Samara Jones takes top honour at Love York Awards

The Love York Awards celebrate achievements across campus and student life [Image: YUSU]

Samara Jones was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Student Life Award by Rachael Maskell MP for her work as Alcuin President. The annual Love York Awards took place on 14 June at the Joseph Rowntree theatre due to the construction work currently taking place at Central Hall.

On winning the award Jones told Nouse: “Winning the award might just have been the best moment of my time at York so far … I couldn’t have done any of it without the endless support of my friends and family, sports teams, college and my committee who have made everything possible, it’s their work and trust in me that has impacted my life, so I owe them a massive thank you for getting me to where I am today. I am so humbled and honoured to have been awarded this.”

Other winners include Connor Drake, YUSU Working Class and Social Mobility Officer, who won both the Diversity and Inclusivity Award and Academic Officer Julian Porch’s Extra Mile Award. The Volunteering Award was won by OpenMinds which aims to increase awareness of mental health. The YuFund fundraising award went to the Islamic Society after raising around £4300. Society of the year was awarded to the Feminist Society and The Outstanding Leadership Award was won by Sarin Zaveri for his work with the Leading Investment and Finance Society.

Each of the outgoing Sabbs delivered speeches. Mikey Collinson gave a personal speech detailing the impact that the University of York has had on his life. Laura Carruthers discussed the Charlie Watkins Foundation and her personal experience as his friend. Harry Watkins, Charlie’s brother and the founder of the foundation, presented the Contribution to Student Well-Being which was won by ex-Disabled Stu-dents’ Officer Aisling Musson. The evening closed with a speech by outgoing YUSU president Alex Urquhart on prejudice and discrimination in the university and the importance of combating it.

Performances were given by the Latin American Society, Dancesoc and the York Hornets as well as a YSTV short film that was shot by the winner of the Student Media Award, Edwin Barnes. A sign language interpreter was onstage throughout the ceremony to help improve the accessibility of the event.

Last week also featured the STAR awards for societies at the University. Various societies came away with honours with PantSoc winning the Inclusivity award, Quidditch Society being awarded The Development Award and the Meme Society winning New Society of the Year. The African Carib-bean Society won The Community Outreach Award and Polish Society won The Engagement Award. Other winners include Cyber Society, Veg-Soc, and the Islamic Society.

Activities Officer Mikey Collin-son commented: “I’m honestly over the moon with how the STARs went last week! I always said I wanted to shout about and celebrate the fantastic work and achievements of our societies, and I’m proud we were able to recognise a huge range of societies that may not get the recognition they truly deserve.”