Three first-years win SGA senate seats in a first-of-its-kind campaign


Screenshots from the @hijabisforsenate campaign instagram account. From left to right, campaign posts for Sarrah Naittalb, Ayan Mohamud, and Fayza Beshir.

Saloni Kumar, Contributing Writer

Three first-years won seats to represent the class of 2025 on the Student Government Association Senate, under the shared platform ‘Hijabis for Senate.’

Since the Senate’s creation three years ago, this is the first time a group of students have run together on an identity-based platform, according to Student Government Association President Sara Mitchell. Students ​​Fayza Beshir, Ayan Mohamud, and Sarrah Naittalb ran under the shared platform “Hijabis for Senate.”  Their motto is: “Our unity is our strength & diversity is our power.” 

They group hopes to combine their collectively diverse experiences to represent the needs of their communities as Muslim students of color. 

The three decided on their campaign goals based on both their lived experiences as Muslim students of color and conversations with the student body. As members of the Simmons Islamic Society, the candidates connected with community members over the lack of readily available halal food options on campus. 

Their campaign also asserts the importance of getting the day off for all religious holidays. According to Naittalb, an excused absence is not enough because classes continue to be held and thus require students to work through their holiday. “I feel like that’s stressful and not fair to students,” Naittalb said.  

They also hope to create physical space for students to prioritize their mental health during the school day to engage in stress-relief activities. As students continue to juggle their various responsibilities, they believe it’s important for the school to make space for events that can serve as a break from the grind of college. 

The constitution outlines that each senator represents their class on one of the following committees: dining matters, student life, financial matters and academic life. Senators meet with relevant members of the administration to voice student concerns and change policies accordingly. 

The three converged with various levels of experience and motivations to run. Mohamud actively participated in her high school’s student council, which successfully advocated to replace her school’s racist mascot. Beshir noted that Simmons is more diverse than her high school and this increased diversity encouraged her to represent students of color and Muslims. Naittal wanted to improve Simmons, noting that it is a predominantly white institution, within the diverse city of Boston.  

Their campaign name, ‘Hijabis for Senate,’ highlights the group’s passion to use their faith to guide their goals. According to Naittalb, Islam emphasizes the qualities that make a good senator— including keeping promises, showing kindness to all, and speaking up for the oppressed.

Ultimately, they hope to use their diversity to represent as many students as possible. “We can be outlets and advocates for different types of students, and we all have very diverse backgrounds and have learned so much in our past that we can bring to Simmons and share with each other,” Mohamud said.