Students hoping for return to in-person events

Image Credit: Courtesy AUS

By Hala Nasar

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – With the last three Club Fairs occurring online due to pandemic restrictions, some American University of Sharjah clubs are looking forward to a return to in-person events, such as the upcoming Global Day.

Representatives of student organizations said earlier this month that they experienced difficulty receiving students via Zoom during the Club Fair, making it a challenge to hold their planned programs. 

When asked about the Club Fair being online, Interactive Games Club President Eesha Yasser said she feels “really sad, we really wanted it to be in person.”

The club planned an event to play Jackbox, an interactive online game, with the students that joined. 

While the club consisted of 217 members, only two joined their event.

Echoing what Yasser said, Mahmoud Farrag, public relations coordinator of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), added, “I preferred to have it in-person because it would have been more interactive.”

Nobody had joined halfway through AIGA’s introductory event, although they marketed it on Instagram.

During the Club Fair, several Palestinian Cultural Club members remarked that it was not practical to hold the event online, as in-person events are returning to campus. Still, they said that they understood that the university had to maintain safety protocols.

The Palestinian Cultural Club consists of around 100 members, and some joined for the club’s activity. It involved a childhood Palestinian game of guessing old Palestinian cultural songs. 

While students are now back on campus, there is still uncertainty about what events will be in-person. 

Dr. Lisa Moscaritolo, executive director of student experience, said that while AUS is following required government protocols, questions are being asked about “what things should stay online” and what can be opened up for in-person participation.