Interview with Student of the Year nominee Simron Kandola

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Photo: Lauren Kirk

If you haven’t heard of Simron Kandola by now, you have probably been living under a rock whilst at Stirling University.

From founding the Stirling University Volunteering Society, Simron has been building his name as a STEER Intern, Treasurer for Tedx University of Stirling Society, and now a Volunteer Recruitment Assistant at Kids Run Free.

Now in his final year as a Human Resource Management and Law student at Stirling, Simron was last month shortlisted for Student of the Year at the NUS Scotland Awards.

“I didn’t even know that someone within the Stirling Students’ Union had shortlisted me until the shortlist was announced two weeks ago, which took me by surprise and was an absolute shock!”, he said.

“It feels fantastic to be recognised through this award. It shows just how valued students are at the university, and how each person’s individual contributions within the Union can make such a massive difference within it”.

The NUS Scotland Awards are an annual event to commemorate the work done by Scottish universities and their Students’ Unions, as well as individuals who stand out from the crowd.

Simron said: “I think I was given this nomination due to my outstanding dedication towards volunteering, and being an active member within the Union, as well as directly helping the local community.

“This includes me being an active member of the F Team (Freshers Team) and the V Team (Volunteer Team) for the last 2 years, as well as being employed as a Barista within the Union and being able to co-found four new clubs within the Union – the Barnardo’s Society, Doctor Who Society, Sociology Society & Volunteering Society”.

Simron’s voluntary work has made a huge contribution to the local community. As president of the Volunteering Society, he has overseen the society raise over £3000 for local charities in the last two years, and made over 4000 food donations to Start-Up Stirling, the local food bank.

The nominee shortlists for the NUS Awards are selected by a panel of experienced individuals in the education sector and beyond.

Nominations can can be made by any student of staff member at the university, nominating a member of staff or student who has had a positive effect to the community.

Also nominated in the other categories is Stirling’s Students’ Union in the “Students’ Association of the Year” category, and the Union’s Big Rent Campaign for the “Campaigns Award”.

“The NUS Scotland Awards are very important in raising the awareness of Student Unions across Scotland, and the positive difference they are making at their universities, as well as recognising the achievements that certain individuals, student officers and Unions have made within their universities”, noted Simron.

He added: “Students should make the most of this award, and be able to nominate a fellow student, their Union and school officers to raise the awareness of the positive impact the Stirling Students’ Union has made over the years, including the changes that are yet to come in the future”.

Often students are unaware of the work done by NUS and their own Students’ Union. Simron believes these awards go some way to promoting and recognising the work done by these organisations, which have such a huge influence on the learning and teaching experienced by students.

It is about recognising “unsung heroes” and success stories, and celebrating the difference Unions make to students throughout Scotland’s universities.

Simron said: “I would like to say a special thank you to Alban Dickson, Jess Logan and to all the Sabbatical Officers, Student Officers and staff within the Union and at the university for all their help, support and guidance over the last few years, and for helping me get this nomination.

“I would also like to say thank you to all my fellow friends, students and flatmates at Stirling, and to my amazing Stirling University Volunteering Society committee team members (Cameron Reid, Caroll Ewen and Leah Howells) for all their help and support.

“Also, thank you to all our student volunteers over the last three years. Thank you all so much.”

The winners will be announced on Friday March 24 at an event in Dundee. Simron is also nominated for the no-less-prestigious Clubs and Socs Ball Awards of ‘Biggest Contribution’ and ‘Lifetime Contribution’.

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