Outstanding student organizations recognized at new awards ceremony

Nine student organizations walked away with honors from the first Student Organization Awards Ceremony on Saturday Dec. 1 at the Big Tree Inn. Sponsored by the College Union and Activities, the selection committee received 61 nominations for 27 organizations.

“We felt that we needed to do more recognizing our student groups and the ceremony seemed like a good way to make sure they were getting recognized for their hard work they’ve put in and the different contributions they’ve made both on campus and off campus,” Assistant Director of College Union and Activities and Coordinator of Student Organizations & Campus Activities Lauren Dougherty said.

The student organization award recipients are as follows:

New Organization of the Year: Hippies for Hope

Outstanding New Advisor: Area Coordinator of Steuben Hall and Saratoga Terrace Caroline Whelan, advisor of Phi Lambda Chi

Outstanding Live Performance: Southside Boys for Fall Festival Performance

Innovative Marketing Award: Activities Commission

Limelight & Accents Out of the Box Award: Students

Eliminating Ableism through Advocacy Program of the Year: Alpha Chi Rho’s Deep Freeze

Collaborated Program of the Year: Phi Lambda Chi and Sigma Alpha Mu’s Slimefest

Giving Back Award: Alpha Phi Omega

Unsung Hero: Geneseo Crew Club

The selection committee provided students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to nominate any student organization - including their own - on KnightLink. The selection committee’s choices for winners were heavily based off their nominations, according to selection committee member senior Rob Kahrs.

“In order to avoid biases we tried to judge it on application and the way they present themselves and the success of the program or organization in question,” he said.

Although this was only the first recognition ceremony, attendees have already begun discussing future award ceremonies.

“It seemed to be something that [the students] were looking for in terms of getting that kind of recognition for their hard work so hopefully it’ll become something that’s annual,” Dougherty said. Beverly Evans, professor of French and western humanities and advisor of Le Cercle Français, or French Club, expressed similar sentiments.

“I think it’s a good way to both provide additional information but also to recognize people whose efforts often go unnoticed,” she said.

“I wish we could’ve found out who else was nominated,” junior Steph Clark said, who is a sister in the Phi Lambda Chi sorority and a member of the Geneseo Crew Club. “I would’ve liked to know who else was running, that was the only thing.”

Kahrs cited this as one of the changes that may be made for future ceremonies, in addition to improving award descriptions so “that people know more accurately what to nominate for and how to nominate” and introducing more awards to address “lack of representation in one area.”