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Society Awards 21: The Winners

Posted by The Socs Box on Tue, 04-05-2021

On the 28th of April 2021 the NUI Galway Society Awards were hosted online for the second time ever. The event stood out as a bright monument to the astonishing achievements of the students and societies of NUI Galway this past year.  In a usual year societies collectively would organise about 3000 events, and at the start of this academic year all indications pointed towards societies not being in a position to organise many events at all. In-person events were prohibited to ensure student safety and online events had historically been a scarcity. Remarkably societies this year have organised 1750 events to date, not only is this impressive in number, the wide array of events showcased the creativity and ingenuity at play across the Societies. The adjudicators of the awards were astounded by the scope, size and imagination of the applications. 


Dramsoc, who won Best Society Cultural Academic & Social, hosted the virtual ISDAs (Irish Student Drama Awards) during the summer, and throughout the year followed up with numerous live virtual productions, social evenings, and a Theatre Week - an impressive 63 events in total. Their Auditor, Richard Brown, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to societies, and the society won the most ALIVE Award for having the most members engage with ALIVE Volunteering. 36 of their members received their ALIVE President Award and volunteered a total of 3810 hours. They also won Best Poster for an event they co-hosted with the GUMS Musical Society. GUMS Musical Society won the Best Promotional Campaign for their society rebrand and their 'Ara Look After Yourself Week' won Best Mental Health-Promoting Event. In addition, they organised 41 events and hosted an award winning Musical Intervarsity Celebration. 


Best Departmental Society was won by the Medial Society who hosted social events, online fitness classes, guest speakers and their ‘100 miles with Medsoc’, which raised €10,509.90 for JIGSAW and the Claddagh Watch Patrol. Another big winner on the night was Energy Society who won Best Green initiative for their ‘EcoTracker’ App - a sustainable solution app which encourages and educates people to make sustainable choices. Energy Soc’s Hannah Aris also won Best Individual for her work on and off campus promoting sustainability, which included impressive work with beach cleanups and tree planting. Law Society won Most Soccessful Society for their extraordinary year which included their Centenary Celebrations Week and the Best Fresher award went to their committee member Anna Lee Dowling - a rising star amongst societies who is on track to be the Auditor of Law Soc next year. FLAC Society won Most Improved Society, they successfully had engagement with their Free Legal Advice Clinic turning this year’s online nature of society work into an advantage by reaching more people than they had on campus. They also organised an assortment of social events and inter-society collaborations. Anime & Manga Society took home the award  for Best Event for their organisation of the large society collaborative event ‘SOC STREAM’ - a 12 hour, and 48 hour streaming event - which saw  €600 raised for Teach Solais, and €1500 raised for COPE. 


Another big winner on the night was Paediatric Society who won Best Society Civic/Charity, and Best Intervarsity for their ‘Gaming for Galway Autism Partnership’ event, where Paediatric Societies from universities from all around the country gathered and raised over €1000 for Galway Autism Partnership. Best Promotional Video went to Fansci, for a comically creative video to entice new members to join the board game society. Best publication went to the LGBTQ+ Bród Society for the ‘Bród Book’ - a book detailing art from the LGBTQ+ community with all proceeds going to Teach Solais. Compsoc won best website with a sleek, informative site. The Phoenix Award - an award which goes to a society who have gone from being close to non-existent to flourishing went to Feminist Society who held 69 events prompting debate and discourse around current day topics. The Best New Society Award went to WiSTEM, a society who support women to achieve their full potential and promote gender diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Their achievements would have been impressive even if it wasn't their first year, but they hit the ground running hosting guest speakers, social nights, networking events and intervarsity events led by the indomitable Aoibhinn Sheedy. Choral Society won Best Cultural Contribution and Best photo and produced several beautiful choral videos keeping their members engaged throughout the year, managing to overcome the specific struggles that face a group of people trying to sing together online. There were also a large number of special awards presented on the evening (see the full list below).


