The Student Group Awards

The Student Group Awards is our end-of-year award scheme for Queen Mary Students’ Union affiliated societies, student media outlets and volunteering groups. The award scheme intends to recognise the accomplishments that your student group has had in the past academic year, and to reward your hard work.

Nominations and submissions for the Student Group Awards for 2021 have now closed. Winners will be announced between 19-23 April on QMSU Societies Instagram.


Baseline Award: The Trophies

At the base of our Student Group Awards, is our point-based criteria. Student groups will earn points for completing each criteria. Depending on how many points a student group earn, student groups could be rewarded with a bronze, silver or gold trophy to recognise their hard work.

Trophy Points needed
Bronze 100
Silver 140
Gold 180


Additional Awards

We know that some student groups will have excelled in certain areas that our list of criteria only touches upon. So, to reward your student group for going above and beyond, we also have the following awards available:

This will be awarded to a student group who have promoted an environment that welcomes all students, that combats discrimination and prejudice, and remains committed in representing the diverse student body of Queen Mary University.


Shortlist: (Society)
  • BL Craft Society
  • Dental Society
  • Formula Student
  • Law Society
  • International Society
  • Surgical Society

Winners:

Dental Society: Additionally, the outlet has been providing extensive feedback to their writers on each piece, enabling them to all learn and improve.

Law Society: Law society organised events focused on disabled students and the LGBTQ+ community. For LGBT+ History month they organised a panel discussion and networking event with role models from their field. For every participant in attendance, they pledged to donate £3 to the LGBT Foundation.


Winner: (Student Media)

CUB: CUB have created a Black Lives Matter section which is updated regularly to inform about the movement. The section is updated by all segments within the magazine, making it an intersectional area, echoing that the matter is prevalent in all aspects of the world.

This will be awarded to the student group who has adapted the best to online activity and continued to provide members with activities, events, and a community that they can engage with from the comfort of their own home.


Shortlist:
  • BL Dance
  • BL Music
  • Erasmus Student Network
  • QM Theatre Company
  • Salsa Society
  • Students for Global Health

Winner:

Salsa Society: Against all odds this society put together a fantastic programme of events this year despite the limitations of being online. Instead of a barrier, they saw an opportunity to explore different ways to deliver their activities and successfully transitioned into an active online community.

The Societies Board also wanted to acknowledge the hard work all our physical activity societies have done this year to adapt to an online platform – this is not an easy job to do!

This will be awarded to a student group that has been affiliated between March 2020 and February 2021 and has exceeded expectations and shown commitment to future development.


Shortlist: (Society)
  • BL Craft Society
  • Chemistry Society
  • Criminal Justice Society
  • Filipino Society
  • International Society
  • Retrospective Society

Winner:

BL Craft Society: Their marketing team has done a wonderful job of engaging students through social media, and have engaged students from Mile End as well as BL. They’ve hosted a variety of different virtual events and on average sell 60 ticket per event.


Winner: (Student Media)

Diaspora Speaks: Diaspora Speaks is the first outlet with a main focus of increasing the number of BAME students involved in student media. Despite launching in a pandemic, they have managed to host over 15 events and publish 70 articles.

This will be awarded to a student group who has made a positive impact on the world around them through activities seeking to address global challenges such as environmental sustainability, inequality, climate change, peace and justice.


Shortlist: (Society)
  • BL Craft Society
  • Criminal Justice Society
  • European Law Students' Association
  • Oncology Society

Winner:

European Law Students' Association: They have hosted events on environmental sustainability and climate change and fundraised for environmental charities and have also raised money for refugees.


Winner: (Student Media)

Diaspora Speaks: Their aim has been to diversify student media by encouraging students of colour to gain experience in media and magazine writing and exploring the creative media industries.

This will be awarded to a student group who has continued to promote their members personal development and has organised a range of informative and engaging activities/events centred around employability.


Shortlist: (Society)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Society
  • BioMedics’ Society
  • BL CLASS
  • Business & Enterprise Society
  • Criminal Justice Society

Winner:

Alternative Dispute Resolution Society: This group has done a tremendous amount to support their members’ personal development with a range of activities. They have organised networking opportunities, negotiation competitions, workshops, podcasts, and mentorship schemes.


