Strict protocols in place for resident students

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Image Credit: Courtesy AUS

By Jana Sabbagh

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – The American University of Sharjah has set health and safety measures and protocols in the Student Residential Halls in accordance to guidelines set by the Ministry of Education in order to protect students living on campus amidst the pandemic, according to an administration official. 

Senior Manager of Student Residential Life Issam Zaarob discussed in a Nov. 2 email interview the importance of setting new health and safety measures and protocols in order to ensure the safety of the undergraduate resident students. He noted that AUS is obliged to adhere to strict health and safety guidelines while living on campus.

Zaarob said residential halls were operated with low density and each student was assigned private/single occupancy rooms. AUS also closed “gathering areas and community spaces such as the TV lounges, computer labs and fitness rooms.” In addition, one-way circulation flows, or travel directions, for entrance/exit points and staircases were adapted for the residence halls to ensure physical distancing and prevent crowding, with social distance-signage also installed.

Zaarob added that control temperature checks at entrance points are done consistently, with hand sanitizer, gloves and face masks provided to all students. 

“The ongoing health and safety of our community will always be our first priority,” Zaarob said, noting that the biggest challenges his office has encountered have included ways to keep residents safely connected and engaged. 

Accordingly, the resident assistants and residence halls coordinators have worked together to offer more virtual social, cultural and educational programs, he added. The resident assistants, Zaarob noted, have been conducting floor and individual meetings with all residents in order to help them feel more engaged and connected.