While awards by their very nature have winners, the entrants who didn’t win were no less impressive -the judges were stunned that this year of all years proved to be so difficult to decide winners. Those societies who did not manage to enter for the awards are also deserving of praise, this year has undoubtedly been a difficult one, yet societies consistently turned up for their members carefully crafting spaces in the online world for other students to reach out, engage socially and make human connections.  With over 10,000 members and 3,550 new members joining since September and an impressive list of new societies being formed this year, we can safely say that NUI Galway Societies have not only weathered the pandemic, but have learnt new lessons about communication and the importance of community and the importance of their role at the very heart of Universitylife and a shining example of what education is all about.


In the words of Ríona Hughes, Societies Officer: “ The atmosphere at the Socs Awards was electric, which is no small feat considering it was on Zoom instead of in a ballroom! I’ve been very impressed by the passion and engagement shown by societies this year, in the middle of a pandemic no less. The Societies Office continued to support societies with a Virtual Help Desk and provided a wide range of training opportunities and worked with colleagues across the university to enhance the student experience despite Covid-19. What I would say to every society, irrespective of your level of activity, If you made a difference to even just one member and supported your fellow committee members this year then you have been successful. This year has been challenging and if your society encountered insurmountable difficulties and had to take a year off, that is fine too as we will welcome you back when you are ready. Thank you to all involved in supporting the societies and our students this year and making this event such a celebration. ”


NUI Awards Awards The Results

These were adjudicated by a panel of judges.


The following Awards are eligible to represent the university at the BICS National Society Awards which will take place on July 15th.

Best Society Cultural/Academic/Social

Nominations: 

Choral Soc

Classics Soc

Emergency Medicine Soc

GUMS

Cheerleading Soc

Med Soc

FanSci

DramSoc

Bród Soc

Energy Soc

Winner: DramSoc


Best Society Civic/Charity

Nominations:

Feminist Soc

Paediatric Soc

Best Buddies

Winners: Paediatric Soc


Best Departmental

Nominations: 

Classics Soc

Emergency Medicine Soc

Medicine Soc

Winner: Medicine Soc


Best Event

Nominations: 

St.Patrick’s Speed Dating (Cheerleading Soc)

Gaming for Galway Autism Partnership (Paediatric Soc)

SOCS Stream (Anime and Manga Soc et al.)

Rainbow Week (Bród Soc)

Teaching Tuesday (Emergency Medicine Soc)

My Own Dear Galway Bay (Choral Soc)

Nostalgia Week (GUMS)

Environmentalism and Feminism (FemSoc)

FanSci 30th Anniversary (FanSci)

Winner: SOCS Stream


Most Improved Society

Nominations: 

Choral Soc

Time Lord Soc

FLAC

Feminist Soc

Paediatric Soc

Consultants and Entrepreneurs Soc

Winners: FLAC (Free Legal Advice Clinic)


Best New Society 

Nominations:

Book Club

Postgraduate Research Soc

ELSA Soc

WiSTEM

Winner: WiSTEM


Best Individual

Nominations: 

Richard Brown (DramSoc)

Aoibhin Sheedy (WiStem)

Hannah Aris (Energy Soc)

Ethan Wilkinson (Anime and Manga Soc)

Niamh Lynch (Law Soc)

Lauren Walsh Foody (Bród Soc)

Dean McDevitt (Time Lord Soc)

Samuel Touhy (GUMS)

Ciara O’Neill (Cheerleading Soc)

Malena Sara Thern (Book Club)

Liam McBrearty (Bród Soc)

Winner: Hannah Aris (Energy Soc)


Best Fresher

Nominations: 

Anna Lee Dowling (Law Soc)

Caolan Moriarty (GUMS)

Michael Arrigan (GUMS)

Keith Rabbitte (CompSoc)

Áine Donnelly (An Cumman Gaelach)

Gráinne Reynolds (Cheerleading Soc)

