An important study by Kuwait University’s Professor Nabila Alkandary aims to indicate the extent student organizations influence students’ personalities.
The research stresses the academic, social, cultural and recreational roles these student organizations play, while seeking to explore the effects joining these organizations has on student members.
The essence of the study shows that becoming a member in these organizations yields positive results such as reinforcing teamwork and a communal work ethic, in addition to encouraging students to take responsibility and become self-reliant. Alkandary emphasizes the positive cultural aspects that result from joining different organizations and the role the latter plays in promoting a voluntary work spirit among members. However, these results do not come as a surprise to anyone who has visited Kuwait University or interacted with its students who are endowed with a deep sense of cultural awareness, displaying an admirable respect and understanding of different opinions while working within the boundaries of these differences in a refined and competitive manner.
One would find that most of these students have a clear understanding of the purpose behind establishing their Student Union and are knowledgeable about its objectives, history and its ability – or lack thereof – to influence decisions with all the appropriate criticisms implied. However the real matter worthy of careful examination in Kuwait’s neighboring countries, who largely share similar customs, demographic make-up and political experiences, is; to what extent is there a real desire to build the university student’s personality, and what skills are required to help them face the real world after graduation?
It is critical for these countries who have begun to instill democratic understanding in public consciousness to notice this stunted potential in their youth’s skills and abilities, and to embrace them with the introduction of student activities that are suitable for guiding them towards a bright future. Using universities and student bodies to teach the importance of respecting the opinions of others and promoting healthy competition within an academic atmosphere are essential for acknowledging diversity as well as propagating freedom of thought and expression.
Through university corridors and halls students understand the concept of voting for the most qualified. Lectures and intellectual forums broaden their horizons, enabling them to participate in political, social and cultural decision-making, thus learning to apply it outside of the university campuses with a degree of mental and intellectual awareness that does not allow for intolerance or rigidity.
It is worth noting, on the subject of Kuwaiti students and their organizations, the sheer volume and impact that they’ve had in the formation and shaping of the National Council, by virtue of the their student unions’ activity and pioneering efforts in the Gulf region. Kuwait was the first Gulf country to approve establishing student unions, without neglecting student assemblies which are comprised of student bodies in the private and public higher educational institutions.
These efforts came at the time of the electoral campaign, May 2005, wherein women won the right to vote for the first time in the country’s history. During which time a lobby was formed with the primary aim of creating and strengthening the political rights of woman, and has since taken many steps and initiatives to contribute and reinforce this political participation.