Commentry on the Student Activism Survey at AUC

An online survey, on SurveyMonkey, was conducted to find out AUC students' general perception of their engagement and active participation in the AUC community. By reference to students' participation in non-academic extra-curricular activities i.e. clubs, conferences, seminars…etc, and their mediums of following-up on these activities and/or news, the survey was approached.
The number of responses received were 58; five of the survey-takers were freshman (8.6%), 17 sophomores (29.3 %), 14 juniors (24.1 %), 14 seniors (24.1 %), 2 exchange students (3.4 %), and 6 graduate-students (10.3 %). Approximately, sixty percent of the students believed themselves to be active in the AUC community, while 44.8 % did not think they were. A majority of 11 survey-takers (19.6 %) marked their rate of involvement to be '5' on an escalating scale of 1 to 10. As to identifying their level of activism, only 5.2 % of the students identified themselves as perpetrators of action i.e. having influence over AUC policies, 25.9 % answered they were active participators, 50 %, the highest percentage were marked as mild participators, and 29.3 % as non-participants.
One question asked students to state their involvement in the AUC community, if any, in regards to their membership/position(s) in student-clubs, their non-academic services provided by them to any student-club or AUC facility, their participation in seminars and conferences, their regularity of joining in protests and strikes. Those who answered were 41 students out of the 58, forming a 70.6% response which is a percentage proximately in margin with the question that found 60% (previously stated) of students regarding themselves as active. The responses were diverse, but many claiming familiar names of clubs on-campus. Such were some of the responses:

  • I worked in the CAPS office, as an SOL (student orientation leader), and I've been involved with MUN, MAL, and STAR
  • The right road president and founder
  • President of ES (Entrepreneurs' Society)
  • TA position for Econ Professor, AIESEC member, MUN delegate, was a Member of the AUC Chamber Singers, attended 5 seminars and 4 conferences in AUC and 1 outside.
  • Membership with clubs like Glow, Senior Arabic Editor of the Caravan
  • Al Quds Club
  • Dabka Performance Team
  • CIMUN, CIMAL, ISLC, WTWN, Astronomy club, AUC English Literacy program, Student Orientation Leader.
  • Help Club
  • SABEEL Club
  • Literature Society, Philosophy Club.

Fifty-one percent of students spend 0-3 hours per week in such activities, either preparing for them or engaging in them. 37.9 % spend 3-6 hours, 15.5 % spend 6-9 hours, while only 2 student spends over 9 hours on such. When asked if students engage physically in real-time activism or digitally or both, the highest percentage, 39.3 % answered both. However, only 28.6%, a relatively small percentage answered they are active only through online mediums if compared to 32.1% who ticked yes to "By applying yourself and your skills mostly on campus, or engaging in real-time activism that requires you to be on field i.e. charity work."
Survey-takers were asked questions 7 and 8 about how they are notified or follow up with club/extra-curricular news, and AUC news in general. They were given 4 choices: word of mouth, email, social networking site, or other (to specify if this is the case). For club news, 60.3% of students answered that they received their or any clubs' news, updates, and information from e-mail, the same percentage for social-networking sites. Other forms of communication included meetings, mobiles, and booths. As to AUC news, of the choices provided (Friends, campus-newspapers, social-networking sites, and other (to specify)), 79.3.8% answered campus-newspapers, and the next highest 70.7 % answered friends. Some cited Road 90, the e-newsletter sent by e-mail to all AUC students, meetings, mobile, and from the Student Union as their sources of news.When asked why students chose to engage with the AUC community, these were some responses out of the 33 received:

  • I feel an obligation to be engaged.
  • Being a student journalist, it is important for me to engage in the dynamics and everyday life of AUC since I'm supposed to be reporting and reflecting on these dynamics
  • I usually choose not to
  • I care
  • I don’t (2)
  • Because I'm part of it (2)
  • To expand my horizons, meet new people and learn new skills and get new experiences
  • It is an opportunity provided to me which I will not find something similar to after graduating.
  • It is a wonderful opportunity, which I will lose as soon as I finish my studies here.
  • Because I'm a part of its community and it is both my right and duty to be an active member. This way I benefit my community and get something in return whether experience or my voice heard.
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