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Undergraduate Student Life

Of-the-Month Awards

Of-the-Month awards (OTMs) are monthly appreciation and recognition awards administered by the Columbia NRHH and presented at semesterly Recognition Lunches. All Columbia student leaders, faculty, staff, groups, and programs are eligible if they correspond with a category of recognition and contributed positively to the residential community within the month of nomination.

OTMs are awarded on the qualities of the nominee as described in the nomination(s), not the quantity or quality of nomination(s). Below is a listing of award descriptions intended to help you nominate as precisely as possible. Also available is a recognition flowchart.

The NRHH meets monthly to review nominations and select awardees. Members have specific nomination and voting guidelines to mitigate conflict of interest.

In general, nominations are accepted during the first three weeks of the month, ending on a Wednesday at 11:59 pm. Any submissions after that time will be considered during the next monthly cycle.

Nominate an individual, group, or program for an OTM or view past OTM winners.

Award Categories

Individual Awards

Group Awards

Program Awards

OTM Award Nomination Form

Award Descriptions

Individual Awards

  • Student of the Month (*) recognizes an individual resident for their active work in fostering a sense of community at Columbia, especially during the month of the award. Nominees could include, but are not limited to, students who have made a significant contribution to their floor or hall through leadership in programming, volunteering, advocating, and/or role modeling for other residents. Students who fit this description, but are in their first year at Columbia or are student staff members of the Office of Residential Life (i.e. S/RAs), are not eligible for this award; see First Year Student of the Month or Resident Adviser of the Month, respectively. (BACK TO LIST)
  • First Year Student of the Month (*) recognizes an individual resident who is in their first year at Columbia (including new transfer students) and excels at adapting to a new environment in their residence hall, taking an active role in their community, and positively impacting those around them. Nominees could include, but are not limited to, first year students who have made a significant contribution to their floor or hall through leadership in programming, volunteering, advocating, and/or role modeling for other students. Students who fit this description, but are student staff members of the Office of Residential Life (i.e. S/RAs), are not eligible for this award; see Resident Adviser of the Month(BACK TO LIST)
  • Executive Board Member of the Month recognizes an individual executive board of the Columbia Residence Hall Leadership Organization (including Hall Council Executive Boards) or the Columbia National Residence Hall Honorary who in the month of nomination made significant contributions to their residential community or the residential community as a whole. The award may also be construed to recognize an officer of another student organization in the case of exceptional contributions to the residential community as a whole. Nominees should have gone above and beyond the capacities of their roles on the executive board, and demonstrated a commitment to leadership, involvement, and/or mentorship. (BACK TO LIST)
  • Resident Adviser of the Month recognizes an individual Resident Adviser (RA) or Senior Resident Adviser (SRA) for their instrumental work in programming, education, community development, and crisis response. Nominees should have gone above and beyond the duties of their job in supporting residents in the communities in which they work, supported their fellow staff and Hall Council, and/or made outstanding contributions to the hall in which they work during the month of nomination. (BACK TO LIST)
  • Adviser of the Month recognizes an individual Graduate Hall Director (GHD), Residence Hall Director (RHD), or other staff member of Undergraduate Student Life who created a supportive environment for student leaders to grow, learn, and develop, especially during the month of nomination. Nominations should focus on the work of the nominee in directly advising Residential Life student staff, a Hall Council, Columbia RHLO, the Columbia chapter of the NRHH, and/or any other student organization. The awardee must be an employee of Undergraduate Student Life. Academic advisers, faculty advisers, study abroad advisers, religious life advisers, etc. are not as such eligible for this award; see University Faculty or Staff of the Month. (BACK TO LIST)
  • Residential Life Staff of the Month recognizes an individual employee of the Office of Residential Life who was a significant aid to residents during the month of nomination. This category is intended to recognize the Residential Life Staff who are not eligible for the Adviser of the Month category (if, for example, they did not advise students directly) and who have made significant contributions to the residence life community. Resident Advisers and Senior Resident Advisers are not eligible for this award; see Resident Adviser of the Month(BACK TO LIST)
  • University Faculty or Staff of the Month recognizes Columbia University educators and other employees outside of Residential Life who aid students in their academic and/or personal affairs. This category is intended to recognize institutional faculty who have made a contribution to the Columbia community both in and out of the classroom. Examples include, but are not limited to: Professors, Instructors, Teaching Assistants, Advising Deans, Student Affairs or Academic Affairs Staff, Facilities/Maintenance Staff, Public Safety officers, Dining Services staff, and Health Services staff. Employees of Residential Life are not eligible for this award; see Residential Life Staff of the Month. (BACK TO LIST)

