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UCLA award recognizes students who have helped other students in crisis

Students can get $75 for helping other students who were in times of crisis, under a new program created by the undergraduate student government’s general representative 2’s office and the Office of the Dean for Students. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Kalei Aricayos

May 1, 2018 10:15 p.m.

A new award will recognize students who have helped other students during times of crisis.

The Office of the Dean of Students and the undergraduate student government general representative 2’s office created an award called True Bruins R.A.I.S.E, which honors students who have helped other students facing difficult situations, such as sexual assault, mental health challenges or financial crises. Each recipient will be awarded $75 on their BruinCard and honored at a dinner ceremony during week nine.

Students can submit an online application to nominate a student by May 18 to be recognized at this year’s ceremony, said Kayla He, general representative 2. The nomination form requires applicants to answer two prompts regarding an instance when the nominee has helped others.

During the ceremony recognizing recipients, Dean of Students Maria Blandizzi will give a speech and award honorees with a certificate.

“When (student leaders) came to the Dean of Students organization with their ideas about student recognition, we were thrilled to collaborate on this project,” Blandizzi said. “We would like our students to have the support they need to overcome hardships to be safe, healthy and continue with their academic goals.”

The Office of the Dean of Students plans to allocate $5,000 annually to fund the award, He added. She said the project fulfills her office’s “I am more than my GPA” campaign platform, which recognizes students for their achievements outside the classroom.

“It was created to raise and uplift other Bruins,” He said. “I think UCLA students have done a lot of great things, and UCLA administration needs to recognize their hard work.”

Blandizzi said that she hopes the award will inspire more students to help each other.

“Peers are in a unique position to identify other students in crisis, beyond what staff and faculty can do,” she said. “We hope that this program will help educate our students about the many resources available to them.”

Students said they think the award will encourage students to be more well-rounded.

Hannah Page, a third-year environmental science student, said she likes that the award does not take students’ GPAs into consideration and thinks it could help students focus on things other than academics.

Linda Quezada, a fourth-year political science student, said she thinks the award is a good idea because it will help students, but hopes students will not be exclusively motivated by the prize to help others.

“It’s good if (the nominees) don’t know about (the prize), so there’s no ulterior incentive,” she said.

Students will not be able to nominate themselves, Blandizzi said. Each application will be reviewed by students and staff from the general representative 2’s office and the Office of the Dean of Students.

“We are attempting to encourage a caring and supportive community,” she said.

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Kalei Aricayos
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