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