Charles Neder, a finance student at Florida State University, became a member of the Arab Student Union in the fall of 2021 and joined leadership shortly after. Charles Neder is a junior at FSU aspiring to be a financial professional. He is also a member of the Securities Society and looks forward to hearing about experiences in the finance world from recent alumni. Charles is an intern at Security First Insurance and plans to build expertise in the finance and insurance fields.
Her Campus (HC): How and why did you get involved with the Arab Student Union?
Charles Neder (CN): I found out about ASU by word of mouth and joined. In college, I knew I would have many opportunities to expose myself to the business world. Still, I knew I had an obligation to myself to stay true to my Lebanese roots and who I am, and joining was the perfect opportunity.
HC: What different perspectives and cultural backgrounds have you seen as a member of this organization?
CN: The Arab Student Union’s demographic is majority Middle Eastern as expected. We have members from just about every Arab country. We even have foreign exchange students and students who have just moved to America in the club, which deepens the diversity. It doesn’t stop there. However, the ASU is open to all people regardless of their background. At the end of the day, the goal is to educate everybody on the beautiful and rich culture of the Middle East.
HC: Why did you decide to become involved in leadership with the club?
CN: I chose to be in leadership for engagement. I knew I would be doing myself a disservice if I remained just a member. When I joined the club, it had just opened again after remaining closed for a year and a half due to Covid-19. I wanted to grow an organization and become a part of something more profound than myself, and every day I’m grateful for having that opportunity. Seeing the state in which the club began to where it is now makes the process worth it.
HC: Why did you choose to run for treasurer?
CN: I’m a finance major, so becoming treasurer only made sense due to the nature of the role.
HC: Can non-Arabs be involved in ASU?
CN: YES! We encourage those of all backgrounds to be a part of the union. If we closed the club to only Arabs, we would be straying away from our mission to educate everyone about Middle Eastern culture. Please, if you are interested, I highly encourage you to follow @asufsu on Instagram and come to any of our next events!
HC: What cultural activities and events has ASU hosted?
CN: In the past, our top two most popular events have been breaking the fast during Ramadan, which is called Iftar, and our cultural game nights. Iftar had the most significant turnout by far. We held one in the spring of 2021, and about 250 people attended. We provided food from a local Indian restaurant, and it was a great way to network with prospective members and connect with current members. The second largest event of the year is that cultural game night. This event is always popular because it is easy to meet new people and super engaging and fun. Everyone that attends is encouraged to bring in their favorite game, and ASU provides tea and snacks of Arab culture.
HC: What events are on the calendar for this year so far?
CN: The ASU hasn’t made any official announcements regarding events this year, but if interested, I highly recommend you keep up with us on Instagram @asufsu. We have a lot of exciting announcements coming soon.
It was so great to have the opportunity to speak with Charles Neder. Check out the @asufsu Instagram for information on future meetings to get involved with the Arab Student Union.