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AUS trains 57 new student peer leaders
A group of 57 dynamic students at American University ofSharjah (AUS) attended a special orientation and training workshop heldrecently as part of the Peer Leaders Program for this year. The workshop, organizedby the university's Office of Student Affairs, was conducted by former studentleaders who were promoted to team leaders this year.
"The training played an important role in guiding and informing students abouttheir duties and responsibilities as peer leaders," said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi,Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. "We are pleased with the growth wewitnessed with the Peer Leaders Program. We have seen an increase of studentinvolvement from last year that went from 26 students in the program in2010-2011 to 57 students this year. It is great to see our students optimisticand demonstrate their will to serve, mentor and help new students. This programis intended to build confidence amongst students and we will continue toeducate and equip students focusing on individual leadership development anddemonstration," she added.
Mohammad Hukuan, team leader and a senior in electrical engineering said, "Weare on the right track in promoting the Peer leaders Program and helping newstudents in easing their transition into university life. We can see this justby the fact that we were only 26 students last year and the number has morethan doubled this year. This makes me feel that we've achieved something, whichwas the main reason why I joined the Peer Leaders Program. I hope by next year,we will have more students join the program and hopefully the current peerleaders will continue our mission and will be future team leaders."
The Peer Leaders Program is based on the underlyingprinciple that peers strongly influence the development of attitude andbehaviors of one another. The main role of the peer leaders is to ease thetransition of new students from high school to university life by being theirguides, mentors and friends. The program requires peer leaders to adopt two tofive new students during orientation day and ensure that they transitioncomfortably into university life. In addition to benefiting freshmen, thisprogram also provides the participating students with opportunities to developand enhance their leadership and interpersonal skills.
"Peer leaders present a sense of responsibility anddiscipline for new students. The training session helps blend thesecharacteristics in each one of us. As part of the Student Leadership Program wenot only will help others but are a part of a very productive experience," saidBilal Maarouf, peer leader and a junior in mechanical engineering.
Peer leaders are selected on the basis of their good conduct and soundacademic standing in order to exert a positive influence on the incomingstudents. Their duties will be ongoing as they will serve as peer leaders forthe entire academic year 2011-2012. An interactive presentation highlightingthe characteristics of effective leadership and the goals and responsibilitiesof peer leaders was presented to the group during the training. The leaderswere presented with a welcome kit consisting of small symbolic objects thataptly summarized their duties. All in all, they enjoyed an afternoon makingfriends within the program and sharing their ideas about executing their tasks.