Although Houston has one of the largest and fastest growing Muslim populations in the country, UH has yet to provide certain foods that meet their dietary guidelines — specifically halal food, which specifies, among other things, the manner in which animals must be slaughtered under Islamic Shariah.
With the requirement that students residing in on-campus residence halls pay for meal plans, some Muslim students are hesitant to stay on campus because of a lack of halal options.
The billwas introduced to the Senate Wednesday evening to propose the opening of halal vegetarian and vegan options in the New University Center.
“Students really want their healthier options here on campus. There’s been a lot of recommendations from the SFAC that mention food options,” said Speaker of the Senate Sebastian Agudelo. A lot of senators want that option as well. They stay late doing their homework, and they are hungry but have nowhere to go. It isn’t fair for them to pay for meal plans but not get their halal food. This should be a priority for the University and this administration.”
Later proposals included inviting Sen. Wendy Davis to campus, spurred by CLASS Senator Catherine Tassin De Montaigu, who discovered that Davis would be visiting Houston. SGA, however, was unable to secure her visit at the time.
“As a political organization here on campus, we should have more events like this. I was very disappointed. We lost out on a good opportunity,” De Montaigu said.
The conversation then turned to vacant spaces in the SGA Senate, when the presidential appointment of Mohammed Elsaadi to Senator of the Cullen College of Engineering took place.
“I’ve been very involved on campus, so I wanted to further my campus involvement. I scheduled a meeting with Cedric and asked what available positions SGA had,” Elsaadi said.
As the evening wound down, Director of External Affairs Bria Riley updated SGA on the Voter Outreach and Education.
“The voter turnout increased by double. I’m very proud of our engagement,” Riley said.