
“As a CMF student, I’m a newsoholic. I watch the news every day and I see a lot of Islamophobia in the news. It’s not just in the U.S., it’s also in Canada. There is a lot of misinterpretation about Islam so I think that this was a healthy event for people to know more about Islam and Muslim,” said Farag. “We want people to know that Islam is a religion of peace.”
VP of events, Diana Mousaly, is in her first year in International Relations. She says that the event is a way for Muslims to say what they want about themselves.
“Islam Awareness is about introducing ourselves, the way that we want to be introduced,” said Mousaly.
The Lance can be categorized as alternative media, defined as “non-commercial projects that advocate the interests of those excluded from the mainstream, such as the poor, political and ethnic minorities, labour groups, and LGBT identities”. During my time at The Lance, I wanted to ensure that my articles covered these groups and allowed me to tell their story.
So you may be wondering why my last article includes recapping Islam Awareness Week when it happened over a month ago. I knew that this had to the last story I shared, especially when just a week later on March 15, 50 Muslims were murdered in Christchurch, New Zealand due to hate, ignorance and Islamophobia.
Mustafa Sawalha, President of the MSA, is in his fourth year majoring in Computer Science Honours. He says that holding conversations like this will help spread love, and not hate.
“Once a conversation on anti-islamophobia spreads on campus, then it keeps spreading. Media is the way nowadays, and negative people just want to spread hate. But taking it one step at a time will really help us reach out to the people out there. I’m a human too, I also have my doubts and my struggles. But talking to people with different views and developing friendships will help us learn about each other,” said Sawalha.
I am graduating with a double degree in Digital Journalism and Communications, Media, and Film. My goal is to never stop telling the stories of marginalized groups. I want to ensure that the stories I report on are honest, transparent and present both sides.
I want to thank you for reading this article, and other articles I’ve written too. I feel lucky to have worked for The Lance for the last two years and really get a close up of almost every Lancer’s lifestyle. I am going to miss the University of Windsor and all that I’ve accomplished here, but I know that there are so many more stories of people to tell and shed a bright light on.
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