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Saturday, December 2, 2023

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Fourth-year finance student Tarek Morsy is San Diego State University’s first Muslim president of Associated Students. Fourth-year finance student Tarek Morsy is San Diego State University’s first Muslim president of Associated Students.

A.S. President Brings a New Background to Student Government

Tarek Morsy credits his faith as the driving factor in his life. He wants to ensure students like him are heard.
By Olivia Li

San Diego State University’s first Muslim president of Associated Students does not hesitate in recognizing the special attributes of his seat at the table.


“My faith is the most important thing in my life without a question,” said Tarek Morsy, elected to the office near the end of the 2022-23 academic year. “There isn’t any competing factor.”


Morsy, a fourth-year finance student from Danville, Calif., has had Islamic values instilled in him from a young age, being born and raised in the faith. As a child, he went to the mosque often with his family and listened to different imams. 


As A.S. president, Morsy knows the importance of the position he holds as the voice for all SDSU students and as part of the university administration’s tradition of shared governance. But being the first Muslim president, he hopes to advocate for students like him, a group he feels has been sometimes left out and misunderstood. Through his presidency, Morsy hopes he will break down generational stereotypes to create a better environment for Muslim students on campus.


“I want to be a representative for the Muslim community and for my actions to represent the way a lot of Muslims are,” Morsy said. “Islam is a religion of discipline.”


Although Morsy is already making positive changes across campus, being A.S. president wasn’t something he envisioned for himself — in fact, he didn’t even know about A.S. until the end of his sophomore year. It wasn’t until he got involved his junior year that he set his eyes on becoming A.S. president, looking up to former A.S. President Shawki Moore and becoming more involved on campus for a more holistic view of the student experience and their needs. 


“By getting involved with different groups on campus, I met different types of students,” Morsy said. “And through those experiences, I understood students have different needs, depending on the community they are from. And then I learned how to create solutions to those needs so I could make changes as president.”


As a leader, Morsy prides himself on being curious and innovative, always open to change and improvement. He also credits his natural entrepreneurial spirit to guide him in looking for new and creative solutions.


“I try to be curious because nothing will ever change if people stick to the system that’s already in place,” Morsy said. “I want to be innovative and the way to be innovative is to be open-minded and curious.” 


In addition to advocating for Muslim students, Morsy’s top priority includes career development and advancement for all SDSU students, working to ensure they are prepared upon graduation and succeed. 


Through working with SDSU’s Career Services and implementing different sectors of A.S. to prioritize helping students with finding jobs and internship opportunities, Morsy hopes that all SDSU students will be better equipped to excel in the workforce.


Morsy credits his Egyptian immigrant parents as his inspiration in addition to the Prophet Muhammad, and boxer and activist Muhammad Ali.


“The ultimate symbol of selflessness is taking an unpopular stance, even when there’s a punishment for it because you care more about the fate of humanity and the community than your own,” Morsy said.


When he envisions what his term will look like, Morsy hopes he leaves tangible changes where a clear difference is shown before and after his presidency including the campus’ culture where members of the different SDSU communities will blend and unite together.


“We have so many amazing communities on our campus but I think SDSU could be an even more beautiful place if this diversity interacted with each other. If you foster an environment of collaboration and the sharing of cultures and passions, a lot of what you’ll learn in college comes from outside of the classroom.”


“I could have never predicted what my experience was going to be like here but it has exceeded my expectations,” Morsy said. I’ve met people that are going to be my friends for life and I’ve had experiences that have molded me and shaped me into the man that I’m becoming. That’s why I’m so grateful to be here.”