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King’s Crown Awards: A Call For Nominations

Oh yeah, that's a nice one

Oh yeah, that’s a nice one

Every year, Student Affairs gives the King’s Crown Leadership Awards, which recognize CC and SEAS students for “outstanding leadership to their community/ies with exemplary commitment and energy”—or, as WikiCU puts it, students who “did a good job running a student group or did the administration’s bidding.”

King’s Crown awards start with a nomination: although only CC and SEAS students can receive the awards, anyone can send a nomination. After the February 2 deadline, the Selection Committee will review the nominations and pick the winners. Student groups can no longer win the award this year, but they are working on a new award that will include student groups and all four undergraduate schools.

In the past, former and current student government members have been exceedingly well represented as award recipients. For example, last year’s winners included Loxley Bennett (CCSC), Siddhant Bhatt (ESC), Steven Castellano (CCSC), and Tim Qin (ESC). We’ve heard complaints that student government members are soliciting nominations while carrying out their duties. One tipster even called it “a resume-stuffer for those who need it the least,” although it’s possible that they are simply part of the campus subsection that has the following and administrative influence to be selected.

To gain another perspective on the award, Bwog talked with Loxley Bennett, CC ’15, a member of CCSC and 2013 recipient who is also on this year’s selection committee. According to Bennett, the student council is well represented, along with “people who are active in the larger organizations,” but it might be because they didn’t receive nominations from a broad section of the student body. This year, one of his goals is to work against the idea that the King’s Crown is “homogeneous” by encouraging everyone to nominate.

As for allegations that the King’s Crown is a resume-stuffer, Bennett told us that “the King’s Crown gives validation for students who spent a lot of time helping out the community,” adding that, in his experience, he felt his work in CCSC was appreciated when he received the award. On the other hand, he thinks that campaigning “undermines the idea of King’s Crown” because it’s “too selfish, and the King’s Crown award is for selflessness.” According to Columbia’s Director of Leadership & Civic Engagement, Annie Virkus, there is no formal rule against self-promotion, but “students are discouraged from campaigning for themselves.”

Regardless of whether the King’s Crown Awards represent the student body well, there are definitely some great people on our campus, and you should nominate them. The deadline is February 2, 2014 at midnight. Just don’t nominate anyone who campaigned for themselves, kay?

Bling via Wikimedia

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  • CIF email-getter says:

    @CIF email-getter Lol, Bwog. If you’re gonna write a thinly veiled post about someone, you might as well put her name here. Not that it’d stop her from running for U Senate, anyway…

    1. curious says:

      @curious who’s CIF?

    2. fellow CIF recipient says:

      @fellow CIF recipient Idk, I appreciate the discretion. if she ends up running, it can be published immediately, since it shows real clumsiness. and if she doesn’t her name doesn’t have to be pegged to it.

  • Fellow CIF recipient says:

    @Fellow CIF recipient Yea, I’d really like to see her name and related emails published if she runs. Very unprofessional

  • dickwad james says:

    @dickwad james nominate me, please and thx

  • Uchechi Iteogu says:

    @Uchechi Iteogu This comment does not reflect CIF or the Office of Student Engagement as a whole, and I am speaking for myself.

    In regard to asking students for nominations, this email, which was SEPARATE from the emails containing their personalized and private decision letters, which was sent after CIF was complete, was sent to all student groups who applied to CIF. This was during the Office of Student Engagement’s mass promotion of the King’s Crown Leadership and Excellence Award and its nominations campaign this month:

    “Student Group Representatives,

    I would like once again to thank all of you for applying to the Capital Investment Fund. Since this fund was created here at Columbia, you all have helped us to allocate over $30,000 to student groups, and it’s been rewarding to see the impact of these funds. Making decisions regarding your applications was not an easy task, as we want to support all of your efforts to enhance yourselves and grow. If your group did not receive an award, I highly encourage you to reapply for the fund next year. Also, if your group applied last year, please let me know, as the administration is responsible for finalizing these, and I will set up meetings with them immediately so that we can once and for all sort them out once the semester begins.

    I would also like to use this email as an opportunity to inform you all of the King’s Crown Leadership Excellence Award. These awards provide the Columbia University community with the opportunity to recognize outstanding students in Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Nominating a student or student group takes no more than five minutes, and you can submit as many as you want. There are eight categories in which you can nominate, which include:

    Principled Action
    Civic Responsibility
    Inclusion and Advocacy
    Columbia Spirit
    Health and Wellness
    Indelible Mark
    Innovation and Enhancement
    Community Building

    Many question what “Indelible Mark” means – This award recognizes the accomplishments of students and groups in implementing sustainable change (which can be financial) for the benefit of our community and/or in leaving a lasting impression on the campus community.

    Student group representatives, I would be humbled and honored if you were to nominate me for the Indelible Mark award, as I have had the pleasure of chairing this fund since it was first introduced at Columbia and am truly invested in the overall expansion of your organizations. Nominations can be made at The deadline is February 2, 2014. Thank you all once again for helping to make the Capital Investment Fund such a success. If you would like to discuss more funding opportunities or your allocations, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Enjoy the rest of your winter breaks, and I wish you all of the best this coming semester!

