SGU students and faculty represent a broad spectrum of diversity and culture. Muslim students and faculty are no exception to this; they arrive from various nations, with cultural and ethnic differences. With regards to food consumption, SGU MSA’s aim is to help the Muslim community by providing as much information as possible in the absence of large Halal monitoring authorities (as in more developed areas), so that the community can make their own informed decisions. It is important to note that SGU MSA is comprised of committed students, faculty, and locals who give their time and efforts voluntarily for this cause. We hope Allah accepts their efforts, and forgives any shortcomings.
The food industry is prone to profit margins like any other. SGU MSA aims to approach local food vendors (on- and off-campus), local caterers, meat-providers/butchers with questions and guidelines regarding food served and sold, specifically those involving meat products. SGU MSA also aims to verify items sold at grocery stores which claim to be Halal. The questions and guidelines are to verify that Halal food is (or is not) being served regularly as per the standards of SGU MSA, which are formed after consultation with Islamic scholars and experienced locals. The information SGU MSA gathers is provided in summary on the SGU MSA website.
For example, vendors are asked where their meat products are obtained from. If vendors cooperate, then after further questioning, SGU MSA posts the vendor was “verified Halal”, was “verified non-Halal” or was “not completely verifiable by SGU MSA due to insufficient cooperation by the vendor”. SGU MSA may also post additional notes to help individuals make their decision.