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Rakia Syed: Head of the Islam Awareness Committee

Name: Rakia Syed

Year: Sophomore

Major: Biology and Linguistics

Hometown: Dix Hills, Long Island


What clubs are you a part of on campus?

Rakia: “The first one I am involved in is the University Scholars Book Drive, I am the head of that committee. I am a part of the Muslim Student Association and am the head of the Islam Awareness Committee. I am a part of Red Watch Band CARE TEAM. And I am in my hall council.” 

Why is the University Book Scholars an important club to be a part of?

Rakia: “I just think it’s really great to see all the people that have books that they are willing to give away. Because they are precious books that they want to share and pass on to other people, not just throw out. I think it’s important to be involved in general but this is something that I really love. For me the biggest part is being able to pass on those memories that are attached to those books to other kids.”

Why is the Islam Awareness Committee of the Muslim Students Association something you want to be a part of?

Rakia: “We have tables every other week in the Students Activities Center where we try to dispel all the rumors that are going around, combat a lot of the Islamophobia that has been going around the nation, stuff like that. Anyone can come up and ask us questions.”

A Biology and Linguistics double major is an interesting combo. What made you choose that path? 

Rakia: “I actually started out as biomedical engineering, and it was really fascinating but you need to take 16 credits each semester of hard math, hard physics. And I did grow up in a bilingual household and so language is really important, and in high school I learned both French and Latin, so I wanted to continue my study of languages. But when I went to the advisors they said ‘you don’t really have time for linguistics in your schedule’ but I said ‘I don’t have time for you.’ So I decided to switch out of BME and switched into biology, then added the linguistics minor.”

How do you find the time to manage all the things you are a part of, and stay on top of all your school work?

Rakia: “For me scheduling is a huge huge thing like I basically plan every hour of my day and take advantage the spare time I do have, lets say I have 20 spare minutes, I will work on a project or homework. At the same time I do have to schedule in friends. Planning has been a huge benefit, in terms of keeping a planner and writing down  what I have to do, and in terms of giving me self to relax as well. Leaving even if it is just five minutes before I go to bed to reflect on the day, things like that.”

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