Illustration by Isabel Ríos

That’s the (Senior) Spirit: Senior Spirit Week

NYUAD’s inaugural Senior Spirit Week attempts to bridge the gaps in the senior year experience at NYUAD amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As graduation comes closer for the Class of 2021, the Senior Year Experience Committee marked the occasion by organizing the first-ever Senior Spirit Week from April 3rd to April 8th. Each day of the week came with a new challenge for the graduating seniors, from napping on the highline to dressing up in disco outfits. The winners of a raffle for participants even took home prizes.
The Gazelle spoke to Mehak Sangani, Class of 2021 and Senior Representative, to learn more about the programming for Senior Spirit Week and the gaps it bridged in the senior year experience at NYU Abu Dhabi amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Sangani, the core idea for Senior Spirit Week — a different theme each day — was suggested by a member of the student body. The SYE Committee then toyed with the idea to devise enjoyable programming that would allow seniors to leave a literal mark on campus.
“The idea of coloring the highline was more to do with … activating spaces than it was to do with anything else and … just kind of adding some color,” Sangani explained, sharing the motive behind Day 1, titled “I Am Art”. “The idea … was to just give the seniors … something they could share as they were kind of going about their daily life.”
The events were planned so that they would pick up after the end of the 50 Days Till Commencement celebrations organized by the Office of the Dean of Students.
“Usually you'd have … a big brunch with alumni and things like that. And we didn't have that. But then we didn't really want to do more events or we didn't really want to do … anything else online [or] just like leave things [at] people's doors,” Sangani said, pointing out how Senior Spirit Week bridged the gap left by the lack of in-person events that usually marked the senior spring semester.
Sangani expressed that she was surprised by the level of participation, which reached seventies on Day 2, dubbed “We Are Twinz.” She added that the SYE Committee hoped the events would relieve seniors of the stresses of graduating.
Alexandra Markova, Class of 2021 and one of the winners, described her experience participating: “I found the senior Spirit Week a really fun activity … especially since the senior class this year is unfortunately not getting the same amount of different programming as in previous years. So that was like a breath of fresh air, to be honest.”
Markova shared that it was exciting to put in the effort to fulfill each of the prompts and watch other seniors do the same: “It made me feel this kind of a sense of involvement and truly a sense of sincere spirit.”
The Senior Spirit Week programming comes at the heels of several other initiatives organized by the SYE Committee, including Capstone Hotspots, through which seniors could work on their capstones in solidarity and the Screw Up Wall in front of D2, which allows seniors to reflect on and normalize past failures.
Naeema Mohammed Sageer is Deputy News Editor. Email her at
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