Walking up to the palm trees in the streaming sunlight, through the passage of Marhaba banners with the weight of my suitcase lagging behind me, is one of the first memories I have of NYU Abu Dhabi. This year, many of us returned to campus to find a large #mynyuad sign in front of the palm trees. Since then, the sign has become a central piece in the palm tree shots that appear on social media. The Gazelle spoke to the office of Public Affairs about their latest campaign.

The Public Affairs office is in charge of representing the NYUAD brand. They have worked on other campaigns such as the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign and Autism Awareness month. They also ran the social media tag #iknowwhatyoudidlastjanuary over the course of the past two January Term courses, in which students could post pictures related to their J-Term experiences.

A lot of our work is about supporting others in the university to help talk about what they’re doing and sharing,” said Director of Public Affairs and Communications Kate Chandler.

The Public Affairs office also manages the Student Portal and the Intranet. Managing Editor of Public Affairs Andy Gregory explained that the content strategies for the Salaam: NYUAD blog are split into two parts, Research and Innovation and Campus and Community.

The campaign serves to build a community so that we can all share in that conversation,” Chandler said with regard to the #mynyuad campaign.

Sophomore Supriya Kamath joined the team as a student blogger, and helped mold the campaign using her own experiences from when she was searching for information about NYUAD as an aspiring student.

One thing I was looking for — and found it a little hard to find — was the voice of students, an insider’s perspective of what the university is really like,” Kamath said.

The blog and the #mynyuad campaign are directed toward bridging this gap, so that prospective students and their parents can find out more about NYUAD.

We know various pieces that go on in the university and we’re tapped into different locations but there’s really nothing better than having a student voice,” Chandler said.

NYUAD students can now use the #mynyuad tag to present what their NYUAD experience is like. While the #nyuad tag already exists, #mynyuad allows for a more personal approach.

So far the new tag has been successful.

People are definitely showing what their NYUAD is like. It really gives a unique glimpse into student life at this university that maybe people didn’t know much about but they’re really hungry for,” Chandler commented.

For students, the #mynyuad campaign bestowed a sense of belonging; they belong to the campus as much as the campus belongs to them. Junior Charlotte Gundry, who has used the hashtag for several pictures — including her cover photo on Facebook — said it instills a sense of community in this young university.

It’s such a nice [thing] to have an idea of what we are, and it can seem a little artificial sometimes, but I think that’s just because we’re still figuring out what #mynyuad is. I generally like the social media posts that people make about it and it makes me feel that people are still excited to be here,” Gundry said.

Gundry further added that this campaign was a nice reminder of NYUAD’s sense of community, especially after feeling detached during study abroad.

It was a nice way to say that I was excited to be back in Abu Dhabi and identify with this campus a little bit more,” she said.

Chandler also commented on the #mynyuad piece in the central plaza and said in following years it might be moved from place to place at different locations on campus. In regard to the Whose University? sticky notes that were once stuck on the #mynyuad sign, the office of Public Affairs denied any responsibility, saying that the origin of the sticky notes remains a mystery.

Originally published by ‘The Gazelle’, an NYUAD student publication on 16th October, 2016. https://www.thegazelle.org/issue/96/nyuad-branding-2