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Seven FHSU student organizations receive awards


Special to The Hays Daily News

Special to The Hays Daily News

Seven organizations were honored at the recent 2013 Student Organization Awards hosted by Fort Hays State University's Center for Student Involvement.

Up 'til Dawn's Letter Writing Event won Outstanding Service Award. Students raised money for St. Jude's Research Hospital by writing letters to family and friends. They also received a T-shirt and were provided refreshments and music from a DJ while writing the letters.

Delta Zeta member Alma Hidalgo, a Perryton, Texas, senior, won Diversity Ally of the Year for the second time in a row for sharing diversity within organizations and on campus.

"Personally, this means a lot because diversity is something that I am very passionate about. It is an honor to represent all diversity at FHSU," Hidalgo said.

Outstanding Organization Adviser went to Becky Lee, assistant director of student residential life, for her creative work with new programs.

To Write Love On Her Arms, sponsored by University Activities Board, won Best New Program. TWLOHA is a nonprofit group dedicated to helping those who suffer from depression, addiction, self-injury and suicidal tendencies find hope, support and love.

Most Improved Student Organization was awarded to Delta Tau Omega, the justice studies honorary society. The club had a 500 percent increase in membership and a 250 percent increase in active membership in service and career exploration. Students raised approximately $2,000 from the Oktoberfest Dunk Tank, Christmas for Kids Telethon and Bowl for Kids' Sake and collected more than $500 in donation of goods and cash for Options Domestic and Sexual Violence Services of Northwest Kansas.

"Career exploration allows students access to a wide variety of opportunities that may not have otherwise been known to them, leading to networking with professionals in the various career fields," said Tamara Lynn, Delta Tau Omega adviser.

The Student Government Association received Program of the Year for work and experience lobbying at the Capitol as part of Higher Education Day.

"Every year, Regents schools meet to lobby for students," said Chris Roberts, a Salina sophomore who also serves as SGA's legislative affairs director. "This year, FHSU students were in charge of research and getting together team leaders. Over 40 students from FHSU and over 250 participated, advocating against cutting higher education budgets. FHSU students got a great opportunity to go out into the real world and lobby."

Interfraternity Council received Outstanding Student Organization of the Year for winning two national awards for its battle on fraternity stereotypes and adopting smart risk-management rules. The council also raised more than $2,000 for Options to battle domestic violence in the community. It also grew to more than 160 members this year.