Spring marks the season of change, and Belmont University’s SAME club has taken full advantage.
Previously known as Rumi Club, the South Asian Middle Eastern Association changed its name to clarify what it stands for and represents.
President Dina El-Rifai found a common issue when it came to the namesake of the Rumi Club – a poet who spoke of the importance of tolerance, something aligning perfectly with what the club stands for.
“We realized we had to explain ourselves,” she said.
The name change has been on the table since the fall semester, and– with the establishment of HOPE Council– El-Rifai and the other members decided to take the plunge now instead of waiting until the upcoming fall semester. Because the name change happened in the middle of the semester, the club can spread word of the change during its convocations.
“We wanted to make a distinction between ourselves and the HOPE Council,” El-Rifai said. “Things can start rolling and keep that momentum.”
The club, in accordance to its new name, is focusing more on issues happening in the South Asian and Middle Eastern areas – even though membership is open to any interested student, regardless of background.
“We are open to all faiths and all identities. Just because we are a specific name doesn’t mean we are a specific membership group,” El-Rifai said. “We want to have a platform for people to learn and ask questions.”