Join a student club and enhance your skills
Student clubs enrich campus life, boost student employability and contribute to communities across the country. Don’t miss student club sign-up this Monday and Tuesday!
New and returning students will this Monday and Tuesday (18 & 19 September) sign up via the student life website to join one of 90 student clubs at both Beirut and Byblos campuses.
LAU’s many student clubs are a core part of campus life and student development. They have hosted dignitaries and professionals on campus, including astrophysicist Charles Elachi and astronaut Donald Thomas; raised money for communities in need; and initiated debates and discussions that have influenced attitudes and actions.
“Student clubs enhance campus life,” says Makram Ouaiss, dean of students at LAU’s Byblos campus. “They encourage our students to interact and get to know peers from other backgrounds, cultures, religions, and interests.” This, says the dean, creates a community on campus and a strong alumni body thereafter that will spread the values of LAU.
Indeed, many former students often return to LAU to engage in activities organized by the clubs. The Intersectional Feminist club, the Citizenship club and the Human Rights club were all recently engaged by LAU’s esteemed Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World in activities and public events that saw students rub shoulders with seasoned activists and journalists, many of whom were once active student club members at LAU.
Being an active member of a club, say students and professors alike, promotes coordination, creativity and even compassion. “Students work together to conceive projects and ideas, all the while enhancing their skills in team building, planning and organization, and public speaking,” adds Ouaiss. Some students also take on specific roles of responsibility on club committees that enable them to hone particular skills such as marketing, budgeting, and event planning.
Students interested in taking up such positions can indicate their preference when signing up online. Elections are then held in person during each club’s first meeting, scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.
Former Vice-President of the Social Work Club, Hiba Shihab, stresses the impact of the club’s initiatives on student attitudes toward the less privileged. “It’s important to see how others live so we can empathize and be motivated to help make the world a better place,” said Shihab after a recent drive to collect clothes and distribute them to refugee communities.
Engaging in initiatives and brainstorming as part of the collective is enriching for all students, and can lead to career boosting achievements. Business students Jad al Masri, Jana Amache and Nour Jammoul recently won a $10,000 startup grant from the Inas Abou Ayyash Foundation for a mobile application they designed. They attribute the success of the concept partly to the experience they had gained in brainstorming and innovating as committee members of the LAU chapter of AIESEC, the largest non-profit youth-run organization.
“We wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for LAU’s support system,” said al Masri of the win. “I’m happy I was part of this competition because I really believe in the impact that our project can have,” he added, referring to their app, which facilitates job placements to empower women and build sustainable communities.
To show appreciation for the contribution student clubs make to campus life and society at large, the Office of the Dean of Students holds award ceremonies every year. “Each award has its own identity and purpose, but ultimately they are all instruments to encourage students to work hard and show their inner talents and passion,” explains Campus Activities Associate Manager Riman Jurdak, who works closely with the hundreds of student club members on Beirut campus, as does her counterpart Alan Kairouz at the Byblos campus.
Active committee member of the Intersectional Feminism Club and winner of various club awards Fatima Al Ahmad agrees. “It means a lot. Starting out was very challenging, and the fact that our hard work has been acknowledged is very satisfying.”
Information about various clubs can be found online at the Student Life website and on campus on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 September by the upper gate at the Beirut campus and by the fountain at the Byblos campus.
Other stories in: Student Development.