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AUS kicks off first virtual student Club Fair
While classes may be online this semester, students at American University of Sharjah (AUS) are able to explore the wide variety of student organizations found on campus through the university’s first virtual Club Fair. The two-day event, which began today, September 21, attracted many first-year students eager to join in these extracurricular activities.
This semester, the Club Fair features 26 cultural clubs, 42 interest-oriented clubs, and the Student Council. Also participating are five departments from the AUS Office of Student Affairs (OSA), including Community Service and Outreach, On-Campus Student Employment, Student Leadership Program, Student Athletics and Recreation, and Student Residential Life Department. Organized by OSA, the event features more than 50 virtual activities planned by the various clubs and organizations. Anchoring the event is the information and membership desk, which can answer any questions that the students might have.
A vibrant extracurricular experience is an important part of an AUS education, and this semester’s virtual Club Fair is designed to help students engage with student life at AUS while away from campus. This is particularly important for new students to help them integrate into the AUS community and support their transition to college life.
“Since this semester is being held online, the Emirati Cultural Club has been working less on conventional event organization and more on creative video production and online interaction. We've put together a list of activities that we plan on doing to increase engagement with students, meet new people and work to restore a spirit of optimism in our student community,” said Sultan Al-Mutawa, Emirati Culture Club Treasurer. The club has prepared an array of virtual activities, including welcome sessions and a number of fun Jackbox Party Games.
Addressing the new students joining the university this fall, Al-Mutawa said: “This online experience can be whatever you decide to make of it. It can be dull or the most fun you will ever have. We can help with the latter. Follow the clubs online and explore your interests. Experiment. Step out of your comfort zone. Join in on events and activities whenever you're free, as there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people and have fun.”
At its Club Fair booth, the American Society of Mechanical Engineering has a virtual exhibition, documents, videos and resources to help interested students navigate what the club has to offer.
“We are always presenting new and interesting activities during Club Fair and doing it virtually this time will not affect the quality of entertainment we present at all. It might even make it better. We have club introductory, educational, and entertaining videos that students can access at any time. Students can also visit our social media platforms by just clicking on the links we provide, and chat with any one of our team members at our booth. We have also organized a big competition, which guarantees a high level of entertainment for all students,” said Sherif Khalid Ismail, President of the AUS student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering.
He added: “Extracurricular activities are simply one of the most essential activities that students can participate in during their university years to gain skills. They help students learn how to communicate professionally and expand their networks, which is beneficial for finding career opportunities after graduation. If you really want to develop your social life, time management, and leadership skills; join a student club or two and become an active member!”
The Club Fair’s virtual opening ceremony kicked off with a video message from AUS Chancellor Professor Kevin Mitchell, followed by a message from Dr. Lisa Moscaritolo, Vice Provost for Student Life at AUS.
Dr. Moscaritolo said: “We are excited to have more than 70 clubs and organizations join Club Fair this semester. The student club members have prepared a diverse and engaging program with more than 56 virtual events happening. We encourage students to take time to visit the Club Fair and familiarize themselves with clubs and organizations available at AUS. This is a great way to get engaged in student life and make new friends.”