The annual SU Awards celebrate the people, events, campaigns and groups that have significantly contributed to the student experience throughout the academic year.
With just under 200 nominations, your kind words have blown away the decision panels, making 2023 a tough year for selecting who makes the shortlist.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to write about the positive impact of students’ work on your student experience, we’re proud to support all Falmouth and Exeter students to step into roles and run the events, projects and initiatives you want to see on your campuses.
Without further ado, let’s introduce the shortlist!
Teamwork in Representation
Teamwork is at the heart of what student representation aims to achieve. This award aims to recognise the achievements that can be made by working together. Student members eligible for this award include course reps, department reps, subject chairs, members of student council, members of liberation, green and activities committee and any student that has put forward proposals for make a change.
University of Exeter Renewable Energy SSLC
The Renewable Energy Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) has taken proactive steps to strengthen the renewable energy community at Penryn through events such as the renewable energy games, research and module fairs and International student lunch clubs among many other things, on top of being a very effective SSLC that promote change for the students they represent.
Aysha Agovich-Lee and Madeleine Fabusova (University of Exeter Bioscience Subject Chairs)
Madeleine and Aysha have worked hard all year to foster community in the Bioscience department and improve the wellbeing of students by listening to feedback and influencing change. They have helped students and staff communicate about the UCU staff strikes and have supported community events such as student-staff dog walks.
Drew Johnson and Symran Bining (University of Exeter CGES EDI Reps)
Drew and Symran have put a lot of time, consideration and effort into their roles as Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) reps. They approach the role with an impressive level of sensitivity and commitment and utilise extensive research to prompt wider discussion in CGES Student Staff Liaison Committees.
Falmouth Rep of the Year
This award recognises a Falmouth course rep or department rep who has contributed to academic improvements by working in partnership with the University and SU.
Hannah de Oliveira Whitlock
Hannah has consistently worked to improve the university experience for Graphics students. She is tireless in her work fighting for opportunities for students and always goes about it with a positive attitude and a smile. She is a proactive department rep, dedicating lots of time talking to students and coming up with new ways to make change.
Jake Wolf Cunliffe
Jake has incredible enthusiasm and has consistently motivated his cohort to come together and achieve their best. His work championing for the Christmas karaoke events and cross-course project event to support graduation projects across the university shows great commitment to student collaboration and community.
Jordan is constantly working ridiculously hard in everything she does, always finding time to help others. She has worked tirelessly throughout her time as department rep to make the student experience better for students in SoFT and for students as a whole.
Exeter Rep of the Year
This award recognises an Exeter course rep, EDI rep or subject chair who has contributed to academic improvements by working in partnership with the University and SU.
Amy's work as a rep has led to the inclusion of sensory information forms for all practicals which has been celebrated by staff and students. This change is an innovative and inclusive step in make bioscience degrees more comfortable for students with sensory issues.
Elizbeth has been a student rep since first year. She has consistently ensured that the voice of her course-mates is genuinely heard, going above and beyond in every situation. Regardless of the issue, big or small, she has dealt with it open-mindedness and compassion. She has developed a true sense of teamwork for the on the SSLC and always ensure that student receive clear feedback following the meetings.
Leah has gone above and beyond for her cohort, working with staff to organise a whole cohort feedback event ahead of the term 2 SSLC, giving students the opportunity to meet as a community and to identify the issues important to them.
Campaign of the Year
Open to an individual or group of students who have campaigned, increased awareness of a topic that has an impact on the student experience.
End Fossil Ex/Fal
End fossil have put the climate crisis at the forfront of the conversation for not just students and the SU but for the universities as well, which is a massive achievement. There willingness to try out bold and innovative ways of engaging students and staff has been inspiring this academic year.
The 93% club
The 93% club is a society taht campaigns to increase awareness of the inequalities the exist within higher education in Britain. They have campaigned for this by building community and supporting students to talk about their experiences and organising employability events such as CV workshops, LinkedIn masterclasses and guest speaker events.
Open to any individual or group of students who has displayed excellence in fundraising. Shortlisted nominees show great enthusiasm and ability to motivate and inspire others to get involved.
Ballroom & Latin - Christmas Party Fundraiser for The Sea Sanctuary
The Ballroom & Latin society hosted a Christmas party for their members and used the event to fundraise for the Sea Sanctuary, a mental health focused charity in Falmouth. The event featured performances from other performing arts societies and a raffle, in which several companies and local small businesses donated prizes. They raised over £100 and encouraged the idea of giving back in the festive season.
