After another year of student-run events and club leadership, the Center for Student Programs honored outstanding student leaders and groups at the annual Saxa Awards on Wednesday afternoon.
The CSP recognized students nominated by their peers for their contributions to student organizations and groups that have enhanced student life.
CSP Director Erika Cohen Derr presented the awards.
“I can’t help but feel incredibly lucky and fortunate to do the work I do everyday [with] the students who make Georgetown the vibrant and passionate place that it is,” Cohen Derr said. “You are the ones who think critically about what our campus needs — how to bring the rest of the world to the Hilltop and the Hilltop to the rest of the world.”
For his work coordinating the Georgetown University Grilling Society 10th anniversary celebration in the fall, Chris Griffin (MSB ’13) was named outstanding leader of a Student Activities Commission organization. Former SAC Chair Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14) won the award for outstanding leader of an administrative group.
The Tocqueville Forum Student Fellows — after its first year as a SAC organization — was named best new organization and the Latin American Student Association won the award presented to an outstanding student organization. For its use of HoyaLink, the European Club won a new award for best use of the online platform.
Georgetown University Student Association senator Abby Cooner (SFS ’16), who helped establish theGUSA senate Subcommittee on Food Service earlier this year, was awarded the Georgetown Opportunities for Leadership Development Emerging Leaders Award, presented to an underclassman for promising leadership.
“I am really flattered to be nominated for this award,” Cooner said. “It was such a surprise, but it truly means a lot to me to be honored in this company of people.”
In addition to the awards given by the CSP, Kris Nessler, the new director of Georgetown University Outdoor Education, honored Base Camp Manager Kendra Layton (COL ’15) and Rock-Climbing Coordinator Zach Sawyer (COL ’15) as best outdoor educators.
“I think [Kendra and Zack] really embody the spirit of Outdoor Ed,” Nessler said. “They’ve been so important with keeping things together this past year during transition. Zack is so passionate about rock climbing and Kendra, as base camp coordinator, just really knows what going on.”
Cohen Derr said that student group activism has increased over past year.
“There’s an abundance of creativity to serve new groups [and] an abundance of activism,” she said. “From work on immigrants’ rights and the Dream Act to divesting from fossil fuels to — most recently — garnering support for our historical Heyden Observatory.”
Though the event honored students and student groups, Cohen Derr acknowledged the obstacles these groups have faced throughout this year, noting the space constraints put upon many student groups by construction on the Healey Family Student Center in New South Hall.
“Probably 60 percent of the conversations I have somehow deal with the fact that we are constrained,” Cohen Derr said. “We never have quite enough. We have more SAC funding, but often our greatest constraint is your time — you have internships, jobs. Yet, you have truly deep commitment to the roles you hold. I think it’s important to honor the constraints you live with and how you deal with them.”
The Saxa Award ceremony also included the presentation of the Bunn Awards for Student Journalism. THE HOYA won 12 of the 18 awards, including five of the six first-place honors. The Voice was awarded six awards, including the first-place award in the sports category.