The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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MSA feeds needy by fasting

Muslim Student Association members celebrated the end of a day of fasting with a banquet at the University Student Union’s Northridge Center last Thursday after raising $1,500 to help feed people in need.

Many Muslim students have been fasting every day since Sept. 13, from sunrise to sunset, about 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and will continue to do so until Oct. 13 as part of the Ramadan celebration. But MSA members also wanted to involve other students by organizing a “Fast-A-Thon” to raise money for the Valley Food Bank.

“We’re students, and sometimes we don’t have money for food, but there are people out there who really can’t afford food at all,” said Zabie Mansoory, copresident of the MSA and a Sundial staff reporter.

Taking into consideration that many students may not be able to afford to make a financial donation, the MSA contacted businesses and religious institutions in order to find sponsors for the Fast-A-Thon. The organization set a goal of raising $1,000 and they beat that goal by $500 last Thursday evening. About 200 students participated in the Fast-A-Thon.

The Valley Food Bank is located in North Hollywood and has been in operation in the San Fernando Valley since 2001. The organization processes about 2 to 3 tons of food per week and 2 million pounds of food every year.

Will Hernandez, director of the Valley Food Bank, said at the banquet, “People ask me why we don’t have very much food in our storage.”

“If I have a large inventory, that means people who are in need are not being fed,” Hernandez said.

Nayereh Tohidi, chair of the Women’s Studies Department, Vicki Allen, head of the Matador Involvement Center and Associated Students members were among those who participated in the fast.

“Without the support of A.S., this would not be possible,” Mansoory said. “They came out and said, ‘This is an event we believe in, and we won’t just fund it. We’ll also fast.'”

Although not everyone who participated in the Fast-A-Thon could attend the banquet and enjoy the smorgasbord of food, which included spaghetti, fettuccine alfredo and mixed vegetables, about 100 students were in attendance.

While eating, students could hear the words of various speakers, including senior biochemistry major Miran Marlan, who promotes human rights and is starting an organization called Uyghor Rights Association, which will support and help the people of eastern Turkestan.

“Right now, I’m the only member,” Marlan said. “But once my exams die down, I’m going to work on expanding the group.”

Senior chemistry major Majib Jan, who helped clean up after the event, said he was raised with the idea of fasting.

“But now I see it as purifying and cleansing. It teaches you discipline,” Jan said.

Schools throughout the U.S. and Canada have been participating in the Fast-A-Thon for several years. This was CSUN’s first time, and the MSA has even bigger goals for upcoming years.

MSA members are also having a toy drive for less fortunate children. Students can drop off toys in the Matador Involvement Center or visit www.msacsun.com for more information.

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