On Jan. 26, the NYU Abu Dhabi community hosted the Spring 2018 Student Interest Group Fair with 64 SIGs in attendance. The SIG with the highest number of students registered was the Model Arab League with 103 student swipes, followed by the Pakistan Student Association with 101 swipes. Oh, Shoot was third on the list with 80 swipes, followed by the Women’s Leadership Network, TASHAN, Arab Culture Club and DiscoVR.
Several SIGS new to this academic year were represented at the SIG Fair, including Blockchain Collective, Beats Per Minute, DiscoVR, Journal of International Affairs, Major League Declamation, Model Arab League, Oh, Shoot and PayWrite.
The Blockchain Collective SIG focuses on raising awareness about cryptocurrencies and how they work. The group has already launched its semester-based activities by hosting their first guest speaker, Saqr Mashhor Ereiqat, Blockchain Evangelist and Program Manager at IBM, who spoke about the future of Dubai, an aspiring smart city utilizing blockchain.
DiscoVR focuses on the research and development of virtual reality and augmented reality.
“Having seen a considerable amount of interest in VR, it was decided that all VR-related events, workshops and so on could be streamlined under a single SIG – DiscoVR. DiscoVR aims to make VR technology more accessible to the student body so that everyone could get a taste of what VR is like. The overarching goal of the SIG is [to] make students appreciate and understand new and upcoming technologies, such as VR, so that they would be at the forefront of the global technology sphere,” stated Abdullah Zameek, Class of 2021, the treasurer of DiscoVR.
The Journal of International Affairs offers the student body an opportunity to engage in and discuss political issues by providing a platform for students to freely submit and publish their articles and works.
“Our first print journal will come out later in the semester and it includes papers that students wrote for their classes last semester. We also have our website where we currently publish cheat sheets, which are factual articles on current affairs. We also hope to publish opinion pieces starting this semester. In addition to that, we host First Fridays on the first Friday of every month where we discuss politics and other issues. Again, we always try to encourage participants to bring up topics of discussion related to any area of interest, not just politics. Our main aim is to have a platform where students can have their papers peer reviewed and published, but that is not just it,” said Sudaraka Ariyaratne, Class of 2021, the treasurer of the JIA.
Oh, Shoot is a SIG for students to explore and practice the sport of archery.
“While it is fun to be part of the archery SIG, we hope to coach archers and prepare them to compete in local competitions amongst the diverse local community of archers living in the UAE. We also hope to organize trips to archery ranges in different Emirates and have a fun day out shooting arrows,” said Maitha Alsuwaidi, co-president of Oh, Shoot.
In addition, Beats Per Minute is for students who are interested in the art and practice of DJing. They aim to connect diversity through the universal language of music. Major League Declamation encourages the student body to empower their academic major through speech. Model Arab League promotes debates of the issues in the region by paralleling the structure of the Arab League.
Overall, the Spring 2018 SIG Fair was a successful event on campus, raising awareness for the diverse range of SIGs and allowing new groups to introduce themselves to the student body.
Stephanie Lim is News Deputy. Email her at email@example.com.