Outstanding student community contributions to be recognized
Eligibility for a B.C. post-secondary student award has been expanded and will recognize outstanding contributions in support of inclusion, democracy or reconciliation, on or off campus.
The Lieutenant Governor’s Medal now includes students in diploma and degree programs. Previously, the award was exclusive to students in vocational and career programs of less than two years and focused on academic excellence and community service.
“It is important to acknowledge the exceptional contributions of students attending our universities, colleges and other post-secondary institutions,” said Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. “Students are helping to create a more welcoming and supportive environment, standing up for those who are more vulnerable and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
A new youth advisory group to the lieutenant governor is also being formed. The expectation is that the group will meet quarterly and advise the lieutenant governor on youth issues, including post-secondary education matters.
“Education is transformative, and students are rising to the challenge,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “I’m so proud that students are stepping up to the plate to be agents of change and are pushing the envelope both on campus and in our communities. This is an opportunity to celebrate the advocacy and leadership for those who are helping to build the best B.C.”
One of the roles of the lieutenant governor is to profile excellence and promote the history, culture and achievements of all British Columbians. One way is to recognize the accomplishments of British Columbians through award programs that carry the name of the lieutenant governor.
The three award criteria for the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal are:
* Diversity and inclusion: This award recognizes students who have promoted diversity and inclusion. Students must demonstrate strong collaboration and unifying efforts, through the promotion and display of tolerance and respect for others.
* Democracy and citizenship: This award recognizes students who have strengthened democracy through civic engagement or the advancement of human rights. Students must demonstrate recognition of the fundamental rights and dignity of all persons at a local, national or global level.
* Reconciliation: In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada urgently called on Canadians to take action to transform society by establishing a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples. This award recognizes students who have answered this call to reconciliation and are undertaking efforts to heal their communities.
Nominees are chosen by the public post-secondary institution they attend. The medal is presented by the lieutenant governor, when possible, at either spring or fall convocation, with up to 25 students a year receiving the award.
British Columbia has 25 public post-secondary institutions: 11 universities, 11 colleges and three institutes.
There are approximately 427,000 students in the public post-secondary system in British Columbia, noted the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training in a media release.
The Lieutenant Governor’s Medal was established in 1979.