    Thank you,

    Uchechi Iteogu
    Co-Chair, Capital Investment Fund”

    Let me be extremely clear that I was not begging for their nominations. As someone who assisted in hiring the individuals who work in the Office of Student Engagement this past summer, I wanted to assist them in promoting the award, which recognizes students’ and student groups’ commitment to enhancing their communities. I clarified the definition of the Indelible Mark award because this category is the one that seems to cause the most confusion, and has done so since the origin of the award. As evident in the email, I asked these student groups to nominate other individuals and student groups. I am deeply saddened by the misrepresentation of my words; I was just trying to promote the award. I’m an open, honest, and transparent person. I would love to talk to any of the student reps who applied to CIF who had concerns with my email. I don’t see anything wrong in encouraging people to nominate anyone, which is what I did. I truly encourage everyone to nominate students who they believe have tried their best in enhancing the Columbia experience.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Emphasis mine.

      > As evident in the email, I asked these student groups to nominate other individuals and student groups. I am deeply saddened by the misrepresentation of my words; I was just trying to promote the award

      Hmm, I believe the email, which Uchechi posted above, actually says:

      > I would be humbled and honored if you were to nominate me for the Indelible Mark award

      So there is no “misrepresentation” of her words here other than the spin she’s trying to put on her email after the fact.

      (I would also like to point out that Uchechi left a very similar comment on another post)

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous I guess we are leaking emails in two posts, so I will reproduce my comment from

        From: Uchechi Iteogu
        Date: Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 11:43 PM
        Subject: Chocolate Just Became Hawt Again. (Mandatory Read)
        To: [her JJ residents]

        Ello, John Jaybies!

        I completely forgot to talk about STUDY BREAKS at our floor meeting! And chocolate.

        Basically, every week this semester, you’ll be all WUTTTTT…

        Sooo, we’ll be having weekly study breaks on Sundays! We were supposed to do this last semester (yes, it’s required), and I apologize for this. Things got hectic, but this semester will be different. The schedule for snack bearers is attached to this email and will be posted in the lounge for your convenience. Basically, when it’s your turn, you will be bringing a small snack (AKA candy, a bag of chips, Ryan Gosling, even a JJ’s container filled with chicken wings) to the lounge at 9 PM on Sunday night, ’cause, you know, that’s when we remember we’re all students and have to do this thing that people call “homework,” and a little snack to go along with that Aeneid reading would be nice…

        Since we didn’t have a program in January (RAs aren’t supposed to have programs in February), we are having TWO programs this month! The first is the HAWT CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL! We will be heading to The City Bakery for a FREE chocolate festival this Saturday, February 2 at 5:30 PM. This gives you plenty of time to party that night ;) We’ll be meeting in John Jay Lounge and then head down to the bakery fo’ some treatzzz. Please let me know if you’d like to go! T-t-t-t-t-tasty tasty!

        Also, I am hard at work at planning our second next program, and it’s between the Met Opera, the New York Philharmonic, or Jazz at Lincoln Center. Also, we might see Kristin Chenoweth. GET EXCITED! Squeee! Anyway, let me know by filling out this survey.

        Finally, I would like to ask of all of you to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE nominate me for the King’s Crown Leadership Award! I received my RA assignment for next year, and I unfortunately won’t be an RA for freshmen next year, which really, really makes me sad. Corny, but it’s true. That being said, I’d like to cap off my year as an RA for freshmen with this award to remind me of how amazing it will have been to have been you guys’ RA. I would appreciate it if you nominated me for the Innovation and Enhancement Award using this link. Just type three or four sentences about why you’re nominating me, or talk about an experience or program that I planned or was involved in that you loved. Nominations end February 10 at 11:59 PM. Guys, this award would truly, truly mean the most to me because it will remind me of the fun times that we’ve had on our floor. In addition, if I win the Innovation and Enhancement Award, I will throw us a HUGE party, all on me :)

        Okay, that’s it for now!

        THANK YOU ALL!



  • Uchechi Iteogu says:

    @Uchechi Iteogu “Anonymous,”

    At the time, I was serving as a resident adviser, and the Office of Residential Programs encouraged RAs to ask our residents to nominate us if they wanted to for an award. Flyers were even distributed to RAs to post on their floors. This traditionally happens within residential programs. Again, I have no problem talking to you and providing any more information.

    1. Serpent says:

      @Serpent @Uchechi Iteogu:

      What you are claiming is that ResPrograms encourages students to nominate their RAs IF THEY LIKED THEIR WORK for awards and gives out fliers to promote the nomination process. They don’t send out emails asking residents to nominate you.

  • Shooting yourself in the foot... says:

    @Shooting yourself in the foot... Uche,

    In your email you said, “I would be humbled and honored if you were to nominate me for the Indelible Mark award.”

    ….That sentence is pretty much explicitly soliciting nominations…
    You might have been “promoting the award” but you were also promoting yourself.

  • King says:

    @King Uchechi, there is nothing wrong with wanting an award. I like getting awards too. I don’t even care that you solicited nominations-that’s how the real world works. People who ask for things are more likely to get them. My problem is that you won’t accept responsibility for your actions and are instead claiming that your words are being misrepresented when they in fact are not. That is not a leadership trait and makes you unfit for the award, IMHO.

  • hahahahaha says:

    @hahahahaha Squee!

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