Graphic by Joaquin Kunkel

General Assembly Report

Catch up on the second General Assembly of the Spring 2019 semester.

Mar 9, 2019

The second General Assembly of the Spring 2019 semester took place on March 3. Topics included updates on issues discussed in the previous meeting, namely efforts to strengthen alumni relations within New York University Abu Dhabi’s global network and complications related to student finance for students studying away. New business on the GA floor included a discussion of the NYU Abu Dhabi Values book, currently being written using results from last semester’s NYUAD values survey.
The meeting began with updates from Student Government President Tami Gjorjievva. She addressed current efforts being undertaken by NYUAD to strengthen alumni relations, namely the Torch Ambassador Project wherein alumni are appointed as ambassadors in various locations around the world in order to better enable industry and alumni networking. This discussion comes after student representatives from the New York and Shanghai campuses gathered in Abu Dhabi to and discussed, among other topics, options to improve alumni connections.
Regarding issues with student finance, Student Government acknowledged the general student dissatisfaction with WireCard as a bank, but reported that due to the difficulty and enormity of managing thousands of student cards, the school would be unable to make any immediate changes. They continued to discuss that any administrative changes have yet to be seen. Students studying abroad in New York were advised to approach the bursar in order to acquire a cash advance to substitute living expenses before sorting out their WireCard.
Updates from class representatives and Student Government Committees followed. The success of the Freshman and Sophomore Carnival in its second iteration was lauded. Academic representatives reported steps were currently being undertaken to officiate aerospace engineering as well as French language as a minor. Listening sessions regarding the Foundations of Science curriculum are also underway. Student representatives are working with the school to improve vegan options in the Campus East Dining Hall as well as efforts to increase access to dieticians and implement group counselling sessions. The committee also talked of holding sustainability meetings with the Minister of the Environment of the United Arab Emirates to help integrate NYUAD into the UAE’s ongoing sustainability movement and efforts. The Programming Board highlighted upcoming events: a student mixer, spirit week and the end of year gala on Apr. 18.
A presentation on the upcoming NYUAD Values Book by Chris Wheeler, Class of 2019 followed. The book is meant to remind them of what NYUAD stands for.
Many questions and queries were raised regarding both production and contents of the book, particularly regarding the presentation and distribution. Students expressed worries that the book would discarded easily as any other regular pamphlet. There was agreement that the book ought to be aesthetically pleasing to merit students keeping it as a sentimental keepsake or at the very least, a beautiful object. The discussion ended on a poignant note as a response from the survey regarding what the student body felt NYUAD stood for was highlighted: “NYUAD exists to remind us of what the world could be.”
Stay tuned for updates on the next General Assembly meeting, held on Apr. 7.
Ming Ee Tham is Deputy News Editor. Email her at
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