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Iraqi Network for Social Media ( INSM)

May 30, 2011

Dorm Students Meet, Give Administration Three Days to Answer Them

The dormitory students at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani hold a meeting discussing the new dorm fees decided by AUIS administration. 

The students met in the AUIS basement having extensive discussions AUIS's decision to raise dorm fees. 

The students, who were from all the AUIS dorms, spoke in turn and gave their opinion. 

Sharif Hamza, an AUIS student, counted the meeting the first of that sort.

"This is for the first time AUIS students come together by themselves and for themselves without any interference on administration's part," he said. "We need to come up with some ideas and deliver them to the administration."

Ahmed Dilshad, another AUIS student asked if there is a policy at AUIS to exclude low income students.

"We have to ask the administration if there is a policy to exclude students who are not very high handed economically," he asked.

Kurdistan Fatih, an AUIS student, said the dorm students need to take action and be united. 

"I believe that we should take our steps as a united body. We have many options and we can achieve what we want if we remained united," she said. 

The meeting came to an end with electing a group of five people to deliver their message to the administration.

The students have proposed a solution for the problem by having a discount on the current prices. The proposal will be presented to the administration giving them 3 days to respond.  

The meeting was moderated by Sarbast Majeed and Dana Jaf, AUIS students. 


A First in Iraq's History, AUIS Students Play Shakespeare in English

What's in a Name cast- Photo courtesy of AUI-S Shakespeare Company

AUI-S Shakespeare Company at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani performs a Shakespearean play on Thursday, June 2, 2011. 

Peter Frederich, AUIS lecturer and Head of Drama and Film department, says that show will include different scenes from Shakespeare's different plays. He also recognizes the difficulty of the job.

"Shakespearean acting is one of the most difficult things to do in the English language. Many native English-speakers are terrified to even try it. Our cast of ten has been trying it all year, and now they are ready to show you what they can do," he wrote. 

The play which will be performed at Sulaimani Culture Hall (Holi Roshnbiri) is called: What's  in a Name?

According to Mr. Frederich, the main message of the play is showing what happens when different cultures and backgrounds come together. 

"The biggest message I think is what happens when people with different styles or backgrounds get together. Sometimes they fight, other times they play games with each other, and occasionally they fall in love," he said. "But the results of running into someone very different are usually quite dramatic. That's why Shakespeare makes it happen so often. For example, Romeo is a very different person from Juliet. At first she thinks he's insane."

The play cast are Ahmed al-Nuaimi, Hemn Muhammad, Kardo Kamil, Umnya Nadhir, Mina Bassam al-Attar, Shunas Hussein, Saman Karim, Huda al-Serhan, Anas al-Samarai, and Nawaf Ashur. 

The play will be performed on Sulaimani Culture Hall's stage on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 5 p.m. 

May 28, 2011

AUIS Students Discuss New Dormitory Prices on Monday

A previous campaign by AUIS students - Student Eye photo

A group of students at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani announced a meeting about the new dorm prices on Monday. 

The group has created an event on Facebook inviting all AUIS dorm students for "extensive discussion about AUI-S's decision regarding raising dorm fees for the next year."

Sarbast Majeed, one of the students, told spoke to Student Eye about Monday's event.

"We, as the AUIS students staying at the dorms, will come together to discuss AUIS's decision to raise the prises. We want to reach a united decision regarding the new prices," he said.

Sarbast also says that they recognize AUIS's right to charge fees for the dorms. 

"We know that AUIS is a private university which means it is normal to find services like dorms in exchange for some amount of money. But we believe that the new prices are too high. We will suggest some ideas to the dorm students in the meeting and let them decide for themselves," he stated. 

The new prices announced by AUIS Rector range from $320 rooms to $720 per semester.
The current price of staying at an AUIS dorm is only $100.


May 27, 2011

New Dorm Prices Shock AUIS Students

Dr. James Harrigan speaking to the dorm students -Archive 

The new dorm prices announced by the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani comes as shocking to the 
AUIS students.

The new prices announced by AUIS Rector range from $320 rooms to $720 per semester.
The current price of staying at an AUIS dorm is only $100.

According to the new pricing the dorm prices will be categorized according to the type of the rooms.

Private rooms of single occupancy and one bedroom cost $180 per month for each person. Rooms with double bedrooms and double occupancy for four people cost $105 per month for each person.  Rooms of three bedrooms and double occupancy for six people cost $80 per month for each person.

Afan Osman, an AUIS students and the admin of We will not Pay a Penny campaign on Facebook, asks if AUIS is a housing business.

