By Rhydian Morris
The Annual Student Union awards took place this Saturday to an impressive crowd. The awards ceremony is a chance of the union to give gratitude to those individuals, sports and societies that have contributed to the union over the past year. This year had some of the highest participation in the amount of nominations written with over 650 nominations, 484 of those being nominations of societies and their respective committee members. The event was exceptionally well organised by the union, with special commendation needs to be given to Charlotte West and her staff for their commitment, which included handwriting name tags for all attendees.
The evening opened with a speech from this year’s union president Lewys Aron, who thanked everyone for attending and showed his appreciation for everyone who worked hard this year. Following a short interim for the buffet, the evening began with an exceptional performance by the musician’s societies Big Band, finishing on an impressive rendition of blues brothers pieces.
The University’s Vice Chancellor attended the event, and in his speech he praised the union and the student societies and sports for their efforts over the past year. The chancellor appeared very proud of the University’s recent award for best practice, achieved from a recent awards ceremony by The European Society for Quality Research – ESQR .
Following his speech the first half of the awards ceremony took place, with the winners and those highly commended being listed below:
Full Time Staff Member of the Year
Highly Commended: Steph Dalton
Winner: Martin Caldwell
Student Staff Member of the Year
Highly Commended: Laura Ball
Joint Winners: Beth Owen
Part-Time Officer of the Year
Highly Commended: Ditonmene Churchill-International Officer
Winner: Heather Wood-Women’s Officer
Subject Rep of the Year
Highly Commended: Haytham Whitear
Winner: Adam Powell
College Rep of the Year
Highly Commended: Aimee Pink
Winner: Cecilie Wittnebel
Best Student Led Campaign
Highly Commended: Christian Union- Are you Satisfied?
Winner: ISOC- Charity Week
Best Student Led Event
Highly Commended: SUTV-Film Festival
Winner: Shoreline Theatre-Sweeney Todd
Highly Commended: ISOC- Islamic Awareness Week
Joint Winners: Beth Owen and Lauren Evans: Contribution to Welsh Culture
Following the first list of rewards were performances from both the Choral Society and Show Choir. Thoroughly impressive performances from both societies, but particular notice has to be made from some of the soloists performances in the Show Choir.
During the proceedings the seemingly annual tradition of the penis balloon was launched, which drifted around the room through the rest of the evening.
The second set of highly commended and winners are listed below:
Outstanding Contribution to Student Media
Highly Commended: Tim Morizet
Winner: Varsity Coverage Team
Sports Club of the Year
Highly Commended: Archery
The following award is for the fundraising varsity, which was a scheme set up to encourage societies and sports to compete to raise the most money for charity. Over £25,000 was raised for charity in a combination of sports and societies, with societies raising over £12,000 and sports raising over £15,800.
Best Sports Club: Netball
Best Society: Islamic Society
Overall Winner: Sports
Best New Society
Highly Commended: Hindu
Winner: Postgraduate Research Society
Most Improved Society
Highly Commended: Physics
Marvel and DC
Winner: Shoreline Theatre
Society of the Year
Highly Commended: Gaming
Winner: Christian Union
Individual Contribution Awards
Following the awards the outgoing officers of Samuel Uche, Felix Mmeka and Lewys Aron made closing speeches on how rewarding the past year had been for them, and how sad it was that the year had come to an end.
Lewys Aron in his closing speech as president thanked his fellow officers and staff for the difficult and challenging year they have all faced with the move to a dual campus university. While he lamented that he might have not made always the correct decision, his goal throughout the year was to attempt to get the best experience for students, and all his decisions were based on that drive. The union has achieved much this year from reducing the limit on card transactions to £1, to ending Saturday exams for students from the next academic year. He recognised the drive and commitment of the officer’s and staff, and that this commitment helped them achieve the NUS Wales Award for best Student’s Union of 2016.