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SU introduces new EDI award for clubs

By Sophia Lopez, February 1 2021 —

Nominations for the 2020-21 Students’ Union Club Awards have opened up, and students are now able to nominate any of the 300+ student clubs for one of the 15 awards being offered, each valued at $250. In addition to the usual 14 awards, a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Award will be making its debut. 

In an interview with the Gauntlet, the SU’s vice-president student life Assad Ali Bik discussed the importance this new award has in recognizing hard-working students.

“For a long time now, the SU has prioritized the work in the field of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and this is just another way in which we want to showcase to the student body that this is our priority,” said Bik. “Too often the work in the field of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion — and accessibility for that matter — goes unseen and so we really want to bring light to this category and we want to emphasize that this is great work that is happening and it deserves to be awarded.”

Ali Bik touched on the fact that even though nominating clubs and being a part of clubs in general isn’t mandatory during a student’s time the University of Calgary, he believes that most students are aware of the significance that nominating clubs holds.

“I think the value of awards comes from the value of the clubs themselves,” he explained. “Because of that great value, students feel compelled to nominate clubs for these awards that they most certainly are deserving of.”

With over 300 student clubs on campus, Ali Bik discusses how being a part of a club can ultimately enhance a student’s university experience aside from getting to know other people. Joining a club can help students find a place where they feel they belong, and can also help students get out of their comfort zones and discover new interests.

“Obviously clubs are a huge part of the student life and student experience — and that goes beyond just the social connections they create,” he said. 

It is important for students to know that regardless of their position or involvement in a club, everyone is free to nominate whichever club they choose, said noted Ali Bik.

Ali Bik said he worked hard to have the EDI Award installed this year, calling it one of his “personal initiatives.”

It will be up to the 79th SLC, Club Committee and future vice-president student life to decide if this award will continue to be offered, but Ali Bik says he sees a lot of potential in an award that celebrates the promotion of an equitable, diverse and inclusive university.

“I hope this is an award that clubs actively strive for and I hope that there’s a lot of nominations for all 15 awards,” said Ali Bik. “Having your club be recognized for an award is a prestigious honor in my books.”

To participate in this year’s SU Club Awards, visit the SU Club Hub and log in using your U of C email account. Once logged in, go to the forms to nominate clubs. Feb. 23 at 4:30 p.m. is the deadline for all nominations. For more information, check out the SU website and their Facebook page @suuofcclubs

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