The Islamic Society of UNSW (ISOC) participated in the O-Week program at a grand scale that was held at the University of New South Wales from Monday 22 to Friday 26 February 2016. 

All Universities in Australia hold an orientation program at the commencement of the academic year for all students in general and the new students in particular in order to get them familiarized with campus life and activities in addition to their academic pursuits.

Various clubs and societies including Muslim Student bodies at the campus organize various programs and activities to pass on information and recruit members. One of these is the O-Week stalls organized in an festive atmosphere to engage students and staff face to face at the campus.

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The University of New South Wales ‘Orientation Week’ (O-Week) is undoubtedly, the biggest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Islamic Society of UNSW (ISOC) has been an active participant at O-Week since establishment in 1969. Every year, very keen and enthusiastic ISOC Shura members and volunteers help set up the stall for the duration of O-Week. They also assist in organizing side events that are held every day of the week to ensure new and returning Muslim and non-Muslim students are given a warm welcome.

ISOC began O-Week this year with a traditional information session with morning tea that consisted of mouth watering Arab sweets. Ramsha Naz and Nailah Masagos (Shura members and oraganisers of ISOC O-Week) gave a short presentation on what to expect from ISOC in the coming year.

This year ISOC presented each student an ‘ISOC Survival Kit’: tote bags which consisted of useful items such as discount vouchers, a prayer mat, a Halal food guide, Islamic Planner Calendar, Muslim publications and much more.

Another addition to our stall this year, a ‘try-on-a-hijab’ corner was well received by many non-Muslim students and staff who were very eager to see themselves in a hijab and take their photos taken

Following the information session, the next day on Tuesday 23 February, ISOC in collaboration with KPII (Indonesian Muslim Students Association) held a Halal BBQ on campus where all students, regardless of religion or race were welcome.

An event such as this provides an opportunity for everyone to socialize, building mutual understanding and respect. ISOC firmly believes in portraying the message of Islam through love and respect; to involve all and display true Islamic values through action that capture the heart.

On Wednesday the 24 February, ISOC held an afternoon tea that consisted of mini pizzas and savoury pastries while on Thursday ever so famous ISOC Falafel Lunch was organized.

In order to end O-Week with a fun and interactive event, ISOC held a trivia night on Friday 26 February to bring all the students together in a game that requires teamwork and trust.