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#NUSScot17 Awards: winners announced!

Saturday 25-03-2017 - 12:15

From outstanding campaigns to staff and officers who go out of their way to make student lives better, the NUS Scotland Awards celebrate the achievements of our members and showcase the great work taking place in Students’ Associations across the country. This year’s Awards took place on Friday 24 March at the Apex Hotel in Dundee. Winners are listed below - well done to winners and everyone shortlisted!

 

Campaign Award


This category recognises those associations and students which had led the way this year in making real change to your students’ lives and their experiences at University and College.

The nominees:

  • RGU:Union: Live Right 
  • University of Stirling Students’ Union: Big Rent Campaign 
  • Glasgow Kelvin College Students’ Association: White Ribbon Campaign 

Winner: 

University of Stirling Students’ Union – Big Rent Campaign
The Big Rent Campaign was launched in response to increasing rent costs and a lack of affordable student housing in Stirling. The Students’ Union survey students and found that 71% had less than £100 disposable income once rent and bills were paid. 17.3% said they had no disposable income at all. A list of recommendations was drawn up as a result of the survey findings and sent to the university. On the back of this list, the University has agreed to establish an Accommodation Enhancement Fund of £125,000 as well as agreeing to rent freezes across the majority of student housing. 


Diversity Award


The Diversity Award exists to recognise the work undertaken by individuals and students’ associations to make their work, processes and activities accessible to the wide range of students in their membership. 

Nominees:

  • Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association: Students with caring responsibilities 
  • Edinburgh University Students’ Association: Project Myopia 
  • University of Strathclyde Students’ Association: #IAmStrathclyde 

Winner: 

Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association
GCU Students’ Association has worked hard this year to ensure the needs of students with caring responsibilities are better recognised and their needs are supported.  As a result, there is now policy in place so that the university and staff can properly support their needs.


Student Opportunities Award 


The Student Opportunities award recognises the activity students’ associations undertake to develop students and their experiences outside of the classroom, ranging from volunteering, clubs and societies, sports and wellbeing and media.

Nominees:

  • Ayrshire College Students’ Association: 16 Days of Action 
  • RGU:Union: GoGreen 

Winner: 

RGU:Union
RGU GoGreen is an initiative reflecting students’ interests in environmental issues and reducing the carbon footprint of the university and surrounding community focusing on food, energy and travel. They developed a Zero-Waste Café which offers opportunities for students to work in a busy kitchen and receive training on food waste awareness; they introduced a bike hire scheme giving students a more environmentally friendly option to travel to the campus outside the city centre; and the Energy strand offers students training in home energy awareness which in turn has led to them organising home energy visits in the surrounding community.


Education Award


This award recognises the role of students’ associations in improving students’ learning experience whilst at college and university and is at the heart of all of our organisations.

Nominees:

  • Edinburgh College Students’ Association: Quality enhancement 
  • Highlands and Islands Students’ Association: Work with apprentices 
  • Edinburgh University Students’ Association: Project Myopia

Winner: 

Highlands and Islands Students’ Association
Highlands and Islands Students’ Association have worked with apprentices studying through UHI’s academic partners to find out more about their experiences and inform work on related issues. The Students’ Association also put together a report which found pay was a big concern for all apprentices, while sexism and discrimination was a big concern for female apprentices. From the findings, a number of recommendations have been produced and a working group has been set up to make progress on these. 


Officer Team of the Year Award


This award recognises the value to an association and its officers of a strong officer team and acknowledges the incredible examples of teamwork across associations.

Nominees: 

  • City of Glasgow College Students’ Association 
  • RGU:Union
  • Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association 

Winner: 

City of Glasgow College Students’ Association
City of Glasgow College has seen massive changes this year, with campus moves posing some major challenges and a new catering company resulting in higher food and drink prices. Throughout this, the officer team at City SA have gathered student feedback and used it as evidence when working with senior managers at the college. The team has also worked to improve the class rep system based on student feedback. The officer team has worked well together to resolve the issues facing students – and it has also grown along the way with the addition of a Vice President Diversity and Wellbeing. 


Staff Member of the Year Award


This award recognises the enormous contribution and talent staff within our students’ associations make and possess and to honour and formally congratulate staff for their work and dedication.

Nominees:

  • Charlotte Mitchell, Ayrshire College Students’ Association 
  • Barbara Robertson, Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland 
  • Graham Smith, Edinburgh College Students’ Association 
  • Aileen McColl, Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland 

Winner: 

Barbara Robertson, Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland
Barbara’s diligence in defending students at UWS from unfair withdrawal, helping them through financial worries, supporting them through domestic violence and striving to improve their mental wellbeing makes her work stand out. Having arrived at UWS last year, Barbara has already helped many students through a variety of difficult situations but her work to help a young Muslim woman who had recently come out to her family really stands out to the team at UWS – her work made a vulnerable woman feel safe again. 


Student of the Year Award


This award recognises some of the most outstanding students showing a fantastic dedication to their fellow students, Students’ Association or their local community.

Nominees:

  • Juniper (Juney) McPhee, Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland 
  • Claire Simonetta, SRUCSA 
  • Simron Kandola, University of Stirling Students’ Union 

Winner: 

Simron Kandola, University of Stirling Students’ Union
Simron is described by colleagues as “one of a kind”, volunteering with the union over the past few years in a range of roles. Simron launched the Volunteering Society and through this successfully applied for £1000 funding from the Santander Community Plus fund. This money was donated to Start-Up Stirling’s Feed a Family campaign – a huge contribution. Simron then organised a Can Drive for the charity, and this has resulted in hundreds of food donations in the Autumn 2016 semester alone. Simron’s work has helped the university establish positive links with charities outside the university. 


College Students’ Association of the Year Award


This award recognises the college students’ associations which have had huge impact on their students’ lives this year as well as working to develop their internal structures to create sustainable and strong college students’ associations for the future. 

Nominees: 

  • City of Glasgow College Students’ Association 
  • Highlands and Islands Students’ Association 
  • Edinburgh College Students’ Association 

Winner: 

Edinburgh College Students’ Association
ECSA has been on a journey over the last 5 years. Evolving and shaping to suit students in the wake of mergers & cuts, it is now a truly student led and professionally supported organisation. ECSA’s strategic vision is powered by students and driven by values. With the creation of their case management system - a system few other associations in Scotland have – a new website and work to revamp the class rep system, ECSA has established itself as an organisation that can operate at the highest levels and has demonstrated to the sector and its institution that it is capable at delivering change & making convincing evidence based arguments.


University Students’ Association of the Year Award


This award recognises the ongoing and innovative work of our university students’ associations including opportunities, their impact and the development of themselves, their people and their offer to students.

Nominees: 

  • Edinburgh University Students’ Association
  • University of Stirling Students’ Union 
  • RGU:Union 

Winner: 

Edinburgh University Students’ Association
This year, Edinburgh University Students’ Association has made great strides in seeking to reinvent itself in the image of its 37,000 members. The primary focus of the officer team and staff has been implementing changes to democratic structures and officer roles. This follows a major review during 2015-16 that, with the help of NUS’ Strategic Support Unit, involved surveying members and Student Council about leadership and decision-making in the Students’ Association and resulted in changes being presented in an online referendum that 7077 students engaged with. The focus throughout this process of change and transformation has been ensuring the Association is inclusive of and relevant to students.  

 

#NUSScot17 Award Winners

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