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AUS holds Student Leadership Conference
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation opened at the AUS Main Auditorium today, Tuesday, April 26, the first AUS Student Leadership Conference (ASLC11).
The opening ceremony was attended by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Abdullah al Thani, Director of the Office of the AUS President; Hamid Jafar, Member of the AUS Board of Trustees and Chairman and CEO of Crescent Petroleum Company; Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of AUS; Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, Provost; Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs; Salem Al Qaseer, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs; Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs; Ali Shuhaimy, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management; Head of the Cultural Office of Kuwait and the Cultural Attaches of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, other senior officials, faculty and staff, and hundreds of students from various institutions of higher education.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, AUS Chancellor Heath, welcomed the guests and the delegates to the conference, and discussed aspects of leadership. "Leadership is the ability to develop a vision, get others excited about this vision, and then be able to find ways that enable everyone concerned to implement this vision," said Dr. Heath.
Dr. Al Shehhi, also spoke at the opening ceremony urging students to understand ethics. "We require our students to understand ethics, as honesty, caring and social responsibility are important qualities typical to an ethical leader. Through the conference we bring together global leaders that will help us to build on existing knowledge of this topic."
Following the welcoming remarks, Richard Brandt, Director of the Iacocca Institute, delivered one of three keynote addresses. His address was entitled "Can you Mandate Ethics?" "Leaders who rationalize unethical behavior find that there is no way out of it. Once you've gone down that road, you can't get off it," he said. He also shared with the audience what he described as the "Fraud Triangle" whereby unethical behavior occurs in a three step process, namely by incentive, opportunity and rationalization. "We have all come to the place where we have to decide what kind of ethics we will have. You need to have your own ethical compass," he added.
The second keynote speaker was Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder and Chairman of Barjeel Securities, with his talk entitled "The Role of Ethics in Social Media and Journalism." He clarified to the audience the importance of social media in our world today, giving as an example his coverage of the recent events in egypt.
The third keynote speaker was Badr Jafar, Executive Director of the Crescent Petroleum Group with his address entitled "Taking the Lead with Social Entrepreneurship." He called on leading business leaders to consider giving back to their society in the form of social entrepreneurship.
Dr. Sami Tabsh, head of the AUS Department of Civil Engineering, and Dr. Mahboub Hashem, professor at the AUS Department of Mass Communication, also spoke about Engineering and Media Ethics, respectively.
Organized by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), ASLC11 included presentations, workshops, discussions and team-building debates and activities addressing different aspects of leadership.
The event was part of the OSA Student Leadership Program (SLP), which aims to foster ethical leadership and offers a wide range of opportunities to develop students' leadership and communication skills, preparing them for a lifelong commitment to ethical leadership and citizenship. There are also plans to hold the conference every year.