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UC Irvine's Controversial Muslim Student Union Wins Anteater Award

Disrupting a speech on campus by an Israeli government official. The suspension, probation and criminal prosecution that followed the incident. The annual teach-ins on the Israel-Palestine issue some have dubbed "Hate Week."

Yep, headlines involving the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine have been mostly negative for years.

However, by that reasoning, it should really be news when something positive happens to the organization that encourages activism by students of the Islamic faith.

For "demonstrating a commitment to transforming structures of inequality and injustices through reflection and action," the MSU was awarded the campus Cross Cultural Center's Praxis Award at the Anteater Awards ceremony Wednesday night.

The university's Office of the Dean of Students recognizes the accomplishments of campus students, faculty and organizations with the annual Anteater Awards. Students nominate groups or members, nominees are posted online and staff and faculty across the campus community do the judging.

This video explains what judges found so attractive about the MSU:

The MSU was also a runner-up to the Buddhist Association at UCI as the Most Outstanding Religious Organization. Alkalima, the Muslim student publication, was nominated for Most Outstanding Student Newsletter, which was awarded to Incite Magazine, which seeks to unite and educate UCI's cross cultural community.

And so, when this posts, a positive headline about the MSU joins the other mostly negative ones collected here:


Another controversial campus organization to receive an award was the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), which has received heat over a secret meeting between Palestinian leader Aziz Duwaik and UCI students who had embarked on an OTI-arranged trip to Israel. Zionists have labeled Duwaik a member or close ally of Hamas, which does not recognize Israel's right to exist.


The OTI was recognized as the Most Outstanding International Organization at the Anteater Awards ceremony.

The complete list of awards, winners (in boldface) and other nominees follow after the break . . .
 
President of the Year:
Nithin Jilla (Kenya Dream)
Alexander Chan (Student Initiated Academic Preparation)
Ceyda Yaramanoglu (Rho Lambda)
Deng Pan (Chinese Students and Scholars Association)
Neha Bhargava (The National Society of Leadership Success)

Most Outstanding Student Organization:
Mock Trial
Helping Hearts for the Homeless
Kababayan (Kaba)

Member of the Year:
Chris Stevenson (Government of Undergraduate Student Housing at UCI)
Mari Cid (Pre-Pharmacy Society at UC Irvine)
Stephanie Hirano (Magic at Play)

Most Outstanding Executive Board :
Delta Gamma (DG)
Flying Sams at UCI
ICS Student Council

Advisor of the Year :
Terri Clarke (DG)
Justin Berstein (Mock Trial)
Santiago Morales-Rivera (DREAMS at UCI)

Most Outstanding Greek Organization:
Beta Theta Pi (Beta)
Delta Gamma (DG)
Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI)

Most Outstanding International Organization:
Olive Tree Initiative
Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA)

Most Outstanding Performance Organization:
Modern Completely Insane Anteaters (MCIA)
Circle of Fifths
Jodaiko (Taiko Drumming Ensemble)

Most Outstanding Academic Organization:
Pilipino-Americans in Social Studies (PASS)
Latina/o Student Psychological Association (LSPA)
Undergraduate Business Association (UBA)

The Praxis Award:
Muslim Student Union

The Legacy Award:
Leah Weinstein (of Reaffirming Ethnic Awareness and Community Harmony or R.E.A.C.H.)

The Faculty/Staff Ally of the Year:
Claudia Pineda (UCI Department of Education lecturer)

Most Outstanding Multicultural Organization:
Indian Sub-Continental Club (ISC)
Kababayan (Kaba)
Tomo No Kai (Tomo)

Most Outstanding Service Organization:
Shifa of Orange County Students (SoOCS)
Colleges Against Cancer
Rotaract of UC Irvine

Most Outstanding Special Interest Organization:
Women in Information and Computer Science (WICS)
Challenging All Men to Prevent Sexism (CHAMPS)
Video Game Development Club

Most Outstanding Social/Support Organization:
ICS Student Council
DREAMS at UCI
Right to Know Peer Educators

Most Promising New Group:
Helping Hearts for the Homeless
Konnect: Korean Cultural Awareness Group
Transportation Advocates of UCI

Excellence in Fundraising Award:
Delta Gamma (DG)
Tomo No Kai (Tomo)
Pilipino Pre-Health Undergraduate Student Organization (PUSO)

Social Justice Program Award:
International Justice Mission at UCI
Flying Sams at UCI
Public Health Brigades at UCI

Most Outstanding Annual Program:
Student Alumni Association
Pilipino Pre-Health Undergraduate Student Organization (PUSO)
Right to Know Peer Educators

Most Outstanding New Program:
Mock Trial
MCAT Challenge Association
Students for Integrative Medicine

Most Outstanding Community Service Program:
Circle K International at UCI
Colleges Against Cancer
National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS)

Most Outstanding Traditional Cultural Program:
Indian Sub-Continental Club (ISC)
Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA)
Kababayan (Kaba)

Most Outstanding Educational Program:
The Green Campus Program
MCAT Challenge Association
Pilipino Pre-Health Undergraduate Student Organization (PUSO)

Most Outstanding Collaborative Program:
MatSci at UCI
Government of Undergraduate Student Housing (GUSH)
Right to Know Peer Educators

Most Outstanding Newsletter Publication:
Incite Magazine
Alkalima
Pilipino Pre-Health Undergraduate Student Organization (PUSO)

Most Original Publicity/Marketing:
Pre-Pharmacy Society (PPS) at UC Irvine
Tomo No Kai (Tomo)
Pilipino-Americans in Social Studies (PASS)

Most Outstanding T-Shirt:
MatSci at UCI
Student Alumni Association
Engineering Student Council (ESC)

Most Outstanding Website:
Flying Sams at UCI
Helping Hearts for the Homeless
Medical Initiative Against Homelessness (MIAH)

Most Outstanding Sports/Recreation Organization:
Tennis Club at UCI
Badminton Club at UCI

Most Outstanding Religious Organization:
Buddhist Association at UCI
Muslim Student Union

Most Outstanding Political Organization:
College Democrats at UCI


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