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Of-the-Year Awards

Of-the-Year awards (OTYs) are annual appreciation and recognition awards administered by the Columbia NRHH and presented at the Residential Life End-of-the-Year Celebration. All Columbia student leaders, faculty, staff, groups, and programs are eligible if they correspond with a category of recognition and contributed oustandingly to the residential community within the appropriate year of nomination.

OTYs 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 late in the year to review nominations and select awardees. Members have specific nomination and voting guidelines to mitigate conflict of interest.

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

Award Categories

OTY Award Nomination Form

Award Descriptions

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

  • Student of the Year (*) ecognizes an individual resident for their active work in fostering a sense of community at Columbia, especially during the year of nomination. 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 Year or Resident Adviser of the Year, respectively. (BACK TO LIST)
  • First Year Student of the Year (*) recognizes an individual resident who is in their first year at Columbia (including new transfer students) and excelled over the year of nomination 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 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 Year(BACK TO LIST)
  • Executive Board Member of the Year 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 year 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 Year 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 year of nomination. (BACK TO LIST)
  • Hall Director of the Year recognizes an individual Graduate Hall Director (GHD) or Residence Hall Director (RHD) who created a supportive environment for student leaders to grow, learn, and develop, especially during the year of nomination. Nominations should focus on the work of the nominee in directly advising Residential Life student staff, a Hall Council, Columbia RHLO, or the Columbia chapter of the NRHH. (BACK TO LIST)
  • Organization of the Year recognizes organizations that actively contributed to student leadership and involvement, recognition, or other aspects of communal life during the year 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 Residential Life that positively impacted 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 Year(BACK TO LIST)
  • Residential Community of the Year recognizes residential communities, such as floors, suites, and halls. Nominations should emphasize what specifically a community has done within the year of nomination as well as how it has supported others, both within and outside their 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 year of nomination. Greek organizations are not eligible for this award; see Organization of the Month(BACK TO LIST)
  • Program of the Year recognizes a program that demonstrated outstanding leadership in the Columbia residential community and was ideated, planned, and executed in line with the mission of the King’s Crown Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary to recognize “the broad power and vast educational potential of the residential experience,” as well as the Residential Life values of engagement, development, responsibility, inclusivity, and learning. (BACK TO LIST)

OTY 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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