DSA Convocation turned Virtual Student Recognition Week


File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Fawaz Adesina, a 2019 alumnus, receives the Role Model of the Year award 2019.

The Division for Student Affairs is planning a virtual alternative to its annual awards ceremony to honor student leaders, faculty, staff and organizations.

The 40th DSA Awards Convocation was originally scheduled for Tuesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Grand Ballroom. Since campus events have been canceled, DSA has been working with the Office for Student Engagement to build a digital version of the annual convocation so that individuals and organizations within the campus community are recognized. 

Earlier in the semester, OSE notified those who received nominations to apply for a DSA Convocation Award. The nominees who applied will be recognized and are eligible to receive an award during the Virtual Student Recognition week from April 27-30. 

Eric Summers, vice president of student affairs, explained why DSA wants to hold a virtual version of the convocation.

“Although we had to cancel DSA Convocation, the last thing we wanted was for our student leaders to go unrecognized for their tireless commitment to campus life,” said Summers.

Marjorie Parker, interim director of OSE and chair of the convocation committee, explained the preparations going into planning the virtual event. The committee has been communicating through Google Meet, email and GroupMe to produce an organized experience for applicants and anyone who wants to tune in.

“We’re trying to work on, digitally, what that looks like,” explained Parker. “We’re working on the look, the graphics, what comes out first, how we’re promoting it, what pages of social media platforms we’re using. It’s a lot going into it, but we’re doing our best to try to make it nice and something that students will still feel is an honor.”

OSE requested applicants’ headshots for the graphics being designed for the week’s digital festivities. Parker elaborated on the process and what preparations still need to be made.

“Like I was saying, the graphics and just finalizing the days and making sure the awards fit over which days, and making sure students turned in their headshots,” explained Parker. “Any student who applied for an award, we requested their headshot from those students so that they’ll be surprised if they’re nominated or if they won the award.”

Parker commented on what the campus community should look forward to when anticipating this event.

“They should expect something that is quality and something that is going to be entertaining even though it’s on a digital platform,” said Parker. “It’s going to be posts, but it’s still going to be clean and something that people will want to engage with.”

Parker shared what she feels will make the event a success.

“I think, as long as students feel like they are getting something out of it, that they were recognized in some capacity—for some of them, they’re seniors, so giving them some closure,” said Parker.

On behalf of OSE and DSA Parker shared that although this year is different, the departments are working to make the virtual event as enjoyable for participants as possible. 

“We’re excited,” expressed Parker. “We’re working hard to ensure that they get something out of it. Even though it’s on social media, and it’s just a post or a video, it’s still from the heart, and we are working hard to ensure that they have a positive experience from it.”