Lucy Renville - Cheerleading
As the secretary of Fusion Cheerleading, an active and inclusive sports group, Lucy supported the team by organising and baking sweet treats for a bake sale held in February. Her efforts helped raise awareness of the Cheerleading team and through the sales, they had more funding for their upcoming national competition in Birmingham where they won 2nd and 3rd place in two different categories.
Surf Radio 24hr Live for Student Minds
Starting at 11am on the 25th March, Surf Radio began a broadcast of 24 hours live on the radio to raise money for Student Minds. Throughout the broadcast, they spoke candidly about mental health, took part in games and quizzes, and even did a live interview on BBC Radio Cornwall’s Breakfast show. Bringing together society members, students, alumni, and the local community, they raised £424 for Student Minds.
Tap Society - Tapathon for Children in Need
The Tap Society took part in the Tapathon for Children in Need and were a part of 7284 tappers nationwide, all dancing for a great cause. The event was livestreamed, and all dancers worked hard to learn the routine and promote the fundraising efforts. They raised £360 which contributed to the national total of £29,136.
Outstanding Committee Member Award
This award is for an outstanding committee member of a club or society who has demonstrated excellent club or society engagement and enthusiasm by inspiring others and motivation to improve the experience of members.
Jake has dedicated his time to three different committees, each with their own challenges and objectives. Across his different roles, he has coordinated multiple large events working cohesively with the campus community, supported students with their concerns, has increased the number of weekly shows for Surf Radio, among many other achievements – there are too many to list! Overall, he has gone above and beyond by putting in countless hours to ensure he provides the best possible experience for society members.
Devon has shown strong commitment to the Ballroom & Latin society. She has fostered a close-knit environment within the society so that everyone feels confident in trying new things and expressing themselves. Despite a heavy academic workload, she organised a fundraiser party and the club’s participation in the Christmas lighting ceremony in Falmouth. She has also been praised for enriching the experience of the society and is always there to address members’ concerns, whether they be dance related or more personal.
Pavarti has put in a tremendous amount of time and effort into transforming the Asian Society from an inactive group to a thriving community. With a focus on representation and celebration, she has engaged students from all campuses with numerous unique events and through social media accounts which promote and celebrate the Asian experience. Through connections with students and successfully liaising with campus partners, she has laid down foundations to ensure the society continues to thrive and flourish for many years to come.
As a committee member for multiple dance-based societies, Isabel always brings a positive attitude to everything she does. She is constantly engaging members through regular sessions and social activities, sharing information to keep everyone up-to-date, and has ensured spirits have stayed high throughout the academic year. Her commitment has meant that everything is coordinated to a high standard and the societies she supports have run seamlessly. Members feel confident when performing to audiences because of her support.
Sports Club of the Year
This award is for an outstanding sports club who have gone above and beyond to provide an excellent experience to their members.
The Expedition group are renowned for their inclusivity and accessibility efforts. With a focus on physical and mental health, they provide relaxed and financially accessible opportunities for socialisation on beautiful walking routes across Cornwall. They are committed to sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint by relying on public transport to get to walking locations. Through the consistency of their sessions, they have walked an estimated 230 miles around Cornwall and hope to increase this number in the final weeks of the academic year.
The CSM Shinty team is a strong community of students coming together to learn a new, unique, and interesting sport. They have collaborated with other SU sports clubs and have a close relationship with the local shinty club. Starting off the year as a small society with novice members, they have increased their numbers and have shown drastic improvement through their determination and support from the committee. Members have gone on to play tournaments in Scotland and some are now a part of the England Women’s Shinty team.
One of the many football teams that the SU has, Tremough FC have dominated the Cornwall County Sunday League and have reached the Cup Final. After a successful 21/22 season, they have immensely stepped up their game and are unbeaten this season, beating multiple opponents with a double-digit score. With an engaging Instagram page, fundraising efforts for a charity personal to their members and supporters, and a clear sense of family and friendship within the team that is prioritised above competition, Tremough FC are undoubtedly one to watch.
As the only SU sports club to compete in the BUCS League, Volleyball have had an incredible year with national success. The women’s competitive league finished their season in first place and will be promoted to the highest tier in the league – the first time the club have achieved this. Both the men’s and women’s competitive teams took home the BUCS Western Conference Cup, a tournament in which 12 other teams participated. With a thriving competitive and recreational membership, they support members of all abilities in multiple, well-run weekly sessions.
Society of the Year
This award is for an outstanding society who have gone above and beyond to provide an excellent experience to their members.
The Asian Society have gone from strength to strength this academic year. With the intention of providing a safe space for the Asian student community, they have done this and so much more. Through celebrating all major holidays and festivals, such as Diwali, Lunar New Year, and Holi, and raising awareness of the cultural significance behind these occasions, they have represented and supported the Asian community. By celebrating their culture and holidays, and through ‘Check-in with Chai’ sessions, they have ensured students feel at home in the community they have created.
