On August 30, AAU held its first and soon to be annual Community Day to kick-start the semester, initiated by the incumbent President Mr. Jiří Schwarz. Events Manager Karolina Holusova, Student Life Coordinator Dan Padolsky, and all the Student Council members were also key for the successes of this event. Traditional dishes from a Ukrainian bakery were served along with beer and cider provided by Cafe De Taxis.

In light of turmoil in the East, this event’s theme was a “Day of Peace” where the international AAU community got together to eat, drink and network. According to Student Council president, Jean Kallenburg, the event’s panel discussion structure was designed to bring together new students, returning students, faculty and alumni.

Michelle Macias Mendez, Student Council outreach agent, moderated the student panel with Kallenburg and Vice-President Lauren Pray. They discussed ways to further peace in the AAU community especially for new “Praguers” to embrace different perspectives and experiences. Both panelists raised growth opportunities that the Student Council plans to provide to cultivate a community where all students flourish.

Students talk with VP Lauren Pray and SC member Michelle Macias Mendez. Photo by AAU Prague on Flickr

Alum student, Tomáš Bendl, was interviewed about humanitarianism in times and places of conflict. The Head of Communications at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Bendl’s unique perspective as a communications specialist working with medical professionals showed the diverse career paths AAU graduates can have.

Not without hard work, however, as Bendl mentioned the long road experience he gained to match the qualifications for MSF. Bendl spoke on the importance of hard work and ability to work with others, especially in a potentially dangerous environment.

This event’s success is an indicator of the need for future staff-students get-togethers that bring our small international community together. With growing animosity and division, the ability for students to freely communicate with our professors through sharing ideas and encouraging peaceful dialog is key for flexible and critical thinking which is just one example of AAU’s goals.

Bring Your School Pride to AAU’s Spirit Week

Another one of AAU’s goals is unity, and this year’s Spirit Week is coming to revitalize our community.

An announcement from Student Life organizers marks the date of this semester’s Spirit Week: October 3-7. Students can sign up to participate in different capacities, such as participant or captain of a certain event, via a link. The role of team captain would be to gather students from their School who are most interested in the many events.

Each of the Schools compete against each other to see which School is the most spirited. For the past two years, the School of International Relations & Diplomacy has won, but with more students signing up each year, according to Padolsky, the race is always very close.

Spirit Week had a rough start, with little participation and organization. However, Padolsky’s vision for Spirit Week is to bring out student energy and passion that doesn’t reveal itself on a regular basis due to busy university life through team activities.

This year, cornerstone events, such as Beer Pong, Pub Trivia, Treasure Hunt, and International Food and Culture Day will take place. Additional events that will debut include: “Running with the Trophy” through the streets of Prague with the Spirit Week Trophy to start the week, a Poker tournament to raise money, and Scategories which is a game where a category is chosen and the students who have named the most unique things win points.

This celebration of School Spirit happens once a year, let’s begin this 2022-23 school year with gusto!