Hoya Meetups: Fostering A Sense of Community
Updated: Nov 19, 2022
For many, Georgetown University in Qatar (GUQ) goes beyond being an educational institution. Instead, it is a place of belonging with a sense of community that would not be present without the contribution of Georgetown’s service providers. The Hoya Meetup program recently organized by Facilities Management (FM) succeeded in reinforcing this principle as it paired students, staff, and faculty with the GU-Q service providers for meet-ups across the semester.
The Hoya Meetup program was first launched in the Spring semester of 2022 with faculty and staff but has since been expanded to include students. After signing up, individually or with a fellow peer, students are paired with either one or two service providers from the many that work at Georgetown. Thus, students receive the opportunity to learn from the service providers, over breakfast or lunch paid for by the student, about the varying jobs they take on from being security guards to chefs at the O’Cafe and event technicians. Students that partook in the program have shared details about their experiences where they exchanged stories regarding their time at Georgetown, life in Qatar, and their native countries.
Rokaiah Al-Dobashi ‘25, who took part in the Hoya Meetup program on two different occasions described her experience in the following statement, “Each meetup was truly memorable because of how much we learned about each other’s lives and how they intersect here at GU-Q. It’s really important that more students and staff take part in this program because developing that sense of community by engaging with some of our most valuable members is what truly embodies Hoya spirit.”
These meetups are also a great opportunity for students to introduce the service providers to a number of resources and events they could benefit from. An example of this includes the Hoya Empowerment and Learning Program (HELP) which runs several student-taught classes for service providers each semester. These classes have included English and Arabic across multiple levels, Financial Literacy, Microsoft Skills, and more. HELP has served as a fun yet engaging means for both students and service providers to develop their skills and outreach. Moreover, students can utilize these meetups as an opportunity to inform the service providers of events such as the Service Providers Bazaar and receive suggestions for how to further develop it.
Fariha Iqbal '23, added on her experience, "All the service providers I met came from such diverse backgrounds and it was very interesting to hear their experiences. This engagement is extremely important because we have to realize that we as students don’t just live in a bubble and that there are so many others who contribute to our experience at GU-Q."
The Hoya Meetup program is ultimately a wonderful opportunity to bring the GU-Q community together as connections are built beyond standard groups. FM is open to receiving suggestions and ideas on how to further develop and improve the program. If you have a relevant suggestion or inquiry regarding the program, contact Amanda Look, the Assistant Director of Auxiliary Services, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or pay a visit to FM which can be found in the GU-Q basement.