(San Francisco, Calif., 7/17/13) — The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) congratulates Sadia Saifuddin on her appointment as the new University of California (UC) student regent for 2014-2015. Saifuddin was confirmed in a nearly unanimous vote by the UC Board of Regents, during its meeting earlier today.
She is the first observant Muslim to hold the position on the board, which sets policies for the 10-campus system.
SEE: First-ever Muslim student regent confirmed by UC board (Mercury News)
A UC Berkeley senior majoring in social welfare, Saifuddin participated in CAIR-CA's flagship Muslim Youth Leadership Program (MYLP) in 2008. The program, which celebrated its ninth anniversary this summer, is an annual political immersion and leadership building retreat in Sacramento that equips high school students with an understanding of the legislative process, as well as training in the areas of civic engagement and media advocacy. Since its inception in 2004, MYLP has helped empower over 350 youth with the skills necessary to grow into community leaders.
Saifuddin will serve as the regent-designate, able to participate in all discussions but unable to vote until her one-year term as a fully empowered student regent begins in July 2014. One of her main priorities is stabilizing tuition in the UC system, which has seen a steady increase over the past decade and remains a growing concern among students.
“I know what it is like to work three jobs, be a full-time student, and still be a student leader and serve my community,” she said in her acceptance speech before the regents board. “When I look into my six-year-old brother's eyes, I want to ensure that he has the same opportunities and privileges that I did when he enters college.”
“Sadia is a remarkable young leader,” said CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director and MYLP founder Basim Elkarra. “On behalf of CAIR-CA, we commend Sadia for her social justice activism on campus and pray for her success in her new role.”
CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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