KATUIN: Islam Awareness Month
The Cavalier Daily’s lack of coverage is a major oversight
The Muslim Student Association at the University has been putting on events in honor of Islam Awareness Month. Programming kicked off this week and will continue for the rest of April. There are plans for a brunch event, a fundraiser for the International Rescue Committee, a professional panel and an informational session about the different sects of Islam. The Cavalier Daily regularly covers student activities and events, but it seems to have missed much of this programming. Perhaps authors were waiting to cover larger events towards the end of the month, but this omission currently seems glaring.
In the name of equitable and balanced coverage, The Cavalier Daily should discuss Islam Awareness Month with the same level of depth as it does other religious and cultural events on Grounds. This past week, The Cavalier Daily printed an Opinion piece discussing Lent, and the need for students to take time for self-reflection and introspection. This is a wonderful sentiment and several articles this spring have highlighted self-care and the importance of taking time to decompress. However, writing about a religious event such as Lent and not covering Islam Awareness Month is something of an oversight for the paper.
Past Cavalier Daily coverage of multi-cultural and religious events has been expansive, and it is a bit surprising that this topic seems to have fallen through the cracks. There has been a substantial number of articles on the new multicultural center in Newcomb Hall, and the recent march for Muslim, immigrant and international student rights. Additionally, in light of anti-Muslim rhetoric and vandalism that has occurred this year at the University, it is critical authors continue to cover programming aimed at educating students about Islam.
The lack of coverage about Islam Awareness Month is sending the wrong message to students. Providing news articles and commentary about the impact of this programming will benefit students and community members in two main ways. First, more people will learn about these events and may be more likely to attend an event down the road. Second, increased coverage will highlight the positive work MSA is doing and ensure a higher level of religious inclusivity in the University community. Cavalier Daily readers deserve engaging and diverse content. The lack of Islam Awareness Month coverage impacts all members of the University and the wider Charlottesville community.
Jacquelyn Katuin is the Public Editor for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.