Student Life Awards nominations now open

GVL / Courtesy GVStudentLife

GVL / Courtesy GVStudentLife

The Grand Valley State University Office of Student Life is now accepting nominations for the Student Life Awards, an annual ceremony that gives recognition to students, registered organizations, faculty, staff and campus departments in various categories.

Josh Lee, a graduate assistant for student organization development in the OSL, is planning the awards ceremony this year. Lee said there are more than 15 awards that are given out at the end-of-the-year ceremony.

“We have individual, organizational and programming award categories,” Lee said. “The programming awards are to recognize excellence in student programming, so any student-run event qualifies for nomination.”

Just like anyone can be nominated, anyone within the GVSU community can fill out the nomination form. Lee explained that the nominations need to include a brief statement explaining why the person they chose fits the criteria, which are different for each individual award.

“Whenever we receive a nomination, we contact the person or organization that has been nominated and they can supplement their nomination with further materials (Lanthorn articles about a successful program, letters of support, etc.) before their nominations are reviewed and voted on.

Lee added that being involved with extracurricular activities is important because students need to make the most of their time at the university. This involvement can not only help build a resume, but can also help hone leadership skills, which Lee said deserve to be recognized.

“We do not spend enough time recognizing the immense amount of work and passion that our student leaders put forth in pursuit of their organization’s goals, and the Student Life Awards are a perfect place to celebrate our collective accomplishments,” Lee said.

Michelle Burke, interim student organization coordinator, also stressed the importance of the award nominations, which have been a staple at GVSU for about 20 years.

Despite GVSU having more than 400 student organizations, Burke said it is important to recognize as many individuals and groups as possible.

“The Office of Student Life wants to recognize the student leaders and organizations who are making a difference at Grand Valley,” Burke said. “These awards are focused on student organizations and leadership within those groups as well as community service.”

In addition to the honor nominees and winners will receive, several of the organization awards provide money for groups that win that category.

Burke is directly involved in the nominations process because she is the chair for the Student Organization Review Board. The board is made up of students appointed by Student Senate, as well as faculty and staff members, who review the nominations and judge the award packets. They will vote on the winners for each category on March 27.

Nominations will close on March 23. The award winners will be announced at the reception in the Kirkhof Grand River Room from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on April 16.

“All nominees will be recognized at this event,” Lee said. “If you are a nominator or a nominee, you will be invited to attend the event. In addition, recognition from various departments, along with Student Senate, will be given.”

To nominate, visit

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