Students at the University of Oklahoma have resurrected the Pakistani Student Association after years of inactivity. PSA leaders hope the organization will promote Pakistani culture and erase negative perceptions of Pakistani people.
“PSA is like my little family away from home,” said Raphia Mallick, PSA president, “One of the more important things I expect from PSA is that it washes the negative image of Pakistan built in the minds of people in America and shares the real heart and warmth of Pakistan with them.”
While Ameel Chaudhary, PSA vice president, says he has experienced only a few cases of what he considers racism; he thinks his position could help change the minds of others who think negatively about Pakistani people.
“That’s something I’ve really found interesting,” said Chaudhary, “By being president on campus I can sort of interact with people and maybe I can change a misconception they’ve had and maybe just teach them one new thing and maybe that’ll be enough to help them out.”
The PSA doesn’t need to dispel the stigma of Pakistani and Islamic people to be successful. It’s already creating a home away from home for students whose family might be halfway across the world.
“I missed talking in my own language,” said Mallick, “So I decided to reactivate the organization to create a community for Pakistani students where they can enjoy the people and the traditions we all cherish so much.”
Students of any race are able to join the PSA and every OU student is encouraged to participate in PSA meetings and events. More information can be found on the organization’s Facebook page.