During the same time that Denison students ran naked for “Naked Week,” many women on campus also wore hijabs as Denison celebrated it’s first World Hijab Day on Feb. 19.
The Hijab Day Challenge was organized by the Denison Muslim Students Association (MSA). The purpose of this event is to clarify the stereotypes behind the scarf, while encouraging the members of the Denison community to challenge themselves and walk in the shoes of a veiled Muslim woman.
One of the participants, Emily Henson, Program Coordinator of Centre for Cross-Cultural Engagement stated, “I’m doing this as this is important to me. My boyfriend is a Muslim and this is a wonderful opportunity to learn about his culture.”
In addition to the Hijab Challenge, there was a group discussion that started off with a video of Nazma Khan, the founder of World Hijab Day. The students who wore a hijab shared their experience leading to other reflective dialogues.
Though the hijab is seen as a symbol of oppression, this initiative hopes to change such stereotypes and controversies surroundin. As Aissata Berry ’15, President of MSA opines, “Wearing a hijab is modesty, not oppression.”
Overall, this event promoted solidarity on campus as so many women came forward and took up this challenge. One of the participants, Jasmine Punihani’14 thinks, “I felt comfortable and pretty as my features got accentuated. It looks beautiful and it felt good.”