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Student Organization Awards

Applying for a Student Organization Award

VALE’s Student Organization Awards recognize exemplary programs, events, or initiatives hosted by one or more student organizations during the following time period: February 16, 2019 – January 6, 2020 (between application periods).

Any Registered Student Organization (RSO) whose program, event, or initiative meets the criteria for one of the awards below is eligible to apply. Selected organizations will receive a monetary stipend to support their continued work and will be recognized at the VALE Ceremony.

Additionally, organizational recipients will be honored by having their names added to the perpetual plaques outside of Sarratt 208.

Please contact Wil De Los Santos at if you have any questions.

Student Organization Award Descriptions

Best Arts Program

The Arts at Vanderbilt flourish in a culture that embraces innovation, collaboration and cross-cultural exchange. This award recognizes any visual, literary, media, and performing arts program or initiative that fosters a culture of innovation and creativity. Overall, the program must serve to educate its audience, be open to everyone, and provide participants with a valuable, impactful takeaway.

Best Collaborative Program

Best Collaborative Program

According to the Leadership Excellence Philosophy Statement, a collaborative leader understands, values, and acts on the importance of working with others toward a common objective through the sharing of ideas and distribution of responsibilities across members.

The Award for Best Collaborative Program recognizes the unique program and/or initiative that optimally exhibits the collaborative qualities of the leadership excellence philosophy statement.

Programs must demonstrate a common vision and shared responsibility between the collaborating groups; financial co-sponsorship is not collaboration.

Applicants must demonstrate that collaboration took place between RSOs.  While collaborations with departments are also encouraged, two or more RSOs must be involved in the program and/or initiative.

Best Diversity & Inclusion Program

This award celebrates an initiative, program, or series that successfully fosters education, discussion and activity around diversity and inclusion at Vanderbilt.  Applications must clearly indicate how their initiative, program, or series meets the criteria listed below:

  • Education: Participants will leave this program with an increased awareness or more knowledge about the subject that was presented.  In addition, this event will encourage students to learn from each other as well as faculty and staff.
  • Openness: All members of the community may participate in this event as contributors, organizers, and participants.  This program will affirm the full participation of the diverse individuals and groups in attendance.
  • Takeaways: Participants feel a sense of confidence and responsibility to put into action what was learned in this program.
  • Substance: Program content is supported by relevant research, current events, and theory.  This event will foster dialogue that promotes mindfulness and raises awareness of challenges facing the Vanderbilt community.

Best Health & Wellness Program

This award recognizes a student-led program or series that serves to educate, foster and encourage practices that promote positive health and wellness on Vanderbilt’s campus.  The ideal program will have the following elements:

  • Effectively raise awareness of challenges in the areas of physical and mental health, recovery and support, and other circumstances that impede student wellbeing at Vanderbilt
  • Foster a community of care and education that supports and is inclusive of all Vanderbilt students.

Best Intercultural Awareness Program

This award recognizes a program that creatively engages the Vanderbilt and/or Nashville community by fostering international education and intercultural awareness. The program must engage the community in at least one of the following ways:

  • Providing an in-depth look at a distinct culture or population
  • Promoting a greater intercultural understanding between two or more groups
  • Fostering a supportive and collaborative spirit between groups within the community

Best Interfaith Program

This award recognizes the efforts of programs that successfully bridge communities by fostering interfaith dialogue, interfaith literacy and/or cooperation that results in service to the campus or larger community.

It is also important that the nominated program utilize at least two religiously informed viewpoints to address how attitudes, relationships and knowledge of the “religious other” benefit each group. Programs should help participants more accurately appreciate real differences while affirming common purposes embraced by all.

Community Engagement

Using the Office of Active Citizenship and Service’s (OACS) guiding principles: humble service, critical reflection, action for global justice, informed participation, acknowledging personal privilege, empathy and human dignity, and personal accountability, this award recognizes service efforts through philanthropy, activism or advocacy work. The service program must engage the local, national, or global community and have the intention of creating meaningful and sustainable change.

Applicants must identify one or more of the guiding principles addressed as well as the community needs. In addition, they must describe how service participants reflected on the impact of service and how it relates to the greater good.

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