On the EVAs and a year of volunteering

Here’s hoping everyone had a glorious Bank Holiday weekend, and that anyone who could managed to get down to Lyme Regis for the annual Fossil Festival. It was a gloriously wonderful three days of touting the wonders of the natural sciences (and shamelessly selling fossils to tourists). I’ll save this for my YouTube Channel as I intend to incorporate the Fossil Festival into a video at some point.

Yesterday (4th May) saw Southampton University Students’ Union’s annual EVAs or Excellence in Volunteering Awards. This was a really well organised and run event at the Southampton Guildhall which by the by is a beautiful building and should anyone ever get the chance to go I would thouroughly recommend it!

Anywho I was nominated for two awards in the Education category for work done over the last eleven months as the School President of Ocean and Earth Sciences – the awards being “Best School President” and “Innovation in Student Representation”. Now anyone who follows me in the twitterverse or on Facebook will have noticed that I wasn’t too impressed by my nomination because I didn’t consider that I deserved either. The reason behind this being that in my opinion I would have expected anyone to have put in at least the amount of effort I put into the role.

It would appear however that the powers that be disagreed and I was awarded the latter of the two awards – Innovation in Student Representation – and although I still haven’t seen the citation on which this was awarded, I have been informed as to the reasons behind it. I should also mention that I am extremely grateful for the recognition as being a representative of any constituency is a fairly thankless task.

The other award for which I was nominated was awarded to the Management School President – Bradley Fitchew – who has been a fantastic holder of his office, has been both vocal and level-headed in his arguements in Union Council and other activities and in my opinion is far more deserving of the award than I would have been.

It is true to say that whilst I think the idea behind these awards is fantastic, and long may thay continue; that they recognise only those whom people deem to nominate. It is also true to say that I think the best administrators and representatives are those who never have to be called upon, and who are never in the news or publicising something to improve the way things work.

With this in mind I would like to give my thanks to the following people who have worked tirelessly to improve the education system at the University of Southampton and with whom it has been my honour to work:

  • All the Members of the Students Union Education Committee: School Presidents, Executive Officers and the UCOM’s who provide our ever watchful oversight.
  • Becky Maclean – VP Education and Representation, who is probably getting less than minimum wage given the hours she puts in 🙂
  • The SU Staff members: Erica Hussey and Daphne Bright
  • The SOES Staff members: Duncan Purdie, Hilary Bush and Nicola Reader
  • Every single course representative, without whom most of the issues affecting students would never get up the chain to me and whose tireless efforts are least recognised.

I haven’t mentioned everyone by name because it would make this post dreadfully long, and also there would be issues with privacy laws… not that I think anyone would mind too much.

The fact remains that these people work either in a paid capacity or completely voluntarily to make sure students get the best from their three (or four) years at Southampton and it is only fair that somewhere they should be recognised.

I hope all the students who read this will remember that next time they are walking around campus, they are surrounded by volunteers who, mostly through no thought of personal gain are giving up a not trivial amount of time to make this a better place to study.

Ben Brooks

Shortlink for this post: http://wp.me/pFUij-1U


5 thoughts on “On the EVAs and a year of volunteering

    1. Benjamin Brooks Post author

      Thanks Roderick,
      It’s not my handiwork, mostly thanks to wordpress’ themes team. it’s one of the many available from the wordpress theme library, called Titan.
      Ben Brooks

      ** Since this comment was posted, I’ve changed theme, I’m trying to find one I really like, sorry **

  1. Pingback: An honour and a pleasure… but credit belongs elsewhere. « BenjaminDBrooks' Blog

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