Victoria College’s student government, the Victoria University Students’ Administrative Council (VUSAC), has launched a new student award with the support of Victoria University senior administration. The VUSAC BIPOC Leadership Award will be conferred upon a student identifying as Black, Indigenous or Person of Colour (BIPOC) who demonstrates involvement and service to others through positive and significant contributions to student life, the community at large, or both.
After a series of conversations with BIPOC students, student leaders identified the need to increase diverse representation in student leadership positions. As student leadership positions are largely unpaid, students, particularly those identifying as BIPOC, face financial obstacles to participating.
“This award celebrates BIPOC student leadership and contribution to our community that has not been done before,” says Michelle Zhao, VUSAC president. “We hope this award alleviates some of the financial burden students in leadership can experience and incentivize more BIPOC students to stay involved in their communities.”
VUSAC is currently fundraising for this new award, with a target of raising a total of $25,000 by the end of the Winter academic term. All gifts to the award up to a total of $12,500 will be matched by a Victoria College alumnus. Both of these will in turn be matched by Victoria University. This means that for every dollar donated, three more dollars will be added to the VUSAC BIPOC Leadership Award, quadrupling the impact of each donor’s gift.
“The Victoria University Students’ Administrative Council has demonstrated excellent leadership to engage with their peers at Victoria and to increase diversity within student leadership positions,” says Victoria University President William Robins. “They are a dedicated group of students who identified a financial barrier to participation in student leadership and organized to address the issue. I’m proud to have the University support their fundraising efforts.”
Victoria community members who are interested in contributing to the VUSAC fundraising efforts can find more information on how to give on the VUSAC BIPOC award giving page.