Winner: (Student Media)

CUB: CUB launched their Journalism and Media 101 webinar series to promote employability of their members, specifically in journalism and media sectors. This series included speakers from a range of backgrounds to speak about the multitude of careers available and it included writing workshops to help members refine their work and boost their creativity.

This will be awarded to the student group who has proved they value their members and have built a strong community. There are two awards in this category, to recognise our different communities: Mile End students, BL students.


Shortlist (Mile End):
  • Book Club
  • Criminal Justice
  • Formula
  • Hyperlink
  • Retrospective
  • Salsa Society

Winner:

Book Club: Book Club has organised several activities and have doubled their membership since the start of the year. The organise events like move nights, celebrate birthdays together, games nights, and study sessions. They have several platforms for communication including: a Whatsapp chat, a Discord server, and Instagram.


Shortlist (Whitechapel):
  • BL ACS
  • BL Dance
  • BL Tamil Society
  • GP Society
  • Oncology Society

Winner:

BL Tamil Society: This group has organised several events such as matchmaking events, meet and greets, culture and heritage workshops, and most of these have been free thus making them more accessible for all students.

This will be awarded to a student group who has continued to promote their members wellbeing and has organised a range of engaging activities/events to support students.


Shortlist: (Society)
  • BL Craft
  • Board Games Society
  • European Law Students' Association
  • Oncology Society
  • QM Yoga Society
  • Women in Healthcare

Winner:

Women in Healthcare: This group put together some wonderful care packages for students to purchase for themselves, or someone else, with the proceeds being donated to the charity Mind.

Oncology Society: The Societies Board wanted to give special recognition to Oncology Society who have collaborated with other groups to organise fundraising events and have organised revision sessions for students.

The Societies Board wanted to highlight the efforts of the European Law Students’ Association; their Welfare Officer has been working to get subtitles for online events, so they are more accessible for all students. The society has also created a Diversity and Inclusion form that was sent to all members to collect feedback and improve their activities.


Winner: (Student Media)

CUB: CUB set up a one-week event called Destress December to promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing this year for their members.

You will not be able to nominate yourself for this award, instead this will be awarded to the society, student media outlet, and volunteering group which has made a massive contribution to the student experience and has organised a wide range of events, activities and achieved their objectives and targets set in their development plans. This will be decided by the relevant sub-committee, taking in your evidence and any nominations submitted into consideration.


Shortlist: (Societies)
  • Book Club
  • BL Ophthalmology Society
  • Criminal Justice
  • Formula Student

Winner:

BL Ophthalmology Society: The Societies Board commented how they felt that this society has reinvented themselves this year: they have put on frequent events, worked closely together as a committee, and has brought on an impressive social media presence this year. They adapted all their activities to a virtual platform, including hosting a whole conference online. They have also been amazing at securing sponsorships to help secure the future of the society and making an impact outside the university community by fundraising for charity. One testimonial quoted that the committee are “incredibly passionate, run very professionally and felt very organised”, and put on “a phenomenal series of talks and revision sessions”. On top of this, they have also GROWN their society, in a pandemic, by 255%!

Law Society: The second society the Societies Board wanted to highlight was Law Society. They have been incredibly professional have worked tirelessly to support their members, holding frequent events, collaborating with other societies and exploring the diversity of their field.

Dental Society: Although Dental Society wasn't shortlisted, the Societies Board wanted to commend their excellent work this year. They consistently perform at a high calibre due to the hard work put in by their committee, and particularly their President, who received a total of 22 strong nominations across our all our individual award categories. The Societies Board particularly enjoyed the work you have put into creating videos for new students joining the university.


Shortlist: (Volunteering Group)
  • SAMDA
  • STAR

Winner:

SAMDA: SAMDA has continued to inspire a new generation of doctors and dentists via a revised and innovative package of online resources for sixth form students. Their YouTube channel has over received over 7,700 views, with each video reaching more than 300 people during the livestream, from audiences all over the globe.


