Following the success of the TEAs last week, the 2022 Student Achievement and Recognition (STAR) Awards were held in the brand-new Union for the first time on the evening of May 26th. A huge event in the Union calendar for representatives, societies, and volunteers each year, we’re delighted to share the highlights from the night.
The STAR Awards exist to recognise and thank all our student volunteers for their incredible work over the year, within the Union, University, and the Glasgow community. It was great to be able to celebrate these achievements in person with the Vice President Community hosting the evening.
Ru, VP Community had this to say about the awards:
“After 3 long years without an in-person STAR Awards, I’m so excited to finally welcome everyone to the new Strath Union building to celebrate the incredible year of activity we’ve had. What a year it’s been – hundreds of committee meetings, club events, training sessions, communities across Glasgow and the world supported, thousands of pounds raised, thousands of hours of volunteering, and most importantly thousands of students supported to take part in their hobbies and interests, supplement their studying, try new things, represent their peers, and meet new people. It's been a privilege to represent and support you all alongside the Opportunities team here at the Union and see all the incredible things my fellow students have achieved. It's never been an easy process to select the recipients of the STAR Awards, but it's always great to read about the brilliant activities and accomplishments or our student volunteers. Volunteers are the lifeblood of Strath Union; we’re here to celebrate the fantastic work done this year and to reward exemplary individuals and students. As your VPC, on behalf of the Student Exec, the Societies Exec, all the staff and officers, and the whole Union, to everyone who has won an award, everyone shortlisted and nominated, and all our brilliant volunteers: thank you for your hard work!"
Alongside hosting a celebration of all our volunteers, we are also taking this opportunity to fundraise for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The conflict in Ukraine and the accompanying Humanitarian crisis has affected us all and for some of our Strathclyde family it has been a very upsetting and anxious time as they are separated from friends and family back in Ukraine.
One of our exchange students, Veronika Smoliakova, reached out to Strath Union to organise a donation drive and other fundraising activities to help those desperately in need. With her efforts and the huge generosity of the Strathclyde community, our donations were included in 88 tons of donations that safely made it to Ukraine at the beginning of April. Items are still being collected and donated out, with your help. The DEC appeal can provide so much more humanitarian aid. There is no obligation to do so but if you can we are asking you to donate to our PayPal fundraiser with all proceeds from this going to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
The night started with a drinks reception on the concourse of Level 1 of the Union where attendees had the chance to catch up with their fellow volunteers and enjoy a drink on arrival. Then after the food was served on The Terrace the presentation of awards began in the Venue. Congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted and to those who won on the night you can find all the results below:
Sports Exec Member of the Year: Eilidh Sneddon
As Wellbeing Officer for the Sports Exec, Eilidh takes a proactive approach to all issues relating to wellbeing - creating resources & signposting, holding Officer forums, and organising the first-ever Sports Union Wellbeing week as well as offering general support to all SU members, the VP Sport and sports Exec.
Sports Volunteer of the Year: Ciara O'Shea
As Netball's Rec Coordinator, Ciara has gone above and beyond to organise friendly games and tournaments with other Unis, and her dedication to the role has dramatically increased the numbers and strength of the Rec Netball team.
Rep of the Year: Charlie Wilson
Charlie has put incredible effort put into improving communication between departments of the Engineering faculty, including working on allowing sharing of material between departments for students taking interdepartmental classes.
Activist of the Year: Eva Curran
Eva has been fantastic in her role as Women's Rep this year, campaigning for consent training, launching Ask for Angela at the bar, and organising the extremely popular Girls Night.
Campaign of the Year: Increasing Climate Democracy among Students - Climate Action Emergency Group
The Climate Emergency Action Group (CEAG) has been incredibly active this year, starting with a series of campaigns throughout COP (including rummaging in skips when their placards were accidentally thrown out!), links with external groups including Climate Fresk, running workshops and research, and passing policy at Student Parliament which sets out the Union's commitment to climate activism.
Community Project of the Year: Glasgow Student's Nightline
This year Strathclyde and Caledonian Nightline merged with Glasgow University Nightline and retrained every member, to return to fully open service of phone and IM support, 7 pm-7 am, for students across all 3 Universities.
Community Volunteer of the Year: Kayla-Megan Burns
Volunteering is a way of life for Kayla, from COP to SambaYaBamaba youth band, to St. Andrew's First Aid, to speaking at schools and youth groups about their activism and volunteering.
Best New Society: Cocktail & Mocktail Society
As a new society Cocktail & Mocktail society has been extremely popular, with nearly 100 members, and provides great opportunities for making friends, socialising, and raising money for charity.
Society Volunteer of the Year: Ky-Li Tan
Kye is on the committee for AIESEC, Women+ in Tech, and Malaysian society and has gone above and beyond this year to contribute to the events and activities these 3 amazing societies.
Society of the Year: Language Café
Language Café has done so much for its members this year to support learning languages for fun and to improve employability, including introducing language rooms for members to practice languages, as well as resources to learn new languages.
Special Recognition: Hear To Listen
All the Hear to Listen volunteers have worked so hard to provide this fantastic service for students.
Gold Society of the Year: Pharmacy Society
Pharmacy society has provided huge all-around support to pharmacy students of all years with social events, wellbeing events, educational and employability events, and finishing the year with their hugely popular Pharmacy ball.
Astrid Yeates Charity project / Fundraiser of the Year: Donation Drive - Foodbank Society & Mary's Meals
This donation drive led by the Marys' Meals & Foodbank societies involved collaboration with a huge variety of other societies to collect donations of food, learning materials, hygiene items, clothes, and funding to support people in need in Glasgow and Malawi.
Event of the Year: Annual Ideas Conference: Annual Ideas Conference - TEDxUniversityOfStrathclyde
The TEDx team of around 50 volunteers worked tirelessly to safely return to an in-person Annual Ideas Conference with inspiring talks by speakers from across the globe.
Volunteer of the Year: Nathan Epemolu
Nathan has been phenomenal in his role as BAME Rep this year, for example collaborating with national organizations to create opportunities for students and staff to learn more about the history of Glasgow's Slavery Trade history, hosting discussions on decolonizing the curriculum at Strathclyde, and representing students at national conferences.
All that is left is to say a massive thank you to each and every volunteer, representative, and society at the Union. We value each one of you and have heard so many inspiring stories over the years detailing all your successes. During Student Volunteer Week this past February, we shared volunteer stories from a range of reps, volunteers, and societies you can explore all these stories and more over on the Volunteering page, where you can also find opportunities to start your volunteering journey.