First AUC Community Day Today; Take Part in Activities Around Campus

From student organizations and academic schools to alumni sponsors and administrative offices, more than a dozen campus groups have worked together to bring to life AUC's first Community Day. Huddled every Wednesday during assembly hour, an unexpected mix of students and staff have pored over every detail of what organizers hope will become an annual campus tradition.

The event will take place today from 10 am to 6 pm and targets students, staff, faculty and alumni. To see the full event program and map,click here.

The First-Year-Experience (FYE) program has been involved in the organization of Community Day since the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester. “From the start, we welcomed with great enthusiasm being part of such an event that will help bring all the AUC community together,” said Mohamed Mossaad, FYE president and architectural engineering senior. “We believe that the project is a very good opportunity to strengthen the bond between the different members of the community, as well as increase their sense of belonging to AUC.”

Highlights of the event include the unveiling of the University’s first mascot, organized by FYE; an All-AUC Talent Show, organized by the Student Union; a school face-off competition, organized by FYE; a history challenge, organized by the AUC University Archives; a donation drive, organized by Resala AUC; and a showcase of artistic products made by students, faculty and staff, organized by the Office of Human Resources. AUC’s student groups, administrative offices, alumni, and various schools and centers are coordinating different features of the day.

FYE is coordinating the unveiling of AUC’s first mascot and Community Day’s School Face-Off, where teams composed of alumni, students, faculty, staff and employees from each academic school will be competing in relay races and other contests. “The School Face-Off will allow people within each school to really get to know each other because administrators, staff, faculty, custodians and students will be competing together in one team,” said Norhen Ali, FYE general manager of Community Day and political science senior. “On a bigger level, the School Face-Off will allow the different schools to get to know each other more.”

Manar Ayoub, associate director of alumni programs and special events, also noted the way Community Day will provide AUCians with the opportunity to interact and become closer. “In the good old days, we used to know each other by name, but nowadays we don’t,” Ayoub said. “We’re about 2,400 faculty and staff members, and we don’t know each other that well. Community Day will give us a chance to actually meet the faces we usually just call on the phone.”

Ayoub '91 is also looking forward to the involvement of alumni in Community Day. Several AUC alumni have agreed tosponsor the event because Community Day is depending exclusively on contributions and gifts to ensure that there would be no burden on the budget. Other alumni are hoping to participate in Community Day’s alumni bazaar and simply come to AUC New Cairo on March 4 to celebrate with students, faculty and staff. “It’s important to get the alumni engaged in the community,” Ayoub said. “Community Day will be a good chance for them to meet the staff they used to do services with, to meet the faculty that used to teach them and to meet with longtime employees. Some of our alumni ask about specific people in particular, so Community Day will provide a good chance to see the rest of the community and interact with old friends.”

Not only will the day provide space for mingling and interaction, it will also create opportunities for recognition and appreciation. Staff members who have worked at AUC for more than 15 years will receive a service recognition award at the human resources booth and employees of the month will also be highlighted. "This is a chance for us to recognize the hard work and service that staff members have provided throughout the years," said Jailan El Essaily, director of the Office of Training and Development. In addition, employees, along with other members of the community, will be displaying their artwork as part of the AUC Showcase, and everyone is encouraged to participate in the All-AUC Talent Show. The AUC Community Give Back, which will begin before the event, provides an opportunity for AUCians to donate clothing, toys or canned food that will be distributed through Resala AUC to serve the University's wider community.

Schools will also have the chance to highlight their programs through interactive challenges during the Around AUC portion of the day, where people may visit various stops to participate in an activity that helps them learn more about AUC’s schools and programs while collecting raffle tickets. The tickets will be entered into a drawing for prizes at the end of the day. The day also includes a Campus Conversation, featuring both the results of a survey of the sense of community and the chance for live discussion of topics of collective importance.

“The nice thing about Community Day it that it will give everyone on campus a greater sense of community, since it’s not a separate event for international students or alumni only. It is one day that involves everyone,” said Nancy Salem, a history and journalism senior and AUC Student Ambassador who is involved in organizing Around AUC. “I don’t think we ever had something on a big scale like that before.”

Beyond the scale of the event, several AUCians are also looking forward to the unveiling of AUC’s new mascot, which they see as a way of strengthening the University’s collective identity and serving as a unique symbolic item reflecting pride in the institution as a whole. “Almost all American universities have mascots to represent them, so Community Day is important because it’s going to introduce AUC’s first-ever mascot,” said Omar El-Nahas, a mechanical engineering junior and AUC Student Ambassador.

The Mascot Reveal is part and parcel of Community Day’s mission to encourage AUC community members to recognize themselves as one unit. Noting the significance of the day, Ali said, “This is the first event that is actually organized by everyone; every entity is a part of it. The one day that, for the first time in AUC history, everyone joins together.”

"One of AUC’s most important features is its sense of community,” said President Lisa Anderson. “The move to the New Cairo campus in 2008 and the national tumult of the last few years — important as they have been — distracted us from remembering and honoring how much we mean to each other and to those who have gone before us and will come after us. This first Community Day gives us all a chance to celebrate both our diversity and our shared values. Planned and organized by different groups on campus — students, staff and faculty — this daylong celebration captures the best of the collaborative and inclusive spirit of AUC."

To learn more about Community Day,click here.