2016 Press Releases
James Upton named Student Leader of the Year
UCC’s James Upton was last night (April 28) named Student Leader of the Year by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
Currently Deputy President and Campaigns Officer of UCC Students' Union, Upton was honoured at the USI’s Student Achievement Awards ceremony at a ceremony in Dublin Castle for his diversity of effective student-focused campaigns, such as registering over 3000 students to vote.
"I never imagined I would even be nominated for this award especially alongside some phenomenal student leaders. I am perplexed because everything I did this year whether it was Student Community Support (SCS), a wide variety of campaigns or fighting to return students to college; it was never a hindrance or pain,” Upton commented.
The award recognised Upton as the nominee who demonstrated the most impressive leadership in the student community during the academic year 2015/2016. By campaigning to protect and enhance the student experience for his peers, Upton became a role model within the university community.
"I do my job not because I have to, it’s because I want to. I love working on the ground getting students engaged, whether that's accommodation rights or gender equality; it's all because we have to change the way social and economic injustices are imposed on society. The minute we stop doing that is the moment we fail as student leaders,” he said.
Upton thanked the supportive team he works with, “without whom a lot of the achievements this year would not have been possible."
The awards honoured outstanding achievements in areas including mental health, community awareness and equality activism, and presenters included Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ireland and Eamon Gilmore TD.