This year student council, in cooperation with the Anglo-American University faculties, will introduce a new event, the 1st ever Anglo-American University Awards. Some students have wrongly assumed this is an attempt at compensation for the cancelation of this year’s ball.
To many it might seem that the student council came up with this idea on the spot when they decided to cancel the ball. However, as Tanya Becheva, president of student council explained, they came up with such concept last September. “We wanted to do the ball and the awards […] We didn’t know that the ball will be canceled,” she explained.
One of the reasons for such confusion is the lack of surveys on whether students would want to have an awards ceremony or not. Becheva explained that “the students’ culture is not present in our school,” and therefore asking their opinion would be pointless. “We don’t get [that] big of a response,” she added. Students are not always eager to participate in the events and activities organized by the student council and students participation is not at its highest.
One member of the student council, Michal Hron, stated that the awards “matured from a replacement idea, to a project of its own.” He explained that the student council is trying to deliver to students “events of a high standard.”
“It is not perfect but I believe people appreciate what we do,” he said.
The main purpose of the awards is “to acknowledge the hard work of students and teachers,” Becheva explained. However, the categories are very broad and not everyone knows someone from each major to be able to make a balanced decision.
Hron explained that voters should nominate those in categories which they think other students deserve it. “We do not requite everyone to nominate a person for every category,” he stated.
Popularity may be the winning factor according to Haruka Sato, an international relations student. “It’s more likely that the popular ones would win since people don’t usually realize the hard-workers,” said Sato. Becheva explained that this problem would always occur with such projects. “It’s out of our hands,” she stated.
Despite such difficulties, many students still think the awards will be effective and needed. “It is kind of motivation for students”, explained first year student, Julie Karabinova.
Another issue regarding awards involves the date of the event. It is set to be on May 29, however many people might already have gone to their home countries by this time and will not be able to receive their award as the last day of spring classes is May 19 and the exam period finishes May 26. Becheva explained that the student council will send emails to all the nominees during the week of the finals to inform students ahead of time. “It was the only date when everyone of the ‘big guys’ was available,” said Hron.
The event will take place in the Hoffa Bar. Despite being in Prague, not everyone is allowed
to participate. Only the nominees with one guest will be invited, and the student council expects 120 to attend.
Even though the event is an awards ceremony, there will be no prizes awarded. The nominees will only receive certificates. “It’s just a nomination,” explained Becheva. The ceremony will also include the recognition for the best Thesis Award, which Hron explained will be decided by the faculty.
So far 30 students have been nominated from the 170 nominations received.
Despite hopes for an annual event from the student council, whether the AAU awards will continue is unclear. Hron explained that this will be dependent on next years student council members. Adi Hadzic, member of the student council said, “We’re hoping that we’re going to make it long-lasting.”