Diversity Award

Diversity Award Winner: Tirion Hughes

Tiri, as chair of the Disabilities Campaign, does amazing work to support and advocate for disabled students at Oxford. She is on top of everything, manages everything, and is the font of all knowledge for all things disability-in-academia related! She does so much work as chair, even while studying medicine, and supports the whole of the DisCam committee in the process.

Interested in Tirion's work? Join DisCam here or follow them on Facebook.

Student Voice Award

Student Voice Award Winner: Sofia Henderson

Sofia's time as Class Act co chair has completely transformed the entire campaign. Class Act became involved in activism in a way it has never been before, working with local advocacy groups in the Oxford community, as well as working with the SU sabbs team to fight for students and lobby colleges when it came to admission offers, vacation residence, and providing for independent students. She also ran a successful Class Act family scheme in Michaelmas, introducing more freshers than ever to Class Act and her great work promoting the campaign and its work through social media and events is seen in the fact that this term has been the first time since its creation that Class Act has had a full committee. Class Act elections last term were the most contested out of any of the other SU campaigns. Sofia has worked tirelessly all year to make sure students from underrepresented socio-economic backgrounds have had a campaign that will fight for them. I have never come across such a dedicated individual. 

Interested in Sofia's work? Join Class Act here or follow them on Facebook.

Target Schools paving the way award

Target Schools paving the way award Winner: Alana Stewart

Alana's time at Exeter college has completely transformed the nature of access and outreach in Exeter College this year. She began the year, in her role as JCR communications officer, running the Exeter JCR instagram, a brand new page she created and built. They created this page specifically for prospective students and every Tuesday of Michaelmas she has ran a 'Takeover Tuesday' where students have been able to demystify Oxford through informative posts and answer questions from school students looking to apply to Oxford but had no idea where to start. The instagram has been immensely popular, and this December she even used it to run a 'buddy system' where state school applicants were matched with Exeter students doing the same subject in order to help them with interview prep. Many of these applicants explained how their schools had no clue how to help them with interviews and that they found this scheme crucial. This was an amazing outcome from a scheme Alana ran all on their own and of their own accord. On top of this, Alana voluntarily sat in on Exeter college's access meetings to make sure staff could remain accountable to the student body, as well as always helping out in school tours, open days and interviews. Her legacy of giving access and outreach a brand new salience at Exeter was given a perfect conclusion when, this year, she created a new JCR role for outreach so that the work she has done can continue under the authority of the JCR constitution. Her time here has made Exeter a forerunner in the continued fight for a more accessible Oxford and they have continually given students like me hope and resolve during my time here. She has changed Exeter for the better and so many of us are so grateful for that. 

Interested in Alana's work? Check out Exeter JCR's Instagram here or their website here.

RAG Fundraising Award

RAG Fundraising Award Winner: Piyali Chatterjee

Piyali did a commendable job of helping raise £50,000+ for India covid relief. At a time when people are debilitated by work, grief and the pandemic, she rose to the occasion and actively led and contributed to this campaign to do everything possible in her capacity to help the country, despite severe personal issues. Her social media was the go-to place for many who needed information on covid relief. I believe she truly deserves this award for not only brilliant fundraising effort but fundraising in the times of adversity. 

Check out Piyali's fundraiser here.

Sustainability Award

Sustainability Award Winner: Yannis Baur 

Throughout his four years at Oxford, Yannis has consistently gone above and beyond to give his all to the Oxford and Keble communities, especially when it comes to environmental sustainability. Both in his formal roles as a Project Coordinator for OxUnboxed and Events Director at the Oxford Impact Investing Society, and in numerous other capacities, he has always petitioned College and university bodies to improve their sustainability and efficiency in order to improve green impact across the board. 

For example, as OU LGBTQ+ Society's Social Secretary, Keble Arts Festival's Treasurer, Keble Ball President in 2019 and Keble Freshers' President in 2018, he balanced countless other responsibilities with a sustained commitment to finding the greenest way to approach any situation. Working with Yannis always encourages other people to think laterally to find environmentally sustainable alternatives to the easy way out, and as a classmate, friend, and generally huge presence across the College and university, he motivates students to improve their carbon footprint and think about the planet both in macro and micro terms.  

 Yannis is dedicated to making Keble and Oxford greener and more sustainable places, but he doesn't stop there. His worldview is global and he is constantly finding new and innovative ways to promote environmental consciousness on local and international scales. Taking part in the Ration Challenge is not only raising money for a fantastic global cause while reminding everyone he knows to consider the multifaceted ways that refugees' quality of life is affected by their circumstances, but is also encouraging us also to think harder about our individual impact in terms of food waste in a world where food poverty and climate change are inseparably interrelated. His decision to do this immediately after his Finals finish epitomises his overriding dedication to the greater good! There are far too many other examples to cite here, but Yannis' overall get-up-and-go, encouraging attitude and commitment to working together towards a shared goal means his contribution to the university's local, national, and global sustainability efforts has been extraordinary since he joined. He will certainly continue this fantastic commitment into his working life too. 

