UWSA Recognizes Students, Staff, Faculty During Awards Banquet

by Jolene Perron
The Lance – Editor-in-Chief

Students, staff, council and faculty gathered together to recognize outstanding students, welcome in the new UWSA council members and bid farewell to the current group during an evening of excellence last week.

With the current school year coming quickly to a close, the current member of the UWSA council have less than a month left of their short terms while other students are stressing about exams, projects and papers. The UWSA Awards Banquet Mar. 31 allowed for a few hours of good company, fine food and entertainment while it recognized some of the most outstanding students and staff, all organized by Abdi Abdi, vice president of student services, as well as a small team from the UWSA.

“Every year whoever the executive is plans this at the end of the their term. It’s important because it’s us showcasing how unified we are and it’s also celebrating student excellence regardless of any major, gender or age,” said Abdi.

The awards are always the same every year, beginning with a nomination period in which students nominate other students for specified awards. After the nomination period, a student service executive plus their committee go through the nominations and decide who is most deserving of that award.

The master of ceremonies for the evening was none other than UWSA president Ronnie Haidar. Haidar acted as not only a liaison between award presentations and a fashion show by the UWindsor fashion club, but also a moment of comedic relief accompanied by some kind words concerning is approaching departure.

“I think the incoming executives are going to do an unbelievable,” said Haidar. “I’m sad but I’m also happy. It’s like the saying ‘don’t be upset because it’s over, smile because it happened,’ that’s exactly how I feel. I’m at a loss for words for once because it’s been an unbelievable journey but I’m also excited for what the future holds for the UWSA.”

With 14 awards in total given out to a total of 24 recipients, two professors were recognized for their exellence in teaching. One of these professors was Frances Cachon who is a professor in the department of sociology. Cachon has been teaching for 10 years and graduated from the University of Windsor’s PhD program in sociology with an emphasis on social justice in 2013.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized for something I am very passionate about and to get that kind of affirmation from your students is really wonderful,” said Cachon. “I do love my job and I consider it an honor and a privilege to facilitate critical thinking in my classroom so it’s really wonderful. I often describe it as, when I’m teaching and I really feel like it’s going well, I love that feeling when you can feel the students engagement and you can feel the potential impact of what you’re teaching is having on them and that’s really powerful.”

Overall, the night went off without a hitch with additional speeches from award recipients, UWindsor president Alan Wildeman and concluding remarks from Haidar who said the night is incredibly important, not just for the establishment but the students and council as well.

“Most importantly it’s to recognize, I want to really keep that into focus – it’s to recognize the unbelievable amount of work that students put in every single day, the unsung heroes of our organization,” said Haidar. “This is an opportunity to reflect about the things that have happened. It’s no secret that we have had a four month term and things have been difficult but also things have been good and it’s really to celebrate those things and the bonds that have been created and the experiences that we have undergone together so it’s an opportunity to selflessly, even though I was the one who talked the most, it’s to celebrate and recognize all the hard work that so many people do so that students have it the best and that’s really important.”

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