By Nikayla Goddard, April 11 2020 —
While the Students’ Union Club Award Banquet was cancelled this year in light of isolation practices, vice-president student life Alisha Gordon still announced the winners of the 2020 SU Club Awards.
The Club of the Year Award went to the African-Caribbean Student Association (ACSA), a club that was created for UCalgary students to celebrate, learn and connect with the rich diversity, culture and history of the regions of Africa and the Caribbean. Co-Presidents Benyat Abdulwahab and Ife Adedipe founded the club in September of 2018, filling a need for the campus community. Adedipe responded to the Gauntlet’s inquiries with the following statement:
“It goes without saying that we are completely in awe and honoured to receive the Club of the Year award, especially in our second year running! We are completely humbled and grateful for the campus community’s recognition of the hard work, passion and dedication that we have put into attaining our Club’s goals and maintaining our values. In addition to receiving the Best New Club award last year along with Club of the year this year, we hope to maintain the same standard within the years to come.”
Some of the initiatives the ACSA has provided this year included the Speak Your Truth discussion series, meet and greets, a mentorship program, peer tutoring, a sport tournament, a soca (a type of Caribbean music) dance workshop, participation in our team for Trick or Eat, academic CV and research workshop, Black History Month Parade and Scavenger Hunt, their Annual Charity Date Auction and their Annual Gala, Melanight. Adepipe cited that all events were well attended and well received.
“We owe our success to the hard work of our stellar senior and junior executive members, club ambassadors and volunteers for creating and maintaining the quality of every event that we have held but also to every ACSA member that attends our events, participates in our polls and helps us out with the running of our events,” Adedipe said. “We couldn’t be more thankful for the support we have received from them and for the great turnout we see at every event!”
ACSA also won honourable mention for the Student Life Award.
The Honourable Mention for Club of the Year was the Pakistani Students’ Association (PSS), who has committed to a year-long fundraising initiative to raise money from all their events to go towards the Help Orphans, Promote Education (H.O.P.E.) Foundation, a Toronto based charity that provides an education fund to support a hostel school that serves as a home for orphaned children.
In response to the honourable mention, upcoming PSS President Syed Ammar Hyder said, “It is heartwarming to know [that] our efforts in community involvement and welfare are acknowledged, and can reiterate that we will continue to steam forward with our goals.”
While the PSS’s “Daawat” evening was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hyder said that donations and generosity of their members has led them to nearly surpass their initial expected goal.
“Moving forward, we will stay true to our promise to club members to continue putting together memorable evenings that serve both as an incredible night out with friends, and serve for a purpose larger than ourselves,” Hyder said.
The Longevity, Ongoing Vitality, and Engagement (LOVE) award went to the Nigerian Students’ Association (NSA). Honourable Mention went to the Students of the Arts and Science Honours Academy.
NSA Jr. VP Marketing Cindy Fubara remarked, “N.S.A. has worked its hardest to achieve all it has but all these things would not have been possible without its members. They are the reason we exist, and they are the reason we will continue to enforce L.O.V.E.”
“Longevity, Ongoing, Vitality and Engagement were the main vision the founding executives had in mind when starting this club,” President Oreoluwa Abidoye said. “The club has truly come a long way in seeing these goals come to life and is honoured to be recognized for this award. It also wouldn’t be possible without our members, sponsors and hardworking team of executives.”
The Best New Club Award went to the U of C Creative Writing Circle, with honourable mention to 4SIGHT. President Alisha Ebrahim said, “We’re so excited and grateful to have won this award! Rukhsar [Ali] and I started CWC to create a welcoming community for anyone who wants to express themselves through creative writing, no matter how much previous experience they have. […] The excitement that our club members show at our events, and the kind of community that CWC has been able to create drive us to keep going. We’re so grateful for this award, and so excited for everything that we can continue to do for UCalgary!”
The Advocacy Award winner was the Consent Awareness and Sexual Education Club (CASE) with the honourable mention going to the Mental Health Awareness club.
CASE President Carly Jahelka said, “I am so incredibly proud of my fellow CASE executives on receiving this award. They have worked endlessly this year to reach groups of students on campus who may not have typically had the chance to talk about consent and healthy sexual education. The work they put in to being intersectional, sex-positive, and perpetrator-focused advocates for social change is astonishing and it has been an absolute pleasure having had the chance to be their president.”
Other award winners this year include the Indian Students’ Association for the Alumni Award, Humans of UCalgary for the Campus Pride Award, UC Baking Club for the Collaboration Award with Honourable Mention to Students Against Domestic Abuse Association, Orphan Sponsorship Program for the Community Service with Honourable Mention to Suit Up!, Biology Students’ Association for First Year Engagement with Honourable Mention to Society of Undergraduates in Economics, Autism Awareness Club for the Innovation Award with honourable mention to Robogals UCalgary, UC Dance Company won the Student Life Award, and the Sustainability Award went to Light Up the World! UofC with honourable mention to the Eco Club.