Bawar Bnavi, another AUIS student who stays at Rona dorms, says that he was stunned when he saw the 
new prices.

"I can never pay such prices. I think these prices are only good for rich people not us," he claimed.

Bawar also asks students to come together against this decision."

Despite the high pricing made, the administration is not sure if the dorms at the new campus will be available by Fall.

"Construction of the dormitory building on the new campus is still in progress. It is possible that the new dormitory building will not yet be ready for occupancy in October," wrote AUIS rector. 

May 23, 2011

AUIS Professor Answers Russ Baker: Come, Visit AUIS and See the Reality

Russ Baker 

Student Eye has reached to a letter which is sent by a professor at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani criticizing an article and an interview written by Russ Baker, an American journalist. 

The AUIS professor accuses Baker of laziness and asks him to come to AUIS to see the reality by himself. 

Read the letter below:

I am currently at AUI-S (although heading back home after a very illuminating year inKurdistan). I can't comment on all that's been written in this piece and in the remarks below since many of them predate my time here in Suli.  What I can say, though, is that little ofthis squares with my own experience. I watched the bizarre "interview" R. Baker did and can only say that it was among the more amateurish performances I've witnessed on the tube in awhile. The facts that seemed so suggestive to Baker are really quite straightforward: the school was founded in 2007 with seed money from the US with the remainder of the school's funding coming from private sources in Kurdistan. Baker suggested that somehow this represents some unholy alliance between US oil interests and those who lured us into Iraq. Not quite. Yes, students at AUIS can major in business and engineering - why wouldn't they? They're in Iraq!!! What do you want them to major in to get their country back on its feet - post-colonial studies? Be reasonable, or at least rational, please. They have oil and want business to invest in Iraq. Seems pretty logical to me. We don't have to imagine some sinister plot to account for this.

As for sex scandals, there were none that occurred at AUIS and to suggest otherwise is simply engaging in the kind of skewed journalism supposedly held in contempt by this site. This is a classic case of trying to assign guilt by association and is reprehensible.

The sources for this article have themselves not been properly researched by Mr. Baker. In his rush to judgment he accepted as fact the word of two teachers who got the sack. Why they got the sack, I couldn't say. But I do know that such sources are usually handled with some caution by real journalists. In Mark's case I communicated with him awhile back over John Dolan's charge that the faculty are here only for the money. I told him that I wasn't - that I have a good job waiting for me in the States when I'm done here, and that I knew many others who were in similar situations. Mark told me I was naive and I'd find out. Well, it's a whole academic year later and I think I was right afterall. I can't say for sure.

My favorite moment in the TV interview that sums up for me how ill-informed and amateurish this whole "investigation" is was when the young woman interviewing Baker took a stab at a big picture conclusion by noting that there were all these shady American campuses out there subverting the world - AUIS, the American University of Nigeria, the American University of Afghanistan and the Ameircan University of Beirut. Beirut! Really? The AUB founded in 1866? That one? One of the premier institutions of higher education in the Middle East? That one? The one staffed almost entirely by pre-eminent Arab scholars? Does anyone involved with this nonsense even have a clue?

AUI-S is hardly a perfect institution. There is some substance to some of the more sensible criticisms of the joint offered in this article. But from my own experience most of what has been written here by Baker, et al. is irresponsible. If Baker would like to redo and resubmit I would be happy to talk with him and give him another perspective from which to understand the institution. He might even want to actually visit AUI-S and see for himself so that he will no longer be guily of the worstof  journalistic sins - laziness.


Dr. James Harrigan Punishes 48 Students for 'Plagiarism', Students Say They are Innocent

Dr. James Harrigan, the Academic Dean of Students and the Head of Students Affairs department, punishes 48 AUIS students because of 'academic dishonesty' and the students say that they are innocent.

The 48 students accused of plagiarism plan to boycott classes if they didn't get a satisfactory answer, says one students. 

Dr. Harrigan, the Dean of Students and the Head of Students Affairs department, wrote a letter to these students stating the following:

Dear (The name of the student)

Your professor, (the name of the professor) , has reported an instance of academic in your (the name of the class), which is your second such offense. According to AUI-S policy, a second offense results in the failure of the course in question. A third will result in expulsion from the university.

You have the right to appeal this decision. In order to do this you must submit a letter in writing to me, explaining the offense and why it is contested within seven days of my sending this notice to you. You will then receive a written response to your appeal within three days. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for the details of this policy.
James R. Harrigan
Dean of Students

Shvan Taha, one of the punished 48 students, says that he is innocent and he has not been aware of having any other plaigarism cases. 

