(From L-R): Nikeel Seth, award recipient, Ms Nirmala Nambiar, Westpac Head of Marketing and Sadaf Shameem, 2016 Buddy of the Year.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Campus Life Section successfully hosted an awards night for the First Year Experience Buddy Programme on 30 September 2017.
A major highlight of the programme was the 2017 Buddy of the Year Award which was sponsored by Wesptac Banking Corporation and as part of the award, the winner, Nikeel Krishneel Seth will travel to an Australian university in Semester 1, 2018 to get an international student experience and meet with relevant bodies in the university there.
The First Year Experience Office provides programmes and services to all new students on USP’s Laucala Campus and the programme assists first year students to:
Familiarise themselves with the campus facilities and other facilities off campus;
Identify available university support services, schools and faculty offices, and provides information on the University policies and procedures;
Engage in social activities to get to know and meet other students; and
Build their self-confidence in their ability to negotiate a new and challenging environment.
The Buddy Programme is a year-long volunteer programme where senior students mentor first year students, and assist them in the first year non-academic aspects.
Professor Richard Coll, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Learning, Teaching and Student Services and Chief Guest at the Awards Night said that with thousands of students who start their university life each year, it can become quite a task to reach out to each and every one and added that this is where the buddies come in to help.
“The work that you do is priceless, but (award) is one way we get to thank you for your hard work and loyalty to the programme,” Professor Coll said.
Professor Coll noted that there was a need to reach out to new students and he thanked Mr Glenn Pope, Group Manager, Campus Life for introducing the buddy programme at USP.
“You as students should take advantage of the various services and activities we provide for you and volunteering in a programme like this will help your employability, and reward you with a great deal of experience, and help you make lifelong friendships,” he told the buddies at the award.
“You are an important asset in ensuring that first year students complete their first year smoothly,” he added.
Nikeel, while receiving his award said that it was a bonus and an added motivation.
“I like to help other students and think all students should do the same and help their peers. I have not been overseas so am really excited about my university trip. I will get to learn how things are done there and implement the same when I am back,” Nikeel said.
There were a total of 192 Buddies and twenty (20) received outstanding Certificates.
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