Photo courtesy of Arab Student Union

By TERRY LAKINS, Student Life Editor

The Arab Student Union is a student organization designed as a social advocate for issues surrounding Arab American students and the Arab community. Batoull Haidar, the president of ASU, said the mission is to spread the awareness of Arab culture and populace.

The organization has weekly meetings where members have relevant discussions on community, local or national politics and upcoming events. They also reflect on past events to see what they want to change and do better in the future. Haidar said their work in the community is their bread and butter of the organization. The organization has worked with Take on Hate, which is a group that campaigns to fight discrimination and misconceptions about the Arab community. They have also done food drives on Thanksgiving working with other organizations.  

Haidar also said they have done campaigning to support a candidate from the community running for a position, such as state representative or a school board member. Campaign work has included attending fundraisers and going to the polls trying to convince people to vote for their favored candidate. They have also worked with ASU at Fordson High School in Dearborn, where they have set up poetry slam events.

“We want the community there for a sense of unity,” Haidar said.

They also work with other branches of ASU and attend the Annual ASU Gala. This event includes every branch of ASU, as well as Arab community leaders and other organizations. During this time they guest speakers talk about the Arab community, awards are handed out and a discussion reflecting on the entire year.

Haidar said some ideas they want to implement are helping student refugees by getting them school supplies, raising awareness of mental health in the Arab community, and being a part of the University of Michigan’s annual Global Fest. Haidar said recently the organization went through a reconfiguration and is now much smaller than before. Despite the smaller size Haidar hopes people will join and use their ideas to build it up.

“The floor is open,” Haidar said. “Everyone is a team and everyone is welcome to share their ideas.”

Anyone interested in joining can contact Haidar at haidarb@umich.edu for more information.