"I didn't know that I have had any plaigarism cases before until I got the e-mail," he said.

According to the Academic Catalogue of AUIS, a student should be informed before punishing him/her for plaigairsm. 

" Professor/Instructor explains violation of AUI-S plagiarism policy to student and why they received the corresponding grade," states the AUIS Academic Catalogue,

Many of the 48 students claim that they had not been informed before of any other plagiarism cases by their instructor or Dr. James Harrigan. 

Hawta Ramadan, another punished student, shows his surprise for being punished for plagiarism.

"I am not a student who needs to cheat in order to get a good grade. I explained the topic for 1 hour and 45 minutes to my friends. And then I am punished for plagiarizing on a quiz," he said. 

Hawta also says that he has written an appeal to Dr. Harrigan has replied with one sentence:

"Your appeal is denied."

The students accuse Dr. James Harrigan of violating the Academic Catalogue of AUIS. 

"Dr. James knows that many of the students are innocent. But the wants to punish this large number of students just to teach a lesson to all the other students," said one students who preferred to remain anonymous. 

The students are planning to protest the decision made.

"We may boycott classes because many of us are innocent and we are not guilty in any way," said one of the students. 


AUIS E-mail Change Causes Big Problem, All Old Data Gets Lost

The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani changes its e-mail address from webmail.auis.org to mail.auis.edu.iq.

In an e-mail sent out to the AUIS students, new usernames and passwords are given.

The auis.org e-mail accounts will be deactivated by June 3, 2011 and all the data saved there gets lost.

This will certainly lead to cause a big problem for the AUIS students because the old e-mail accounts contain all the e-mails sent and received in the last 3 years.

May 22, 2011

AUIS: IT Career Day on Wednesday

Information Systems and Technology department at AUIS with ASITA will sponsor the IT Career Day. Today, ASITA, AUIS Students IT Association, declared the purpose of the meeting, which is to focus on the fields that IT graduates must be prepared for before graduation.  

Student Eye's Guide to Better Research: How to Use JSTOR, Lexisnexis, and EBSCOHOST?

Google is a great tool to help us in our researches, but it is not the only one and apparently no the best one!

The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani has provided us with a number of research databases that can help us a lot while conducting a research! Unfortunately many AUIS students are not using these great databases simply because they are not aware of them! 

Student Eye provides you with enough information on what those databases are and how you can make the best use out of them. 

These services are only available at the labs on campus and you need to get the usernames and passwords for each of them from your instructors. 

JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) is a United States-based online system for archiving academic journals, founded in 1995. It provides full-text searches of digitized back issues of several hundred well-known journals, dating back to 1665 in the case of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

In order to know how to use JSTOR click  here

Updated continually. Provides a wide variety of authoritative sources (usually with full text content), including:
Full text of more than 350 newspapers from the U.S. and around the world, many same day of publication, including extensive archives for many titlesMore than 300 magazines and journals and over 600 newsletters
Broadcast transcripts from the major television and radio networks as well as political transcripts covering Congressional committee hearings, press briefings from the State, Justice, and Defense departments, and presidential news conferences. Campus news from nearly 300 individual college/university papers
Wire services, updated several times a day, including respected names such as the Associated Press, Business Wire and PR Newswire. Non-English language news sources available in Spanish, French, German, Italian and Dutch, Including both newspapers and magazines

In order to know how to use Lexisnexis click here.

The EBSCOHost database allows you to search across a number of magazine and newspaper collections. An 
impressive index for business, health, academic and other users, the revised EBSCOHost database offers a 
number of new features. We are highlighting some of those features here.

In order to know how to use EBSCOHOST click here 


May 21, 2011

I Wonder whom to Believe?

by: Bahman A. Hassan

Thus far, from all sides, we have been called, “liars”, “disruptive”, “Crap”, and “those who cannot get As”. Sometimes, we have been accused of not telling “the truth”. Whatever the truth may be, I want to check the AUIS heads’ inconstancies on the “S” story.

 Perhaps, the “S” as Shalw Fatah said “is more than any other S”
It’s the first letter of, sex, Satan and the only difference between Osama and Obama, as Astios wrote.
I would love to keep it “simple but not too simplistic” as my Comp instructor was always saying. For any suggestions, logical or grammatical mistakes you may always contact him.
Here is how I will take you to this journey. I hope by the end, you get the impression that your fellow friends from “the blog” are able to prove that they are not the only “disruptive” and distorters of “the truth.
The fight against AUI and favoring AUIS becomes nothing other than a laughingstock. Who was cheating is not what I am interested in. In the end, the “S” wins, the thing that the head of communication department was afraid of. “Our victory” as he states, was over a cause that did not exist.
Let’s see what they said about the “S”.

