Hobart and William Smith Colleges Junior Hamdan Ahmed has demonstrated an impressive sensitivity to the unique challenges experienced by international students. As the President of the International Student Association and Co-Founder and Co-President of South Asian Student Association, he has creatively and proactively engaged our U.S. and international students in multi-cultural programming. Additionally, his leadership with the Alternative Spring Break program allowed 24 of his peers to contribute in significant ways to communities in North Carolina, Virginia, and Lyons, NY.
Assisting the staff from The Center for COmmunity Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) organize Alternative Spring Breaks for the 2018-2019 academic year is truly an honor. During the semester, many students do not get to do community service due to the heavy workload, however, Alternative Spring Breaks give students a unique opportunity to commit a whole week to give back to the community and be part of something bigger than themselves. It is not only an exceptional opportunity to contribute in solving the global issues, but, also a unique opportunity to bring a positive change in the lives of the volunteers.
After the introduction of the new immigration policies by the US President, many of my peer international students hesitate to visit home during the breaks due to the fear of not being able to return to the complete their education in the United States. This has resulted in more international students getting involved on campus and introduce their culture to HWS in an attempt to make the campus more like home. As the President of the International Student Association and Co-President of South Asian Student Association, I can say that the clubs are getting more participation from students than ever, due to which, just this past semester, we were able to make the Friday prayer more accessible for Muslim students, organize the first ever Diwali event (an Indian festival) at HWS, and host a huge Multi-Cultural Dinner.