Ayoub Ouederni, president of the UNC MSA, said the event has been in the works since June.
“He is on tour right now and we noticed that North Carolina was absent from the list and we saw an opportunity,” Ouederni said. “This is the weekend right after the election and he was open and free and North Carolina was a swing state so we saw the opportunity and wanted to bring him.”
Ayesha Faisal, the publicity chairperson of the UNC MSA, said they hope this event will be a fun experience for all students and shed some light on the Muslim and immigrant perspective.
“There is not that much Muslim and immigrant representation in mainstream media and being on ‘The Daily Show’ he has such a wide audience,” Faisal said. “Not only with just Muslims but with different demographics so we thought this would be something that would really appeal to everyone.”
Ouederni said he expects the hall to reach capacity. More than half of the available 625 tickets have sold.
Faisal said the UNC MSA is not targeting the event at just UNC students — the event has been publicized around Chapel Hill and at Duke University and NC State University.
Because this is the first time the UNC MSA has put on such a large event, the partnership with CUAB has been crucial, Faisal said.
“We are definitely taking advantage of their past experience with bringing big names and things like finalizing the legal issues whereas we are handling publicity,” she said.
Julian Esain, diversity chairperson at CUAB, said the partnership formed when UNC MSA contacted CUAB for help with the event.
“We have been working out the logistics of the event’s management and planning as well as any financial aspects in order to bring Hasan to campus,” he said. “(UNC MSA) has created publicity and we’ve helped with distribution because our social media can reach out to a much larger audience.”
This may be the first big event UNC MSA is hosting but it will not be the last, Ouederni said.
“Next semester we are going to bring even bigger speakers. Before this we brought Linda Sarsour, a very prominent Muslim activist,” Ouederni said. “That was kind of a big deal for us and now we keep upping the bar.”
Faisal said the Late Night with Hasan Minhaj event is part of UNC MSA’s goal to increase campus awareness.
“A problem that we realized is that a lot of people know of MSA but they don’t really know MSA in the way that other organizations are recognized,” she said. “It’s not just increasing awareness for the sake of the organization but also combatting Islamophobia and I think we are doing a good job.”