Check out Yannis work with OxUnboxed, Oxford Impact Investing Society, and Oxford LGBTQ Society

Impact Award

Impact Award Winner: Vance Tan

 It is with great pleasure that I nominate Vance Tan for this prestigious award. I have known him for two years and personally admire his initiatives in many aspects of university life that I thought of him the first time I heard about this award. He is a prime role model and exceptional inspiration for people with disability, which in his case is dyslexia and dyspraxia, and for people from ethnic minorities. Vance has positively impacted many of us at Oxford by giving examples of the characters a leader should uphold.  

I want to start with Rugby, the sport he loves very much because of the game itself and the friendship. Days before Oxford, he would almost avoid playing sports that involved hand-eye coordination due to his dyspraxia. But that changed once he came to Oxford. He was determined to give Rugby a go. He seeks to contribute to Oxford University (OURFC) and St. Edmund Hall (SEHRFC) rugby clubs in other ways as well. He started by being a water boy – providing food, water and ensuring good welfare for the rugby players.  He also regularly cleans the facilities and spaces of OURFC as there is a lack of human resource for this purpose. He has been doing this with such a phenomenal dedication for the more than two years, which awed his teammates and managers. 

 During his time as a water boy, he spotted a vital gap in OURFC; the lack of online presence. The website is very outdated, which prevents the club from attracting optimal support from sponsors and supporters. He then took the initiative to create a new website and help to track sponsors for the club. Other people are inspired by his work and volunteered to help him in the middle of the process. Regarded as reliable and responsible, he has now being promoted as the Director of Analytics, Technology and Algorithms for OURFC, where he sets the strategic vision for the club's analytical and technological capabilities to support the games and implement frameworks for raising the standards of the club's online presence. He is the first person to hold this role. He levelled up by taking performance analytics certification from Queens Belfast to support his role at OURFC and beyond. He trained other people to do the job so that after him, this role can be passed down to the next generations to ensure a lasting impact. He also encouraged the club to take equality and diversity training regularly. Vance has taken on a number of roles, including match day video & analysis providing the coaches with match footage and game analysis. He is also excellent member for culture and the environment at the club. 

 Other than sport, he also supports SEH chapel by singing in the choir and serving as a senior chapel clerk. He has been the editor-in-chief for St Edmund Hall’s Ex Aula journal for the past two years, volunteering in the Access Hall program, donations to food shelters and other causes. He took part in the dyslexia project by TORCH Oxford to raise awareness and provide support for people with disabilities. He received much support for his mental health issues while also communicating it with his peers to break down conversational barriers. 

 I walk around the university with him many times, and there is rarely a walk without at least someone calls him by name – it shows how blended in and fondly well-known he is in Oxford. Even the cleaners, porters, gardeners, and other staff talk to him like a close friend. 

 I asked him about his future plan, and the answer is simple yet incredible: to be a decent human who can contribute to society, with a ripple effect to the future generations. ""I've been through so much unhappiness, so I just want to see people happy"", he said. He is probably the most selfless and genuine person I have ever come across in life.  " 

Oxford University Rugby Football Club: https://ourfc.org/  

Ex Aula: https://mcr.seh.ox.ac.uk/ex-aula/  

TORCH Oxford: https://torch.ox.ac.uk/  

Special Recognition Award

Special Recognition Award Winner: Ebony Moody

Ebony is graduating this year, having faced exceptional adversity on many fronts throughout her degree. Despite great personal challenge, she has refused to forsake either her degree or her commitment to others, and I believe she deserves to be recognised for this. 

 I struggled to choose which award to nominate Ebony for, because she is eligible for most of them. She served as her college's Sustainability Rep, leading and inspiring Oriel to victory in the Student Switch Off campaign and constantly throughout her tenure equipped students with knowledge and tips to live more eco-friendly lives. During the pandemic she volunteered to help author a maths textbook designed to help access to tutoring for less privileged students. She has never looked past someone she met on the street, and has gone out of her way to be kind to and even build friendships with homeless people and Big Issue sellers she has encountered in Oxford, helping through friendship to reorient their lives towards their own wellbeing. More recently, she took on the responsibility of advocacy as her college's MCR Accessibility and Inclusion Representative, refusing to see the role closed, and notably has been mediating between students and Governing Body in the wake of the recent Rhodes statue decision. 

 Ebony has done all of this despite receiving several life-altering medical diagnoses during her degree, affecting both her mental and physical health. She was diagnosed with autism at the beginning of her degree, and I have been privileged to witness her bravery as she has re-discovered her identity in light of this. Originally a keen cyclist, she was forced to give this up as complex conditions meant her health deteriorated, and during the pandemic she has had to shield, being immunocompromised. She was also bereaved during the pandemic, at the same time as revising and adjusting to the ever-changing arrangements for her exams. Throughout everything, she has demonstrated fortitude and determination, refusing to give in or choose the easy option, and has continued despite her personal struggles to spend her time and energy for the sake of others. 

 I have been honoured to know her as a friend and benefit from her compassion and wisdom, which she has offered even when she has been struggling herself. She has challenged me, and others I am sure, to appreciate my own privilege, to persist in the face of adversity, and to be ambitious in seeking a better world for the marginalised. I am thoroughly convinced that Ebony deserves special recognition for her dedication, bravery, and persistence, and would love to see her honoured with this award. 

Student Switch Off: https://studentswitchoff.org/  

Oriel MCR: http://www.orielmcr.org/