Shortlist: (Student Media)
  • Peach
  • Diaspora Speaks
  • Quest
  • CUB

Winner:

Diaspora Speaks: Diaspora Speaks has won a few other Student Group awards as well as regional awards. They have uplifted and amplified people of colour. This outlet is brand new and the first of its kind here at QMSU, but they have already achieved so much in such a short space of time.

Individual Committee Member Awards

We also know that behind each student group, is a number of a committee members working hard to deliver their group alongside their studies and personal lives. To recognise this, we also have individual awards available:

As a committee member, students are required to balance their university work, personal lives and student group activities. This will be awarded to the committee member who has committed themselves to their student group despite personal challenges.


Shortlist: (Societies)
  • Dominic Wan-Ee Lee (Catholic Society)
  • Filipa Silva (Formula Student)
  • Maya Barter (Art Society)
  • Milton Justinsuthakaran (Dental Society)
  • Naomi Ayisire (BL ACS)
  • Sagal Abdullahi (Decolonise Society)
  • Tillana Tarkas (Cardiology Society)
  • Varvara Evgeniou (BL Dance)
  • Zerh Guzman (Filipino Society)

Winner:

Milton Justinsuthakaran (Dental Society): Milton has done so much for his society, despite juggling his own personal commitments. He has reached out to his society’s members to offer them support during difficult times and built and maintained strong relationships.


Shortlist: (Student Media)
  • Gemma Stokes (CUB)
  • Lara Jakobsen (Peach)
  • Ishana Ramtohul (CUB)
  • Ruby Punt (CUB)

Winner:

Gemma Stokes (CUB): Gemma has gone above and beyond in her role to make this magazine better than ever, transforming a collection of casual writers into to something resembling a professional operation and, along the way, creating a strong digital community and inspiring and supporting their writers.

This will be awarded to a committee member who has used their communication skills to effectively promote their student group and to collaborate effectively within their student group. They will have listened carefully to the perspectives of other individuals.


Shortlist: (Societies)
  • Carola Maria Bigogno (Oncology Society)
  • Elisha Mehta (Bollywood Society)
  • Isra Choudhury (Book Club)
  • Milton Justinsuthakaran (Dental Society)
  • Sanchit Jain (Indian Society)
  • Yap Shan Yi (Malaysian Society)

Winner:

Yap Shan Yi (Malaysian Society): The Societies Board wanted to highlight the extra lengths Yap has had to go to. They've been in a different country for the past academic year, in a different time zone eight hours ahead. This means they’ve hard to work extra hard to maintain excellent communication, and they have really stepped up to the challenge.


Shortlist: (Student Media)
  • Hannah Cragg (CUB)
  • Gemma Stokes (CUB)
  • Clera Rodrigues (Diaspora Speaks)
  • Sara Omar (Diaspora Speaks)

Winner:

Sara Omar (Diaspora Speaks): Sara has been in charge of their outlets social media channels, successfully increasing engagement by over 800 followers through innovating and engaging content.

This will be awarded to the committee member who has worked well within their committee, through acting with integrity and fairness. They will have shown respect for their members and taken responsibility.


Shortlist: (societies)
  • Jacobo Pavía Palmlöf (Formula)
  • Maliha Zaman (Art Society)
  • Milton Justinsuthakaran (Dental Society)
  • Wei Chin Ng (Cardiology Society)
  • Zerh Guzman (Filipino Society)

Winner:

Wei Chin Ng (Cardiology Society): Wei has spearheaded a mentoring programme which has been extremely beneficial for students. They also took a role in organising the annual National Undergraduate Cardiology Conference.

The Societies Board wanted to give special recognition to Milton Justinsuthakaran (Dental Society) because he received many nominations citing his kindness and support to all committee members.


Shortlist: (Student Media)
  • Joshua Fraser (CUB)
  • Katy Mortimore (CUB)
  • Maisie Beckett (CUB)
  • Emily Clements (CUB)

Winner:

Katy Mortimore (CUB): Katy was faced with a challenge this year of a lack of contributors but pushed through, took on extra duties, and worked twice as hard to create content and keep their outlet advertised to the wider student community.

This will be awarded to a committee member who has used critical and creative thinking to address challenges that their student group has faced this academic year.