James Harrigan, Dean of the Students.
+ “I assure you on Sunday you will see that there have been no changes.”
+ “This is out of our control. The board decided and we just do what they say”
+ “Over the past day a number of rumors have been circulating about the imminent change of the AUI-S name.
+ “In the face of the danger of illicit use of the name American University of Iraq by institutions of uncertain quality adopting it and possibly adding the name of another town, which would damage our reputation and endanger the prestige of our institution, we have sought to secure ownership of that name and of the initials AUI, which is reflected in the new email addresses.”
+ “The administration will be happy to address student concerns in a polite and orderly way next week when people have had more time to think about this.” Ironic, is not it? Well, we will think when we have time no matter before or after we make a decision.
+ “protests are not appropriate until all of the facts have been disseminated and considered.” When and where can we have a fact dissemination session?
+ “Everything will be reversed, and I promise by Sunday I will come to you with good News.”
+ “On Sunday, I promise. I will get the provost and some one form the Board of Trustee to answer why the name has been changed.”
+ “the change is true and it is just a branding issue.”

Elia Boggia
Communication Department Director

+ “go and read what I told CNN. There has not been any change”
+ “it is just a misunderstanding”
+ I asked him, didn’t you ask the Student Council to cover this topic and you showed them the new logo and name? He went around my question and said,” I did show the students seven logos, some of AUI and AUI-S. Do you know what my purpose was? No, you tell me, I said. He lost the point and didn’t answer. The misfortune was none of the noticed being fooled.
+ “you are fighting without any reason” this means there was no change.
I would love to ask, why students gathered and the Dean and the university staff were worried?

For Melanie Standish, Supervisor of Career Services and International Exchange, everything was different. The name was easily changed; perhaps ironically because her office is soundproof and quite isolated. She didn’t have any idea about the fights downstairs at the Dean’s office.
+ She emailed students and wrote, “An Erbil-based non-profit organization is offering the opportunity for AUI Academic Students of any major or level to intern with them this summer.”
+ She goes on interfering to make choice for students and wrote, “If you are hired, be sure to ask for a job description / list of responsibilities before you accept the position.  You want to make sure that the job will be right for you!” This not the funny part, but at the very bottom of here message, she was still working for AUI-S not AUI.  
+ “You will be competing with students from universities all over the Kurdish region- show them why AUI students are the most professional of all.” She wrote to the students.     
I leave the rest for you, but I am sure you are lost as well.


EWPLI Becomes APP with no Prior Announcement

Without any prior announcement, EWPLI name is changed APP. EWPLI, English Writing Program Learning Institute, was established to help students before entering the Academic Program. Since the first days of AUIS, EWPLI program have faced many setbacks. The program used many textbooks to meet the need of the students; these seem to be not the source of the problems.  
As usual, the change comes unexpectedly and App or Academic Preparatory Program is replacing EWPLI.  
App, as it is described on AUIS’s new website, is “designed to help students build solid foundation in English”. Many professors in the Academic Program have complained, due to most of the students’ language relating difficulties.
This seems to be a crucial change that AUIS is planning to implement. Stay tuned, Student Eye Team is working on addressing this change and bringing answers for you unanswered questions.  
For now and more information, read the newly announced APP instructions on the AUIS’s official website here.

May 19, 2011

Turnitin.com Manager Answers Student Eye's Questions on Plagiarism at AUIS

Ray Huang, Customer Programs Manager of Turnitin.com, in a letter, which comes as a respond to a letter sent by Student Eye Team, stated, “A school using Turnitin.com will see 30% improvements in originality.” 
This comes after AUIS purchased and asked to for help from Turnitin.com to fight plagiarism.
AUIS officials, through their announcements have shown their concerns and ranked plagiarism as a “big problem” that the school has been fighting against. As a result of this at the beginning of fall semester, Dean of the Students, Dr. James Harrigan, defined plagiarism as a “Culture” that the university will try to change.   
Mr. Huang, suggested that a long with the help form Turnitin, “Instructors must also do their part to teach students what plagiarism is and why they need to credit sources.” Thus, using Turnitin along with “Plagiarism lesson or tutorial significantly increases the impact” Mr. Hunag explained to Student Eye.
Since AUIS has been using Turnitin for only one semester, it will take time for students and instructors to see the results as Mr. Huang depicted.
Mr. Huang wrote to Students Eye Team and readers, “In the meantime, since this is a student blog, we offer some information on plagiarism, citation, and technology at our website, Plagiarism.org” (http://www.plagiarism.org/).
Student Eye Team, believe in the students’ capabilities and we hope students benefit from the tools that are provided to avoid plagiarism.  


