Muslim students observe Ramadan at SUNY Oswego

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Ramadan has just started for the Muslim community worldwide, and muslim students at SUNY Oswego say they feel supported by the university. 

Ramadan consists of fasting during a month from the sunrise to sunset. When the sun goes down, Muslims start to eat and to drink, showing the world how they can manage the abstinence for their god.

Although Ramadan has a different meaning for each believer, every Muslim student agrees that Ramadan involves putting themselves in somebody else’s shoes. Baye Massene Diallo, a muslim student of Business, has been fasting for Ramadan since he was fourteen. Baye explains that it is not only a question of going hungry, it is a question of mindset. 

“It is not as hard as people think. It is just a question of mindset. I am so happy to do the Ramadan. It is not a question of starving, I think it is just a mood of showing people how the others are living”, Baye Massene said. 

The President of the Muslim Student Association, Yahya Ibrahima Ndiaye, started fasting the whole month at the age of eight. He thinks that Ramadan is a month of happiness where they can show abstinence. 

“It is a month from which we can get a better attainment of our belief, of our “Iman” as we would say in our Arabic language.  It is a month where we will try and see how we can abstain from a lot of things, for example eating or drinking. And those are not prohibited things in islam, you can do that. But this month can show you that you can be absent for one month, so also you can abstain for a whole year”, Yahya said. 

SUNY Oswego has also taken part in Ramadan. Around 25 students, who are currently fasting on campus, say they feel very supported by SUNY Oswego as they are being given a good variety of nutritious meals and a space to pray. “SUNY Oswego is doing extremely good”, Baye Massene said. 

“I do feel supported by them”, Yahya said. 

Cooper Dining Hall serves food at 7 p.m. for the students who are celebrating Ramadan from Sunday to Thursday. Lakeside Dining Hall offers food at the same time on the weekends. Halal food is also available, such as halal cheese and the food they already know is halal in the dining hall. Muslim students can preorder the food via online, which is an improvement since last year’s Ramadan at SUNY Oswego.

The Space, in Marano Campus Center, is the place where muslim students can go to pray from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

Celebrating Ramadan at SUNY Oswego has been a collaborative team approach according to Kathyne Szklany, SUNY Oswego Registered Dietitian. Dan Siddons, Resident Dining Director, shares Kathyne’s point of view about the teamwork among the Muslim Student Association and the Auxiliary Services.

“They have a good relationship with our department and communicate regularly about any issues…and that is great”, Dan said.