After receiving recognition at the National Societies and Volunteering Awards 2022, EcoSoc have had another great year. For the first time, they have established non-competitive relationships with other nature-focused societies at other SUs, and this year they have hosted the most events in EcoSoc history. Through their own events and collaborations with other societies and local organisations, they provide all nature-enthusiasts with an inclusive space. They have also taken part in several conversation and community service events and provide members with an array of volunteering opportunities.
Cornwall MedSoc have been a welcoming and reliable presence for all medical students in Truro, with a particular focus on those new to Cornwall. Over the year, they have delivered lots of events covering a spectrum of interests, such as a ‘Staff v Students Quiz’, surfing lessons, the annual ‘Medic Family Treasure Hunt’, and many more. They have consciously considered the wellbeing of medical students and have fostered a community within the society. Alongside this, they have fundraised for multiple charities through event ticket sales and a fitness challenge called ‘The Murph’.
Scouts & Guides (Kernow SSAGO)
Kernow SSAGO (Scouts and Guides) group have flourished this academic year. They have shown dedication to the local community through volunteering at scout groups in Cornwall and have provided fun, innovative, and educational events on and off campus. They have travelled across the country to Newport, Plymouth, and locally within Cornwall with their trusty pasty mascot for social day trips, Rali Cymru (Wales Rally), and camping trips to enhance the member’s experience in the society.
Event of the Year
This award is for an innovative and engaging event or project run by a club, society or individual/group through our student project fund this year.
Bottle Match 2023
Bottle Match is a staple event in the student sport calendar and this year, it returned with a bang. Despite taking place on RSM’s home turf, players loved the sense of belonging, the shared identity and unity between the CSM sports teams. All played with great sportsmanship to create a competitive and friendly atmosphere. Due to the location of the universities, the clubs have limited matches against other teams, so the Bottle Match provided a fantastic opportunity to play against and socialise with the RSM teams.
Collegium Christmas Ball
The Collegium Christmas Ball was a collaboration between Women in Business, Flamank Law Society, Business Society, and Finance and Investment, taking place just before Christmas at the Falmouth Hotel. The black-tie event brought together students across multiple societies and courses for an enjoyable and memorable evening. The ball was made financially accessible to students as tickets were subsidised by the societies, generating maximum value to memberships.
Celebrations For centuries, Indians have celebrated the victory of goodness and love by celebrating Holi and the Asian Society brought this festival to the campus as the biggest event held in Asian Society history. The day began with a collaboration with the Stannary kitchen, dishing up a celebration feast of authentic Indian cuisine. The celebrations continued with playing Holi (throwing coloured powder and paint) and concluded with an afterparty at Grapes in Falmouth. The daylong event represented Asian culture to a larger audience and spread awareness of the festival.
Performing Arts Showcase
The Performing Arts Showcase is an annual event that brings together societies across the SU and gives members an opportunity to perform in front of an audience, many for the first time. The event was brought together by the dedication and organisation of multiple committees and culminated in outstanding performances that were loved by the performers and audience. It gave members an opportunity to meet and bond with those in similar societies and display the routines they had been working on to a sold-out audience.
The Sustainability Award
Open to any individual or group who has displayed significant passion and drive for campus or community sustainability efforts.
Michael's has a passion to learn more and help drive positive behavioural change on campus. Michael reached out to the Sustainability Team last summer and has volunteered time to research, producing assets and more. Michael has help the team consider energy reduction in greater detail by obtaining insights and finding case studies on successful initiatives.
Ella has been a dedicated leader and founder for the Climate Confidence project and spent a lot of time researching, organising, writing and editing to bring all the work together. A staple piece for this year's magazine, has led to a 10 page document on the Anthropocene and the effects of humans on the environment and the rights of nature.
The 'People's Assembly FX' (PAFX) group were formed following students protesting on campus to call on the Universities to take hastier action on the climate and ecological crises. As a result they have worked collaboratively with the Universities to deliver one of the students' demands - creating a more democratic decision-making system bringing important themes and questions, platform and collating greater levels of student feedback, insight and a growing sense of community and co-ownership of campus.
The Inclusivity Award
This award is for any individual, group, campaign or project which has shown a commitment to inclusivity.
The Pole Society a warm, opening and welcoming group to everyone, whose ethos is pole is for everyone - every body is a pole body. Everyone is passionate about pole and braking down the stigma, they have changed their name to Pole to be more inclusive this year. Members often feedback on how much fun they've had and how safe and supported they feel. The society is passionate about helping people find their self and body confidence through a variety of opportunities. WIth outreach events, they make sure to educate others about the origins of pole and pole dance.
