The Students’ Union at Robert Gordon University (RGU) is celebrating a hat-trick of national awards.
RGU:Union scooped the accolades for Officer Team of the Year, and Equality and Diversity, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland Awards.
It was awarded Officer Team of the Year in recognition of the hard work and commitment of the three student presidents in ensuring RGU’s Students’ Union achieves its aims and objectives.
Student presidents Paul Greene, Steven Mills and Paddy Maughan were commended for their coordinated approach to their roles, which saw them work together to successfully establish a new Students' Union after it moved from its city centre premises to the university’s Garthdee campus.
They worked hard to engage with the student body throughout the year, introducing a new constitution, launching various campaigns and initiatives, engaging heavily with the student body to achieve a significant increase in student participation, as well as the highest society and sports club membership take up the Students’ Union has ever received.
RGU:Union won the Equality and Diversity Award for its work in strengthening equality and diversity across the university including introducing a new Equal Opportunities Policy which is embedded in all of the procedures and operations of the Students’ Union.
The Students’ Union also strengthened its governance structure by creating student equality champion roles which work in partnership with the RGU’s staff equivalents to promote their strands as well as host diversity weeks such as ‘Disability Awareness Week’ which RGU:Union introduced to the academic calendar.
RGU:Union’s longest serving member of staff, Audrey Bainbridge, was also honoured by NUS, which created a Lifetime Achievement Award specifically for her in recognition of her 37 years of service in supporting the student body.
Audrey spent thirty years of her career single-handily running the RGU:Union’s advice department and was instrumental in the creation of student societies. Her involvement with sport at RGU saw her help to establish the historic universities boat race and play a significant part in the opening of RGU:SPORT.
RGU’s student president for education and welfare, who attended the award ceremony, said: “We are thrilled to have won two accolades and are delighted that Audrey has been honoured for her lifetime of work. She truly has been instrumental to RGU:Union and a lot of what we have in place now is all down to her. The fact that NUS created the award just for her is a testament to everything she has achieved for our students.
“We are really pleased to have won the Equality and Diversity category as we have worked hard to embed equality and diversity into our plans, policies and visions and have since seen a huge impact in our student engagement as well as a more diverse spectrum of student representation.”
Michele Collie, the general manager of RGU:Union, who nominated the three student presidents for the Officer Team of the Year award, said: “The three presidents have shown significant effort, creativity, passion and patience during their term, even in the face of some very large barriers. RGU:Union is the best it has ever been and this is largely down to the work of our current presidents.
“They work strategically and support each other’s aims and campaigns and have launched some fantastic initiatives throughout the year. They even passed a constitution with byelaws and a trustee board, which strengthens the governance structure and flexibility for the future generations of sabbaticals.”
The NUS Scotland Awards celebrate the work of individual students, student groups and student associations from universities across Scotland. This year NUS Scotland received a record number of nominations for the awards.
RGU:Union picked up its accolades at NUS Scotland’s annual award ceremony which was held in Dundee on Saturday, March 22.