Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.78
Liaison Rose Armour
Submission Date May 6, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

American University of Sharjah
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 Julia Carlow
Sustainability Project Coordinator
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

AUS has a vibrant student life community that is managed by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). Besides the over 40 "cultural" student clubs on offer, there are currently 14 "interest-oriented" student clubs focused on sustainability:
- American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists
- Association of Women Engineers
- Effective Altruism
- Engineers Without Borders Club
- Environment Club
- Environmental Sciences Club
- Innovators Club
- International Studies Association
- International Students Club
- Network of Students in Medicine and Health
- Psychology Club
- Renewable Energy Society
- Sustainability Club
- Women Empowerment Club


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The AUS Office of Student Affairs invites students to get involved in the on-campus community Service Farm established in 2016 and to learn about the challenges and opportunities of growing food in a desert climate. Students volunteering with the AUS Community Service Farm are responsible to plant, water and harvest the farm crop. They work closely with the University City gardeners, who mentored them. Before COVID 19, the harvest was sold for donations at the weekly AUS Sustainability Farmers’ Market on campus, where the money was either reinvested in the farm or donated to local non-profit organizations. AUS Sustainability supports the farm program by engaging students on sustainable farming practices, such as soil health and smart irrigation systems.

As part of the Community Service Farm, the AUS Greenhouse was established in 2019 to expand the methods of growing fruits and vegetables in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Since then, the Greenhouse has been used by AUS students to experiment how produce can be grown in harsh desert environments with minimal use of water and other natural resources. The Greenhouse itself features a unique design, having been built using 22,000 plastic bottles which were collected on campus during a year-long plastic bottle recycling campaign.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The AUS Community Service Farm student volunteer group grows seasonal crops on the AUS campus farm during the cooler winter months and sells them during the weekly AUS Farmers' Market. The revenue is then reinvested in the farm (buying seeds and tools necessary for the next growing season), with the overflow being donated to charitable organizations in the UAE.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

AUS regularly invites industry experts to share their sustainability experience with the entire AUS student community. Previous speakers included:
- Karim El-Jisr, Executive Director, SEE Institute, Sharjah Sustainable City on Sustainability in the Built Environment", March 2021
- Dr. Alex Opoku, Associate Professor, Project Management and Quantity Surveying at the Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management, University College London on "Education for Sustainable Built Environment", February 2021
- Dr. Muawieh Radaideh, CEO, SEE NEXUS on "An Integrated Approach to Sustainable Development", February 2020
- Gregory Ross, Head of Social Performance at Petrofac on "Enhancing worker labor rights through supply chain cooperation", November 2019
- Yazen Al Kodmani, Operations Manager at Emirates Bio Farm on "Sustainable Farming in the UAE and the choices you make", March 2019
- Prof. Felix Beck, Assistant Professor of Practice of Design, NYU Abu Dhabi on "Precious Plastic and the fight against plastic pollution", March 2019
- Peter Harris, Director of Sustainability at UPS Europe on "Sustainable innovation in logistics and mobility at UPS for Expo 2020 and beyond", February 2019
- Paul M Cunningham, Director of the IST-Africa Institute on "Co-designing Ethical Interventions in Resource Constrained Environments" (February 2019)
- Prof. Mark Holtzapple, Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, USA on "A Sustainable Future for the Middle East" (November 2018)

In April 2020, AUS hosted a virtual career fair for all students themed "The Future of Sustainability: How graduates can translate their skills into a job in sustainability"

In March 2020, AUS hosted a student-led conference themed “Climate Change: Challenges and Responses”, organized by the International Studies Student Association (INSA) at AUS. Students from a host of international and national universities, including American University of Sharjah (AUS), presented their papers on climate change. The conference attracted a number of eminent figures in the field of climate change including Qais Al Suwaidi from the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Dr. Michael Mason, Director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics (LSE).

In March 2019, AUS hosted the " Sixth International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment (ICWEE 2019)" promoting global collaboration among faculty, students, engineers and managers on ecological economics and water, energy and environment resources management.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

AUS acknowledges the importance of conserving the local Emirati heritage and regularly hosts cultural arts events on campus, such as:
- Cultural References in Arabic Dubbing (Feb 2020)
- Khitamuha Misk: A performance of Arabic, Ottoman, Persian and Western classical music (May 2019)
- The Art of Arabic Maqām: The mythic approach of the “1000 Maqām” and the “chaos of Arabic Music system (April 2019)
- Annual Arabic Poetry Reading event in March to mark World Poetry Day.
- Hundred Best Arabic Posters Exhibition (March 2019)
- Arabic Calligraphy Workshop (March 2018)


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
No

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
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The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

AUS Sustainability works with the AUS Academic Success Center to run a workshop every semester on "Sustainability for Success", where students learn how engaging in sustainability will lead to more success in their academics, their future career and their personal life.

The Academic Support Center also hosts a regular "Disability Awareness Day" which aims to raise awareness about common disabilities facing individuals at AUS and the UAE and providing resources for individuals with disabilities.

The Academic Support Center also collaborates with the International Exchange Office (IXO) for Pizza and Conversation. This event creates an opportunity for culturally diverse group of exchange students, peer advisors and staff to share their experiences and learn more about each other’s culture. The event is held every semester.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

In addition to the EcoRep Program, AUS Sustainability provides internship opportunities for up to 10 students each semester. These paid positions allow students to help plan and participate in a variety of Sustainability projects and campaigns throughout the academic year. Recent student employees have worked on - designing and executing a targeted, semester-long social media campaign for AUS Sustainability on Instagram
- designing print collateral for the campus-wide AUS Sustainability Recycling Campaign
- producing instructional videos for recycling and composting activities in the campus faculty housing
- working on a university-wide GHG report.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
Yes

A brief description of the graduation pledges:

Students are encouraged by the AUS Sustainability office to make the following sustainability pledge upon graduation: "I pledge to do my part and actively consider the environmental, social and economic impact of my daily decisions and commit to reduce my ecological footprint while on on campus, at home and at work."


The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) is a non-profit government organization which supports entrepreneurs, building businesses that serve as engines for socio-economic development. Sheraa cultivates change-makers out of young talent, nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit that celebrates infinite possibility, and building a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem essentially from scratch.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.