Elizebeth's efforts towards EDI have spanned over the three years of her time at university. From being an EDI advocate as a rep, subject chair and EDI officer. To being an entrepreneur and advocating for inclusive work landscapes. In addition to educating and raising awareness on autism. Taking time and dedication to run sessions with SEAS staff on neurodiversity and aiding in panels for prospective students to being one of the 'Top 100 women in Ethical AI'.
Tap Jam society has been a welcoming group to all of their members this year, and made to feel part of the family as soon as you arrive. Catering for all abilities, no auditions required and providing equipment and continually finding alternative funding sources to keep the price down for its members.
Asian Society have made an active effort to demonstrate and implement inclusivity on campus by bridging the gap between the two worlds that come with being an Asian student in Cornwall. Actively celebrating core Asian festivals like Diwali, Lunar New Year and Holi, they have facilitated an inclusive environment for Asian student to celebrate their culture and non-Asians to share and participate in the festivity. Check in with Chai has been established as a safe space exclusively for Asian students to check in with one another.
Dedication to The Students’ Union
This award celebrates students who have gone above and beyond in their dedication to SU activity during their time as a student. This could be as a Part Time Officer, Rep, Committee Member or simply as an engaged student working with others.
Madeleine gives so much time to the Students' Union and other extra-curricular activities. Madeleine has been an engaged Rep, leading to a subject chair this year, and has done an incredible job advocating for students. Madeleine has gone above and beyond to provide feedback, survey her peers, and engage with wider meetings to represent the student voice. Madeleine developed new approaches to SSLC, for example holding the meeting via themes. ?Madeleine is very involved in EcoSoc and has been on the committee for a few years. Part of this has involved organising and supporting BioBlitz events and the difficult task of restarting these after covid-19. Madeleine is always keen to talk about her work with EcoSoc and share details of upcoming events with students, making all feel welcome.?Madeleine has been reliable, dedicated and proactive in these roles and its very much appreciated by all who work with her!
Tom has gone above and beyond to make everyone feel included in the tap society through his role as president. He has dedicated himself to the society completely and worked with beginners and advanced students alike to allow anyone to join the group. He often drives for socials to enrich everyone’s experience at university. Tom's dedication to society members has led them to feel included in student life that they feel they may otherwise not have done.
Lizzy has held many roles within the SU during her time during her studies, committees of CSM Lacrosse, FXU Athletics and Surge Gymnastics, being a course rep for geography for 2 years and subject chair in my final year. Lizzy has communicated effectively with members and cohort, pushing for changes that will be beneficial for them and future members and cohorts.
The Andy Hocking Award
The Andy Hocking Award is in memory of a Policeman who went above and beyond to create a sense of community for students in the local area. This award is for an individual who has volunteered their time to community projects.
Ewan has dedicated an incredible amount of time to Generation Wild, a society that aims to educate children in local primary and secondary schools about the natural world. Ewan has helped co-run a nature history club at Penryn College, delivered an incredible amount of sessions of a variety of topics at many primary schools in Penryn & Falmouth, helping run extra-curricular days. The children love the creativity and enthusiasm of the sessions and other students involved learn valuable skills from Ewan and enjoy the experience of working in the community.
Elizabeth has unwavering encouragement to all students and staff pondering the idea of entrepreneurship offering advice and resources, volunteering her time with enthusiasm! Uniquely involved in both the Falmouth and Exeter start-up ecosystems, Launchpad and SetSquared she inspires many other students to get involved, presenting an ethical robotics and AI demo at the Metaverse conference held in 2023 on campus, contributing to the academic-side of ethical AI on behalf of the university and using her Innovate UK grant to provide materials to use at volunteered talks/workshops on ethical tech in schools and organisations across Cornwall/South West.
Emily has been volunteering with the 4th Falmouth Scout group since September 2021. Committing her time as leader at the group to help run the beaver, cubs and scout sessions. This past academic year she has helped to organise and lead weekend camps away for each section, has helped with community events involving the Scouts, like the Remembrance Day parade and regularly organises the activities for the group's weekly sessions. Members of 4th Falmouth look up to her and use her as an excellent role model. Emily has been able to create and bring together the student body and Falmouth Scouting community through her role as secretary for the Scouts and Guides society (SSAGOK).
The Daniel Palmer Award
The Daniel Palmer Award is named in memory of a former student who supported and made a positive impact on The SU in many ways. This ‘winner of winners’ is selected from the nominees in all categories for the most outstanding contribution to the student experience and will be announced at the awards ceremony.
Follow The SU on Instagram for updates from the awards ceremony on Thursday 4 May 2023.