How S T A R Employs Digital Rhetoric

S.T.A.R's website, http://www.starcairo.org is another of S.T.A.R's digital mediums. It is an easily navigable website, with a wide-breadth menu bar placed on the left of the home page. It provides information about S.T.A.R's mission, and a few announcements for volunteers as well as refugee students. It has several contact information icons or/and pages persistently presented and found throughout the web-site such as a "Contact Us" page for volunteers, and e-mail contact information under a page titled "Donate to S.T.A.R" (S.T.A.R).
The S.T.A.R website hasn’t been updated since 2008. AUC students Tahmid Chowdhury and Peter Lord first set up the website in 2001 and Jasmine Bauomy was in charge of photography. Ines Khedira is now in charge of updating and maintaining the site. One of our Activism group members, Mahinour El Badrawi was recently responsible for creating a forum on the S.T.A.R web-site, as well as updating their facebook group. Fikry admits that "we're not using it [web-site] efficiently - as efficiently as possible." (Fikry). S.T.A.R, however has plans for developing its website, and complementing the work it does real-time. Here are some of these plans:
1) Registration:

"Everyday, people from the refugee community come here, and want to register. At least 10 people per day,"

says Fikry. This is one of the options S.T.A.R can take online where those refugees wanting to register can fill an online application. S.T.A.R's already present Contact Page is only for volunteers who want to sign up (S.T.A.R). Though the online applications have been set up on the website, it was done very recently, and hasn’t been adjusted and positioned on a more vividly-servicing webpage.
2) Communication:

"Generally, students don’t have any kind of way to know when the exams are starting, when we are going to be having spring break, when classes are going be up and running again,"

Fikry says, addressing the idea of mediation in communication. A calendar will be posted on the website, including all the important dates that students need to know about (Fikry). This is important since teachers are the only sources of information for refugee students, and if teachers happen to lose touch with valuable information, and not pass it on to students, these notifications will be lost.
3) Simple database for Exam Results: S.T.A.R is also planning to develop a database where student can enter their codes to view their exam results over the internet (Fikry).
4) A Clear and detailed schedule for classes: This is especially beneficent during the first day of classes, and would save time spent in showing students to their classes, and handing them their schedules.
5) FAQ's is also a possible addition. Its availability online would save time and effort spent in responding to refugee's questions in the office (Fikry).

S.T.A.R's facebook page has recently been created, and maintained from the older (group) version.

Problems arising from the use of Internet and Digital mediums:

Fikry adds that all of the above-mentioned plans are useless if not all students already having access to the Internet, and know how to use it (Fikry). For levels 0-3 in the English-language program, this would certainly manifest into difficulties to students who can barely read English. However, levels 3-5 students would find the Internet easily accessible and usable; "if we can use the internet for at least half of the students, that would be good," Fikry asserts.

Website Recommendations:

The "Journal of Intercultural Education" in an article entitled "Web Reviews" gathers reviews for prodigious web-sites addressing refugees and the refugee situation. The first is Refugee Week. Although the website promotes the annual event Refugee Week, its general aim is to "raise awareness about the needs and experiences of refugees" (Web Review). By looking through this website, one can notice titles such as "Shop". This provides an online shopping area where items with the Refugee Week logo are sold to online purchasers. This technique would be revenue-building and less time-consuming if it were adopted by S.T.A.R which already, as mentioned earlier searches for events to be able to sell their handcrafts projects and produces. The Refugee Week website also maintains a Press space where Press Releases, media coverage, and more are posted. Though this might be hard-hitting Public Relations work, the Press area provides other venues for communication such as an "Introduce Yourself" page. Another idea adopted by the Refugee Week website could be re-modeled into the S.T.A.R website. Refugee Week provides an In Your Area service where one can simple locate all refugee actions and news in areas where one is geographically located. Though the areas where one can start his /her search are as large as countries, i.e. the website provides searches in countries: Northern Ireland, Scotland, England…etc, S.T.A.R could instead tabulate those community centers within reach of refugees' areas of dwelling as part of its resource listing.

S.T.A.R and AUC:

S.T.A.R's main donator is AUC. Even so, these donations function as budgetary resources, provided by the Office of Student Development (OSD) which is responsible for helping on-campus clubs. The Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies (CRMA) which hosts the department of migration and refugee studies at AUC, also provides donations to S.T.A.R.
As for student volunteers, Fikry is very grateful to them. She says, "there are 60 teachers….95% of S.T.A.R teachers are AUCians." (Fikry). The other 5% others are either interested volunteers who possibly could have possibly stumbled upon the website and wanted to join or professionals in the field, and want to dedicate some of their time to charity work.

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