Last night we hosted the Union Awards, an event that is possibly one of the best things about the year as it’s a real chance to say thank you and congratulations to all of the students that have given up so much of their time to the Union. I had the privilege to give out the Fellowships, Club of the Year and Event of the Year awards and I just wanted to take a second chance to really congratulate everyone they went to, and everyone shortlisted. I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to say into just one speech for these awards so I’ve written up a blog about them too. Of course, I'd like to congratulate all of the winners of the other awards too!
Fellowships are an award we only get to give to truly incredible members of the Imperial College Union community – those who have continuously served the union in an exception manner over a number of years. I was so excited that we got to give out three of these awards and really, if you look at what they’ve given up to make everyone’s time here at Imperial better it’s truly outstanding.
George Butcher received one for his continuing contributions to student media, not only IC Radio over the years but also the countless hours he put in soldering, wiring, building a whole new studio over the Summer with the West Basement redevelopment, and motivating the students around him.
George Goldberg received one primarily for his work with Cinema which he’s been with since its rebirth, really developing the club. Not only this but also the hours and hours that he poured into the Union Concert Hall redevelopment, consulting with students and producing the space of which we are all so proud.
Max Hunter received his for ongoing work with the Media Basement, even across this year where he is no longer a student at Imperial. As head of technical design he really drove the whole West Basement redevelopment. Though of course, this isn’t all he’s done in the Union also contributing all across student media, to A Cappella, upgrading and repairing Metric, and even finding the time to fit in chairing Croquet society.
Club of the Year
It’s been incredible year to be working with our student groups and I’m really thankful to all of our clubs and societies for putting so much time, effort, and enthusiasm in to everything that they’ve done.
There’s no real way to put into words quite how impressed I am by the achievements of our students this year. The fact that our student groups pour so many hundreds of hours into projects that they have such passion for whilst somehow also managing to keep on track with their degrees is astounding. I’ve seen students produce events of the same quality, if not higher, than full teams of professional event management staff, completely by themselves on a voluntary part time basis.
Club of the Year isn’t exactly an easy decision to make when you have 350 to choose from. We managed to get the shortlist down to five clubs, each of which I could probably talk to you for hours about how amazing they have all been this year. The shortlist was:
- A Cappella
- Civil Engineering
- Islamic society
With Islamic Society taking the award - Islamic society has had a truly incredible year and has been an absolute joy to work with. They’ve worked so hard, really pulling together as a committee to achieve more than ever before. They raised over £80,000 in a week with their Charity Week, coming first in the UK, organised a 14-day alternative fresher’s and provided throughout the year welfare, spiritual and educational support of all of its members. They have run a 24 hour hotline for their students with any welfare concerns, had a large number of well-attended socials, and pour so many hours into catering for the spiritual needs of their members, holding weekly prayers, had regular talks and held a variety of faith classes and discussions. They even won Islamic Society of the Year across the UK this year too!
To mention the rest of the shortlist, as they have also been exceptional:
A Cappella society have had a hugely successful year, with two new groups forming alongside the four that already exist, all of which have gone from strength to strength. This year alone, they've create professional music videos, arranged charity singles, performed workshops for the university, received awards in international competitions, organised semi-professional tours abroad, and even recorded full studio albums!
Civil Engineering has had an incredible year, driven by the hugely committed team of volunteers that make up the committee. They organised a huge range of events with everything from career talks to pub quizzes, philosophy evenings and alumni events, and the hugely successful annual CivSoc International Tour. They received such a huge number of nominations it’s hard to pick out the highlights!
Felixhas made a significant contribution to student life, not only for those that read it but for those that create it too. Since Imperial is an all-science university, it can be difficult for people to engage with other projects, such as writing or culture and Felix has provided that outlet in an inviting atmosphere. They have also successfully covered a number of high profile issues that directly impact the student body.
ICTV has had a phenomenal year, not only with its creation of incredibly high quality productions such as Imperial Question Live and Meet the Candidates but also the huge number of hours the members have put in to the West Basement redevelopment, creating a fantastic facility. They even had a successful year at the NaSTAs, with a short film ‘Nuisance’ winning ‘Best Drama’.
Event of the Year
The sheer number of phenomenal events that happen throughout the year makes this a really hard award to even approach making a decision on – I probably run through two or three event budgets a week for events which would all be worthy of consideration!
We have five shortlisted events and the shortlist really speaks for itself. The fact that even one event on this list happened and was hosted here by our students, let alone all of them running and being so successful is just incredible. The shortlist was:
- The International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella
- Dance Imperial Show
- ISoc Charity Week
- Just Bollywood
- Oil and Gas Forum
With the ICCAs taking the award – this was an event where I’m particularly proud of both the success of the event itself but also the commitment and dedication of the students that made it happen. The A Cappella society successfully bid to hold the first UK semi-finals of the ICCAs and then poured hundreds of hours into negotiations around space, lighting, and sound, organising the smooth running of the whole event with all the different groups present and also managing to find the time to have three of the A Cappella groups compete. Tammy Huggins even took home the award for Best Solo as part of the Imperielles. Hosting the event has put Imperial at the forefront of UK A Cappella and gathered both media attention and the attention of the International A Cappella community.
To touch on the rest of the shortlist too:
Dance Imperial Show saw collaboration between 5 dance societies to put on a very successful show. Despite being a first time event, both nights the Union Concert Hall was filled to full capacity. The show was a real tribute to effective collaboration, bridging together the 5 societies which have never worked with each other before with each society contributing pieces showcasing their work and competition pieces to great success.
Islamic Society hosted the most successful (in terms of events and money raised for charity!) charity week in the UK this year, raising £83,000 in just one week. I've was incredibly impressed with the dedication all members of the society showed to making the week a success and the huge number of events they ran.
Indian Society held Just Bollywood – the UKs first Inter-University Bollywood dance competition. Various teams came in to compete in front of a panel of top judges with Imperial College winning the competition.
The Oil and Gas Forum was an event held for the first time this year and despite being a first time is the largest of its kind in the UK, providing a platform for students at Imperial to learn more about careers in Oil, Gas and Energy industries with a variety of very high calibre speakers.
Overall it’s been an incredible year for the Union and I’m so thankful and proud of all of the students that have poured so much time and effort into making the Union so amazing. We really wouldn’t be what we are without you guys!