Group Awards

  • Organization of the Month recognizes organizations that have actively contributed to student leadership and involvement, recognition, or other aspects of communal life during the month of nomination. This award recognizes the organization as a whole, not just the accomplishments of a few members. Emphasis is placed on the successes of the organization in residence communities as well as how they have shaped campus life in general. Nominees could include, but are not limited to: Hall Councils, Executive Boards, Student Councils, Activities Boards, and in general, any organizations outside of the Residential Life that positively impact students. The Columbia Residence Hall Leadership Organization (as a whole) and the Columbia National Residence Hall Honorary are not eligible for this award. Special Interest Communities (SICs) are not eligible for this award; see Residential Community of the Month. (BACK TO LIST)
  • Residential Community of the Month recognizes residential communities, such as floors, suites, and halls. Nominations should emphasize what specifically a community has done within the month of nomination as well as how it has supported others, both within and outside the community. A successful nomination will additionally illustrate what brings such a group of individuals together and how they worked together as a group to accomplish their goals during the month of nomination. Greek organizations are not eligible for this award; see Organization of the Month(BACK TO LIST)
  • Spotlight of the Month recognizes any outstanding individual or group contribution to the Columbia community that is ineligible for any other category of award but is still worthy of attention and appreciation(BACK TO LIST)

Program Awards

  • Community Service Program of the Month recognizes a service project that had an exceptional impact on the lives of others, including service or philanthropic programs that benefit groups, charities, or other organizations. The program must have been initiated by a residence-based organization or must otherwise have emphasized the importance of the student body giving back to the broader communities in which they live. Also recognizes the program’s organizer(s). (BACK TO LIST)
  • Diversity Program of the Month recognizes a program that challenged students around issues of race, religion, sexuality, socio-economic status, gender and other identities and their relation to power and privilege. Such a program must have illustrated the importance of promoting diversity in residence halls as well as embracing diversity in the every-day lives of residents. Also recognizes the program’s organizer(s). (BACK TO LIST)
  • Educational/Academic Program of the Month recognizes a program that engaged students in education about a topic, idea, or issue beyond their classroom settings. Programs nominated for this category may include but are not limited to educational excursions, academic success programming, leadership development, speaker series, career planning, or promoting global citizenship. Also recognizes the program’s organizer(s). (BACK TO LIST)
  • Passive Program of the Month recognizes any program that did not require anyone to actively run or administer it for people to participate in it. This category is generally intended to recognize residential programming that occurs through bulletin boards, newsletters, pamphlets, and social media. Also recognizes the program’s organizer(s). (BACK TO LIST)
  • Social Program of the Month recognizes a program that helped build community or transition students to a new environment, with a particular emphasis on programs that focus on resident interaction. Social programs may range in scale from residence hall floor to campus. Also recognizes the program’s organizer(s). Any program which is eligible for another Program of the Month award is not eligible for this award. (BACK TO LIST)
  • Wellness Program of the Month recognizes a program that contributed to the holistic (including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) wellness of residents, and promoted a safe and healthy community environment. This category is intended to recognize residential programming that involves active participation of residents but does not belong to the Social Program category(BACK TO LIST)

OTM Award Nomination Form

* The awardee must be an undergraduate student in Columbia College or the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and a contractual resident in a Columbia Housing undergraduate residence hall.

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