The University of Central Florida is home to over a hundred student-organized clubs and this coming semester, UCF will be welcoming one of its newest organizations, the Pakistani Student Association.
Tahoora Ateeq, a junior biomedical science major at UCF, is the president and founder of PSA at UCF and is planning on having the club officially operating in the spring of 2016.
When she was a child, Ateeq used to come to UCF for different events and during that time, there was a Pakistani Student Association on campus that hosted various events and dinners throughout the semester. Attending these events inspired her to want to join a similar organization once she started college.
“The club brought the whole community together and it was wonderful,” Ateeq said. “By the time I came to UCF, there was no longer a Pakistani Student Association and I made it my goal when I came in to restart it.”
Ateeq, who is involved in multiple student organizations on campus, has begun creating the foundation for PSA at UCF along with her friend and vice president, Anum Ahmed, and says she is excited to see how PSA will grow in the coming semester.
“Just having a cultural organization on campus gives you a voice. Gives you a narrative. And that’s what I want to do for Pakistan and Pakistani students,” Ateeq said. “I want to give them a voice. And I want to give them a space where they can be proud of who they are and where they are from.”
PSA at UCF is planning to hold multiple events throughout the semester, including movie nights, henna night, cricket games, a Pakistani food night and lots of social and educational events.
“What gets highlighted a lot in the media are the issues in Pakistan, but there is a lot of good in Pakistan,” Ateeq said. “There’s a beautiful culture, amazing food and there are a lot of people here who identify as American and Pakistani. And that’s what we are. We are American but we’re also Pakistani and I want to bring them both together.”
As of right now, PSA at UCF has four official officers. However, Ateeq and Ahmed are currently holding interviews for fellow UCF students who may be interested in becoming a club officer. Students who are interested can contact Ateeq at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information on the meeting times and location will become available during the beginning of the spring 2016 semester.
Photo by Kyra Clark.