The Student Activities Office at the American University in Dubai (AUD), in collaboration with the Student Government Association, hosted the 2016 edition of International Night on campus. This year, the theme was “Embrace The Spirit of the Knight”, referring to AUD’s mascot, whose slogan is Born to Lead.
International Night is considered the largest and most anticipated annual student event at AUD, attracting a massive crowd of students, faculty, staff, and the community at large to celebrate the rich cultural diversity at AUD, and this year was no exception.
Numerous cultural performances and booths were set up by participating AUD cultural, special interest, and departmental student clubs, capturing the essence of the diversity at AUD, which encompasses over a 100 different nationalities. This special event showcased AUD student clubs creating a dynamic campus experience for the entire AUD community.
The winners of the best Cultural Club Performance – the most anticipated part of International Night were: in first place the Indian Cultural Club, in second place the Egyptian Cultural Club, and in third place the African Cultural Club.
As for the Student Cultural Club Booths, the winners were announced based on design and creativity as the first place went to the Russian Speakers Club, second place to the Afghanistan and the Palestinian Cultural Clubs, and the third place to the African Cultural Club.
An award also went to Jamnation for the best student performance of the night, separate from the cultural performances. The Animal Aid Association also won an award for its booth as the winners of the Student Special Interest Club Booths category.
Judging this year’s competition were five members of the AUD community: Mable Momera – Library Assistant, Guzeliya Yanbaeva – Student Financial Affairs Officer, Luis Castaneda – Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Roozbeh Ali Kafi – Assistant Professor of Digital Production and Storytelling, Tiago Costa, Assistant Professor of Architecture, and Angi Shaya – 2014-2015 AUD SGA President.
In the excitement building up to International Night, “Embrace the Spirit of the Knight” festivities included the Food Festival event, a tradition where students shared food from their countries to celebrate the culinary richness represented by AUD’s diverse community.
Dr. Robin Anke, Dean of Student Services commented, “The AUD Student Activities Office creates an inclusive community, in which students engage in a variety of social, cultural, intellectual, and leadership programs and activities. This community is developed through governance, club involvement, and civic engagement/service opportunities.”
Involvement in student activities at university is an important component of student life. AUD’s American educational philosophy stresses a well-rounded student experience. Through participation in clubs and organizations, students not only become involved in university life, but also strengthen their socialization, team-building, leadership, event planning and organizational skills. Membership in student clubs and organizations also enables students to make new friends and share mutual interests with fellow students. The memories created on campus, through activities, are an essential part of the holistic development of a university student.
The Coordinators of Student Activities, with assistance from the Student Government Association, create and plan numerous activities for students throughout the year. These activities, designed to be social and cultural, include desert safaris, dhow trips, beach parties, guest lectures, dinners, international celebrations, plays, music nights and other events.