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Parks Canada U of O Campus Chapter won the best recreational club award. Image: CVUO/Provided
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Student Life Awards recognizes the accomplishments of students within U of O clubs

Campus Vibez (CVUO), the organization responsible for clubs at the University of Ottawa, hosted their annual Student Life Awards on March 14. The event supported students who participate in clubs and recognized them for their accomplishments within the last academic year. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held on Hopin, a virtual teleconference program that has different “rooms” for each event. According to Hassan Ahmed, the president of the CVUO, the use of the program only cost $300 out of the CVUO’s budget

The platform made it so there was a mainstage for awards and presentations from different clubs. 

Ahmed said the goal of the Student Life Awards was “to recognize the efforts of all the volunteers and the almost 400 clubs at the U of O.”

“Due to COVID-19, this year was a really special year and a lot of students had to break through the [barriers of] online events. The clubs did not stop just because the pandemic started,” he added.

There were 27 awards in total with two or three nominees per award. Every winner received a trophy along with their award from the CVUO. The event saw 788 registered students with 435 students logging onto the online program.

Last year, according to Ahmed, the budget from the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) was around $10,000 for the event. This year, they received a larger budget and allocated it mostly towards $30 UberEats gift vouchers for all students who registered for the event before March 13.

As students could not be at the event in real life, the CVUO provided these gift vouchers for students to enjoy a meal while watching the virtual awards ceremony. 

As of March, 13,600 people had registered for the event, meaning that with their business deal with UberEats CVUO spent around $10,000 on the vouchers. 

At the Student Life Awards, the award winners for each club were presented with trophies in real life. A team of five cars drove around the Ottawa region delivering trophies to the winners. Some winners also presented short acceptance speeches from their front steps. 

The drive-by delivery of trophies respected COVID-19 guidelines with masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizer. The addresses of the recipients were masked for privacy reasons, yet the physical aspect of receiving awards brought some sense of normalcy to these award ceremonies. 

The Fulcrum spoke with some award recipients including Claire Poulin of the Organ Donation Awareness Club and Rae Landriau, the Jock Turcot Award recipient.

Poulin, a third-year biomedical science student said that she believes keeping students connected during the pandemic is a priority.

“Clubs are of utmost importance at the university level Canada-wide,” she said.

“Not only do clubs allow a constructive and creative means for students to better themselves and their community but it also allows students to explore their interests.”

Poulin began the Organ Donation Awareness Club in August 2019 as her family has a genetic disorder that affects their kidneys and they have relied on dialysis and kidney donation for their health. 

“My aim is to create a safe place for students to learn about their choices concerning organ donation without judgement, and if it is their choice, to help those in need,” said Poulin.

Landriau, a fourth-year environmental science student said that they believe “clubs at [U of O] are what makes it a community.” 

“Random buildings turn into places of gathering, where memories are made, where friends laugh until they cry, where you see all your work become something tangible,” said Landriau.

“Joining clubs gave me a sense of comfort, it gave me a safe space to hone my leadership and organizational skills while being supported and making friends.”

The full list of award winners are as follows:

The Best Cultural/Religious Award –  The Filipino Students’ Association

The Jock Turcot Award – Rae Landriau

The Best Recreational Club Award – Parks Canada Campus Chapter

The Best Sorority/Fraternity Award – Delta Delta Delta International Women’s Fraternity

Innovation in Business Award – Enactus uOttawa

The First Year Member Award – Alex Lisitsas (uOttawa Esports)

The Best Graduate Club Award – MBA Student Association 

The Innovation in Engineering Award –  Engineers Without Borders uOttawa

The Best Competitive Academic Club Award – DECA uOttawa

Innovation in Health Award – Association of Black Aspiring Physicians

The Best Competitive Sports Club Award – uOttawa Esports

The Best Academic Club Award – Connecting Young Minds Undergraduate Research Conference

The Best Bilingual Club Award – Connecting Young Minds Undergraduate Research Conference

The Best Marketed Club Award – The Inte-professional Health Association

The Best Club President Award – Claire Poulin (Organ Donation Awareness Club)

The Best Political Club Award – University of Ottawa Young Liberals

The COVID Award – Refugee Support Association

The Best New Club Award – Refugee Support Association

The Campus Vibez Award – Black Student Leaders Association (BSLAÉN)

The RBC Inclusiveness and Diversity Award – Black Student Leaders Association (BSLAÉN)

The Best Philanthropic Club Award – International Justice Mission uOttawa

The Best Club Event Award – Espresso Yo-Self by TalkMusic and SOSR

Innovation in Science Award – uOttawa WISE – Women in Science and Engineering

The Best UOSU Student Services Award – Sustainability Centre

Innovation in Law Award – OUTLaw 2SLGBTQ+ Law Student Association 

Innovation in Arts Award – The Art for Change

The Best Marketed Event Award – CASCO’s 21st Annual Gala – CASCO Charity Organization