It’s the Wonkhe SUs student leadership not-quite-awards 2021

This is a briefing for Wonkhe SUs subscribers.

It’s SU awards season, and we’re keen to make sure we capture learning from this year’s officers, and that we celebrate the best of student leadership in SUs.

So we’ve opened nominations for the It’s the Wonkhe SUs student leadership not-quite-awards 2021.

We know that student leadership exists across SUs in part time officer, club and society, student trustee and rep roles. But we think full time sabbatical officers play a hugely important role in making SUs impactful for their members, and so it’s sabbs that we’re focussed on in this little project.

We want every SU to nominate at least one full time officer that’s inspired others, learned a lot, gone the extra mile or delivered something important for students. And we want to get beyond cliches and lists of personal qualities – we want stories and projects that others can look up and learn from in the future.

Our panel of judges from across higher education will be on the look out for those that have engaged and interacted effectively with others, or played their part in building and maintaining a team sprit. They might have demonstrated a “can do” attitude, overcome obstacles or really influenced university policy.

Maybe you saw the impact they had on students that time they chaired a meeting, or maybe you’ve seen them learn a lot and put it into practice. Maybe they’ve supported new ideas, adapted behaviour as circumstances change, helped others through Covid, or spoken truth to and stood up to power.

Maybe they’ve found a way to inspire, energise or motivate people around their ideas or their campaigning asks. Maybe they’ve become effective at analysing situations, or taking a strategic view of things, or understanding external opportunities and challenges, or promoting their punchy politics on social media.

And maybe they’ve driven change in liberation, equality and diversity, or ensured that the university understands its ethical impact on the wider community, or has just made sure that others are student focussed.

Anyone can nominate as often as they like, but before you dive into the nominations page to effuse, you’ll need:

  • No more than 150 words on why you think they should be a winner. What has marked out the person you’re suggesting?
  • No more than 350 words of a story or stories – about actual things that have happened, or that you’ve seen them say or do or write or convene, or things you know others have said about their experience of the person.
  • Links to campaigns, blogs, policy papers, pictures, projects, press coverage or anything else that might be relevant.

There won’t be a fancy awards ceremony. But there will be plenty of profile on the site that both universities and future SU officers will be able to learn from from multiple winners.

Enter early, enter often, and above all enter by Friday 21st May 2021.

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