You Can B The Change — Hassan Hassan ('22)
Updated: Nov 2, 2021
"You Can B The Change — Hassan Hassan ('22, Management)"
At the end of his freshman year, Hassan Hassan was considering transferring schools, but the sense of belonging his organizations gave him drove him to stay and continue to call Bentley home. The Africana Student Association, Mankind Movement, and Muslim Student Association have shown Hassan what community and connection felt like. Hassan, now in his senior year, finds himself on the executive boards of these organizations to bridge the gap between upperclassmen and underclassmen and shape positive experiences for those who follow him.
Hassan attributes the positive experiences he had early in his Bentley career to the upperclassmen who previously ran his organizations that were passionate about making everyone feel involved and included. He knew that he wanted to be that same mentor figure for others at Bentley, but after the function of organizations and events changed due to the pandemic, Hassan finds himself creating experiences for three classes of students to show them what the Bentley experience is like.
Hassan’s goal is to ensure that his organizations do not disappear after he leaves Bentley. Since he feels that underclassmen may not be as inclined to go to events after the past unprecedented year, he observes a “gap” between the upper and underclassmen. Addressing this disconnect is important to Hassan, and he believes that putting on great, socially fulfilling events for students is the way to foster community. Especially as a member of cultural organizations, Hassan values being able to provide a space for people of color to connect, but also share their culture with other students on campus. Many students may not know much about African culture, for example, so the events Hassan develops create an immersive environment to educate and provide a fun, rewarding experience.
“Being a part of the Africana Student Association [has] honestly [been] amazing!”
The Africana Student Association’s annual gala has been one of Hassan’s proudest moments at Bentley. In 2020, it was one of the last big events before the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year Hassan “only [plans] for it to get bigger.” He also prides himself in re-establishing a Muslim Student Association, since he feels the Muslim religion can be “misexplained,” and as the founder of the organization and leader of Friday prayer, Hassan knows the importance of showing students “what we’re truly about.” Hassan continues to give his all to these organizations because providing the sense of belonging, which proved so crucial to him his freshman year, to the next class of Bentley students is what he is passionate about.
Serving as the president of the Africana Student Association this year, Hassan is finding himself navigating how to be the most effective leader he can be. He would advise other students to find a medium between “leading with an iron fist” and “being the leader that everyone walks over.” Delegation, Hassan believes, is a sign of a good leader in that they can take a step back and recognize the strengths of those around them. He would encourage any student to branch out and not be scared to try new things as
“The best experiences arise out of the most unexpected situations.”
The Mankind Movement was where Hassan really learned the value of this statement, because it started as a small group, but it has grown dramatically since he joined and has impacted so many men’s lives at Bentley. Hassan values the opportunity it provides for men of color to gather and talk about things that are important to them, an opportunity they may not have otherwise had. Hassan is thankful for the alumni of MKM that continue to care for its members by coming back to speak and share internship opportunities. Mankind Movement showed Hassan what community feels like: “It’s why I joined campus life so much.”