Student Union hosts annual awards banquet

Student Union Awards / Photos provided by Eric Corbett
Student Union Awards / Photos provided by Eric Corbitt

 

On Sunday, April 7, the Student Union’s Campus Recreation and Student Activities Awards Banquet took place. The event was held in the Student Union from 4-6 p.m. and dinner and desserts were provided.

The banquet is an annual awards program that started in 1994 as a result of student employees focusing on fundraising.

“We recognize outgoing senior student employees, award scholarships to returning students employees and there are additional achievement awards that recognize the students that have an impact on the programs that fall under our areas,” said Eric Corbitt, director of Student Union Activities and Recreation.

Recognition could range from students leaving a legacy in some way by starting a new program, presenting great customer service or working towards changing and adjusting policies when needed. Students that have gone above and beyond what they are asked to do as a student employee or have contributed in ways that really enhanced their programs are recognized.

The scholarship program started when the Student Union was being built. Before, they had a self-operated bookstore operation.

“That was the time we had a partnership with Barnes and Noble. When they came aboard, there was an existing inventory of books they didn’t want so they just gave them to us,” said Corbitt.

The Student Union employees decided to have a fundraiser to create a scholarship program, so they had a book sale, which created the initial funds that started the process. Since then, several fundraisers have been annually conducted, whether it’s a golf tournament or concessions in swimming pool events.

Student Union Awards / Photos provided by Eric Corbett
Student Union Awards / Photos provided by Eric Corbitt

“We’ve had staff that donate regularly, and we’ve had a number of folks that were either former employees or partners with the Student Union that have created scholarships. This year, we gave away $19,500 to student employees,” said Corbitt.

Other achievement awards are named awards for mentors like Elizabeth Dixon, who was the first director of the University Center, Ken Knight who was the first director of Recreation, and Kathy Morris. Almost all of the awards are for students, except for the Dixon Award. “These awards are not monetary,” said Corbitt.

“I think it’s one of the more special programs that we offer. It’s a time that we can really appreciate the students that are such a big part of our operation. Student employees are worth just as much as 20 full-time staff for us,” said Corbitt.