Friday, April 4, 2008

Changes in SACM?

For the last month, I am noticing high responsiveness from SACM which besides supporting and asserting students in the States, works as their immediate link to the Ministry of Higher Education in SA.

It all started three weeks ago, when my advisor (who was responsible for Saudi students in PSU, PCC, UP & Concordia) sent a group email notifying us that she will be strictly responsible for PSU students because a new advisor has been assigned to the rest of the schools.

Since this notification, I have been receiving personalized emails! Emails which address me by name, and discuss issues related to me: such as asking for documents, or congratulating me on specific achievements. My advisor has also started volunteering to fill up request forms on my behalf; some ofwhich would earn me privileges. Her emails were no longer a result of communication that I initiate.

My husband, who has been assigned to the new advisor, noticed similar improvements and follow ups. Moreover, we both started receiving regular emails from high ranking personnels at SACM which forbid and state strict penalties for circulating or communicating any hate or discriminatory materials, assuring no leniency to any students whose grades fall short.

I wonder if this improvement is affecting the Portland area alone, or if it comes as a result of major changes within SACM itself. After two and a half years suffering from difficulty of communicating with advisors, dropped phone calls, loss of papers, faxes, and feeling invisible-it is such a relief to be cared for in this assertive manner.

Two and a half years are pretty damn long time to achieve this upgrade, but I am obliged nonetheless. Good job SACM and please keep it up until I graduate :)


insomniac said...

I wonder Aysha if this is somehow related to the appointment of a new "Mr. SACM"

Although I welcome it, improvements that are a result of individual efforts, come and go with that individual.

As a pessimist by trade, I will wait and see how these welcomed changes correlate to the overall improvement of Saudi student here in the USA.

أبو سنان said...

All of my sister in laws have either been on the scholarship or are on it now. My wife was on it.

It seemed the advisor you get makes all of the difference. It used to be that it was assigned based on your last name, alphabetically.

Both my wife and my younger sister in law changed their advisor because they didnt like her.

Since Dr. al Mayzyed retired I think things are going to change a bit. When people have been in a place forever things often to seem to get entrenched and nothing changes. A little new blood always makes things better.

Dealing with them was always easier for us since we could just drive down and go into the building. I was there recently picking up tickets at the Saudi Airlines office there.

Aysha said...

It is no pessimism at all, to be critical of change that comes as a result of individual attempts rather than a system that is higher and above. I always love your insights and how well you word them!

I am so envious of the folks living at DC :D We've experienced some changes in the past, which came as a result of advisor changes (we've undergone 4 advisors since we arrived, not because we asked for it, but it so happened), however, this one is totally different. The last of it, is a formal letter which hubby received yesterday to congratulate him on his grade! Ah, my heart just melted and I was showing off because of an email I got! You nail it when you say, with fresh blood comes fresh perspective and attitude. Hope it lasts...

أبو سنان said...

There are some bright spots a3t the Mission and hopefully things are getting better.

My wife really liked a guy who worked there named Almoyez (sp?) and one the secretaries, Manal abu-Hantash.