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USP holds its First Year Experience Buddy Awards 2020

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Winner with Campus Life Team.

The Campus Life Office at USP held its First Year Experience Buddy Awards 2020 on 7th November to acknowledge the hard work of First Year Experience (FYE) volunteers who buddy first year students at USP.  The volunteers are students of USP. Close to 135 students, sponsors and Faculty staff attended the Awards Ceremony.
The Buddy Awards this year were sponsored by Vodafone Fiji and Westpac Banking Corporation.  Vodafone has been sponsoring these Awards since the Programme’s inception in 2016, and Westpac has sponsored the Buddy of the Year since 2017.  
The Campus Life Section of The University of the South Pacific (USP) is a student support department that looks after the interest and well-being of USP students.  An integral part of the Department’s structure is the First Year Experience (FYE) Office, dedicated to specifically look after the interests and progress of first year students at USP. 
In 2016, the FYE office introduced a non-academic, peer-to-peer assisted programme called the FYE Buddy Programme to assist first year students make the transition to university environment, as well as adjust better to being in a major metropolitan centre such as Suva.  
The FYE Buddy Programme has been a great success and has received numerous positive feedback from various stakeholders.

Runners up of First Year Experience Buddy Awards 2020.

This year, to celebrate the Buddy Programme’s 5th Anniversary, Campus Life invited Buddies from 2016 – 2019 as Guests of Honour. The 2016 Buddy of the Year, Sadaf Nisha Shameem, who is currently employed at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as a State Prosecutor, gave an inspiring speech.  She said non-academic mentoring is more difficult than academic mentoring. In non-academic mentoring you don’t know what the problem will be, nor do you know the type of people you will deal with. It takes a special kind of person to solve unknown problems and all you Buddies are very special.   Sadaf told the Buddies if there was anything to be taken away from the programme, it was the development of interpersonal skills.
Westpac Banking Corporation sponsored the prestigious Buddy of the Year Award. This was presented to Aniket Prasad.  For the past four years, the Westpac Buddy of the Year has had an opportunity to visit an overseas University. However, due to the pandemic and the travel ban, the Westpac Buddy of the Year was this year presented with a cash prize of $2,500.00 instead. The cheque was presented by Mr Gavin Shing, Head of Corporate and Business Banking, Westpac Fiji.
Ten ‘Silent Heroes’ were awarded the Outstanding Buddy Awards, sponsored by Vodafone Fiji. They were presented with computer tablets and Pocket WIFIs to honour and acknowledge their hard work as First Year Experience (FYE) Buddies and who have helped the department in its various activities.
The Group Manager Campus Life, Mr Glenn Pope thanked the Buddies for their dedication and commitment towards the programme. He also thanked the sponsors, Vodafone and Westpac, for their continued generous support towards the programme. 

This news item was published on 13 Nov 2020 11:18:53 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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