Shortlist: (Societies)
  • Amy Bholah (Art & Girl Up)
  • Dimitra Nofa El Suleiman (Salsa)
  • Marcin Bielicki (Hyperlink)
  • Meera Mahesh & Emily Taylor (BL Music)
  • Tejal (Criminal Justice)
  • Thomas Sittek (ELSA)

Winner:

Marcin Bielicki (Hyperlink): Marcin has reached out to similar societies at other universities to gain insight to solve problems, and has have launched crowdfunding campaigns to fund their activities.


Shortlist: (Student Media)
  • Gemma Stokes (CUB)
  • Clera Rodrigues (Diaspora Speaks)
  • Dalia Kandil (Quest)
  • Joshua Fraser (CUB)

Winner:

Clera Rodrigues (Diaspora Speaks): This year Clera has implemented a ‘Media Literacy’ crash course for writers, a writing protocol including a ‘writing template’ for all writers, one to one meetings with all writers booked in via an online process, and creating shared online accounts for easy editor collaboration.


Winner (Group):

CUB: CUB has taken full advantage of the online environment and different platforms to engage and develop members, whilst keeping everyone safe online. Arranging regular events provided members with something to look forward to.

This will be awarded to the committee member who has reflected on the world around them and used this to create a positive environment. They will have striven to make their student group inclusive, diverse and sought to address external challenges such as environmental sustainability, inequality, climate change, peace and justice.


Shortlist: (Societies)
  • Amy Bholah (Art & Girl Up)
  • Kimia Dardashti (ELSA)
  • Milton Justinsuthakaran (Dental Society)
  • Sahra-Isha Muhammad Jones (Decolonise QMUL)
  • Tillana Tarkas (Cardiology Society)

Winners:

Amy Bholah (Art & Girl Up): Amy founded Girl Up last year and has since set up fundraisers and campaigns advancing gender equality.

Tillana Tarkas (Cardiology Society): The Societies Board wanted to acknowledge Tillana's length of service in the role as she has been on the society's committee for six years now and is the only female president in the society’s history.


Shortlist: (Student Media)
  • Sawdah Bhaimiya (Diaspora Speaks)
  • Sara Omar (Diaspora Speaks)
  • Gemma Stokes (CUB)
  • Ema Rutkeviciute (Dental Mirror)

Winner:

Sara Omar (Diaspora Speaks): Sara’s dedication to creating spaces for marginalised communities has brought many new perspectives and articles to fruition. She has been spotlighting writers who would not otherwise have had the space to provide their thoughts.

The panel wanted to recognise the positive impact that Sawdah Bhaimiya (Diaspora Speaks) has made for her outlet and its members.

This will be awarded to the committee member who knows Queen Mary Students’ Union’s policies like the back of their hand! They can’t get enough of training, and always work to make sure that their student group adheres to procedures to be the best they can be.


Shortlist: (Societies)
  • Michal Gruchalski (Hyperlink)
  • Milton Justinsuthakaran (Dental Society)
  • Sanchit Jain (Indian Society)

Winner:

Michal Gruchalski (Hyperlink): The Societies Board especially acknowledged how knowledgeable Mihcal is and what a difference that has made for their society.


Shortlist: (Student Media)
  • Amelia Elamradi (CUB)
  • Nabia Kiran (CUB)
  • Sara Omar (Diaspora Speaks)
  • Fama Matel Manneh (Diaspora Speaks)

Winner:

Fama Matel Manneh (Diaspora Speaks): Fama has exceeded and reimagined their role as treasurer, they give guidance to their outlet to ensure managing editors and the committee are adhering to the Student Union's processes.

This will be awarded to the committee member who has strived to make a positive difference in the lives of the Queen Mary student body through the work of their student group. They will have promoted a positive and inclusive environment, through empathy and compassion.


Shortlist:
  • Lee Jo An (Malaysian Society)
  • Musammoth Mahima (Book Club)
  • Giulia Peluso (Law Society)
  • Kaley Ainsworth (BL Dance)
  • Kauther Al-Kaaby (Women in Healthcare)

Winner:

Lee Jo An (Malaysian Society): The Societies Board commented on Lee's contribution to their societies' Family scheme. Based on their suggestions, the scheme was improved this year so that families were grouped based on interest and hobbies.