An AUIS Student will be There in Summer, Tikvah-Hertog Institute is a Zionist Foundation

Zalman C. Brenstein

An AUIS student will be attending a series of seminars at the Tikvah-Hertog Summer Institute. The Institute will take place from July 31 – August 10, 2011 at Columbia University in New York City. 

A small background check of the organization shows surprising facts about the institution which holds the events. 

The institution is founded by Zalman Chaim Bernstein (1926-1999). He was a loyal adovcate for the state of Israel. 

Bernstein is also the founder of another organization which is AVI CHAI Foundation. The foundation defines itself as the "AVI CHAI is a private foundation endowed by Zalman C. Bernstein that is committed to the perpetuation of the Jewish people, Judaism, and the centrality of the State of Israel to the Jewish people."

Tikvah institute's website says in praise of its founder, Zalman Chaim Bernsetin:

" As his passion for Judaism, Israel, and the Jewish people deepened, he immersed himself in Torah study, changed his name to Zalman Chaim Bernstein, and made his home in Israel. Always bold, always ideas-driven, always iconoclastic, Mr. Bernstein established the Tikvah Fund—and other important Jewish foundations—in the hope that by investing in great Jewish ideas and Jewish leaders, the heritage he cherished and the people he loved would be a light unto all nations."

The question is, how are the aims of this zionist foundation related to the future dreams of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani students? How can we understand this zionist foundation's offer for AUIS? Had AUIS done any background-check for this foundation before announcing the summer program? 


AUIS Changes Website Design to be 'more Audience Centered'

The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani redesigns its website to be more audience centered , and an IT student says that the old design was better. 

The new design of the AUIS website, as the website moderators say, has tried to be make access to the main pages easier.

The website summarizes the main changes.

"Main navigation menu item line the top of every page an allow visitors immediate acess to the most perinent and useful pages and information," wrote the website. "These main categories, under which most of the content is organized, are About, Academics, Admissions, Research and Campus Life."

Dr. Athanasios Moulakis, the Provost, told AUIS website that he is happy about the new design.

"It is a more accurate reflection of this young institution's great progress since its establishment, and I hope it will bring even more attention to the great accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff," Dr. Moulakis said.

Dr. Moulakis's view of the new design is not shared by some of the IT students. 

Omer Nihad, AUIS student and designer 
Omer Nihad, an AUIS IT student, a designer and the owner of the Omergrahpics.com, says the old design was better than the new one.

"The new design doesn't have any wow-effect. There is no use of flash in the new design," he said. "The older design was better than this one because the previous one had filled all the space while the new one doesn't."

The old design of AUIS website 


Deadline is June 2, Women2Women Leadership Program Applications Begin

The United States Embassy Baghdad sponsors a delegation from Iraq to attend the women2women conference that will take place in U.S. later July.

The applications for the program are due June 2, 2011 and it is only for female students who age between 15-19 and one female teacher-chaperon.

The program begins on July 26, 2011 and continues to August 3,2011.

The aim of the program is "to build a network of promising young women (aging 15-19) around the globe and engage them in issues that define their lives, and provides them with the tools, relationships, and opportunities required to lead."

For more information an getting the application form click here.

Does the 'Chosen Nation' at AUIS Get Special Treatments, Ask AUIS Students

The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani students are not aware of many decisions and events related to them.

On May 18, 2011, a group of AUIS students from International Studies and Business Administration departments  met with the British Council General, Chris Bowers. But there was no public announcement prior to the event.

A student who prefered to remain anonymous told Student Eye that AUIS does many student-related things without telling them.

"In the previous years, some students were on a special list and they were the only ones who were invited to the events, and they were the only ones who were given exchange programs opportunities," he said.

Dara Ali, an AUIS sophomore, calls this kind of behavior "discriminatory".

"This is a discrimination against the majority of the students. All students in this university have a right to participate in those events. They should be told through e-mails or other ways," Dara said.

AUIS's criteria for choosing these students are not clear.

Hakeem Hama, an AUIS freshman, asks AUIS to tell the students on what basis they choose these students.

"As an AUIS student, I want to know why only a sepcific number of students are invited for these events. Is it because of money, intelligence or something else that we don't know of," he asked.