Seán Egan (DramSoc)

Annabelle Comer-Halliwell (Choral Soc)

Aodhan O’Meara (FanSci)

Sadhbh Ni Bhéarra (Bród Soc)

Neassa O’Connor (FanSci)

Phillipa Byford (Writer’s Soc)

Sahara Rose-Farris (Anime and Manga Soc)

Winner: Anna Lee Dowling (Law Soc)


Best Green Initiative: 

Winner: Energy Society


Best Mental Health Promoting Event: 

Winner: GUMS Musical Society
‘Ara Look After Yourself Week’


Best Promo Video

Nominations: 

FanSci Promo Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiw3x02l5qs

Bród Soc Rainbow Sleepover Announcement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU_ELzqINy8&t=9s

Energy Soc Green Energy Festival

Link

DramSoc Seven Deadly Sins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1JM5NDzWTM

GUMS, What is GUMS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zdgv6ADoYM

Time Lord Soc SOCS Stream Promo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiqTBtv0EMY

Cheerleading Soc Welcome to NUIG Cheerleading https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrK0kIiqoBg

Choral Soc Christmas Concert Teaser https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=390418145555225

Winner: FanSci Promo Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiw3x02l5qs


Best Publicity Campaign

Nominations

DramSoc, DramSoc Weekly

GUMS, GUMS Society Rebrand

Law Soc, Centenary Celebrations

Winner: GUMS, GUMS Society Rebrand 


Best Intervarsity: 

Winners: Paediatric Soc and GUMS


Best Poster

Nominations:

DramSoc, Monologues Amongst Mayhem

DramSoc, The Last Will and Testicle of Aidan McNamara

Anime and Manga Soc, Model UN

Arch Soc, Have Trowel, Will Travel

Bród Soc, D&D and Me

Chem Soc, Mask-Erade

DramSoc and GUMS, Family Feud

Winner: GUMS/DramSoc (Family Feud Poster designed by Noel Minogue)


Best Photo

Nominees: 

Energy Soc 

Anime and Manga Soc

Choral Soc

DramSoc

Winner: Choral Society Sally Gardens Photo.


Best Small Publication

Nominations: 

Bród Soc, Bród Book

DramSoc, DramSoc Download

LawSoc, Law Gazette

Writer’s Soc, From the Ashes

Winner: Bród Soc (Bród Book)


Best Cultural Contribution

Nominations:

DramSoc

GUMS

Choral Soc

Winner: Choral Soc


Best Website

Nominations

Arch Soc

Choral Soc

CompSoc

DramSoc

Law Soc

GUMS

Stoic Soc

Winner: CompSoc https://compsoc.ie


Phoenix Award: 

Winner: FemSoc


Most Soccessful: 

Winner: Law Soc


Most ALIVE: 

Winner: DramSoc


Special Awards

-Most Events: Postgraduate Research Society 

-Best Treasurer: Lauren Muldowney (MedSoc)

-Best Discord Server: Book Club

-New Kids on the Block: Nursing and Midwifery

-Most Frequent Visitor: Conor McGovern

-COVID Champions: Cheer Soc

-Best Podcast: Arch Soc (Have Trowel, Will Travel)

-Most Wholesome: Baking Soc

-Community Engagement: Best Buddies

-Best Outreach: Bród Soc

-Best Themed Week: Cumann Gaelach

-Adapting to Lockdown: Classics Soc

-Best News Article: Film Soc

-Against All Odds: DanSoc

-Best Community Impact: Environmental Soc

-Best Communication: Writers’ Soc

-Best Skill Development: Consultants and Entrepreneurs Soc 

-Talk of the Year: Cumann Staire (A Talk on Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes by Dr.Sarah-Anne Buckley)

-Best Team Event: Emergency Medicine Soc

-Best Music Award: Trad Soc

-Best Online Community: Time Lord Soc

-Among Us Champions: Anime and Manga Soc

-Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Brown

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