NORTHFIELD, VT (NBC) — A policy change regarding uniforms at a military college has allowed a Muslim student to feel welcome on campus.
Sana Hamze made headlines earlier this year when a military college denied her request to wear her religious attire on campus.
Now she’s attending Vermont’s Norwich University where she’s allowed to wear a hijab.
Life on the Norwich campus is often rigid, though there’s now some flexibility with the uniform policy. And it’s allowed Hamze to become a recruit on the campus in Northfield, Vermont.
“I’m just a normal college student,” Hamze said. “I’m very happy here.”
Hamze, of Lebanese heritage, is from Florida. She was born in the United States, as were here parents.
Hamze observes the hijab, a form of modest dress by Muslim women.
Norwich now allows Hamze to wear the head and neck covering in muted tones, along with long sleeves and pants.
The 18-year-old says The Citadel, in South Carolina, would not make such an accommodation.
In a letter sent to alumni earlier this year, the Norwich president said it was a complex legal and ethical decision but one that had the full support of the school’s board of trustees.
“I do everything that everyone else does,” Hamze said. “I’m held to the same standard.”
Hamze hopes to one day join the Navy, aiming to keep the US safe, including from ISIS.
“Muslims believe in peace,” she said. “I love my county and I love my religion. Norwich allowing me to come here and wear my hijab with my uniform just perfectly shows how its possible how I can love both at the same time.”
The Norwich president said he believes the move will make the university stronger.