*UPDATE: To see a full album of pictures from the night, click here.*
The home of Premier League champions Leicester City played host to the biggest night of De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s awards season so far on Wednesday.
More than 200 De Montfort University (DMU) students and guests packed out the Keith Weller Lounge at the King Power Stadium for The SULETS DSU Societies Awards 2016 and enjoyed live entertainment from big band Tuxedo Swing plus a raft of awards ranging from Best Newcomer to Outstanding Achievement.
An ecstatic DMU Dance Society were presented with their SULETS Society of the Year award by DSU's Membership Services Manager Colina Wright.
The biggest winners on the night – and contenders for loudest table – were the DMU Dance Society, who nabbed SULETS Society of the Year. Outgoing chair Sacha Jones, who was also shortlisted for Society Personality of the Year, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. I just cannot believe we have won it two years in a row.
“I always said it would never happen because there are so many other societies who do great things so it’s incredible. It’s the ultimate achievement.”
Asked if she could put the success down to just one moment, Sacha explained: “I can’t choose just one! But I will cut it down to three; going from not competing last year to winning at two national competitions; being at the Rugby World Cup Fanzone [in Leicester]; and then our performance half-time at Leicester Tigers versus Bath in front of a sold-out crowd.
“It was chucking it down! It was so cold and so windy – the players were struggling with the ball – but we worked so hard for it and everyone commended us for carrying on and showing what we can do in front of 22,000 people. It was an incredible experience.”
DMU Music Society treasurer Metty was lost for words as he was presented with the Society Personality of the Year trophy by DSU's VP Student Activities Dan Winney.
Coincidentally, Sacha’s housemate Ehimetalor ‘Metty’ Unuabona is treasurer of the DMU Music Society and scooped the award for Society Personality of the Year. He said: “For me, winning this award is the craziest thing. Right now I am on cloud nine – [it’s given me] such a high!
“There are too many highlights of the year to count. One of the most memorable moments for me is the way I have helped people to feel happy – I like to think in this world we shouldn’t be so stressed out – but it’s nice to have someone to give to other people. That’s what I’m about.
Metty, who also went up on stage to collect the Best Society Promotion award, continued: “Going forward, I want the society to be as vast and as diverse as possible. We want as many different types of music – and people – as possible.”
The full list of winners on the night included;
Best Society Promotion – DMU Music Society
Best Event – Games Development (Game Jam)
Best Newcomer – Polish Society
Most Improved Society – Hindu
Most Active Society Member – Ryan Haynes (Chess)
Best Committee – Demon Theatre
Outstanding Achievement – DMU Hackers (Top Scoring UK Capture the Flag Team)
Highly Commended Society – DMU LGBT+
Society Personality of the Year – Ehimetalor Unuabona (DMU Music Society)
SULETS Society of the Year – DMU Dance Society
The evening, hosted by ex-DMU Comedy Society member Dave Murphy, also saw an inspiring keynote speech from last year’s DMU Music Society chair Adam Walker, who gave advice on how to make the most of university life and how joining one of DSU’s 120 plus societies was one of the best decisions he ever made.
Elsewhere, Demon Theatre took home the accolade of Best Committee. An emotional Anna Pinkney, chair, said: “It was unbelievable. It’s been a really tough year for everyone on committee but to go up on stage [and collect the award] I felt so honoured.
“When I stood on that stage and accepted the award it wasn’t just for me but it was for everybody. To hold it made everything that we have been through worth it.”
Fellow committee member Abigail Henesy continued: “We have all stuck together, which was great. I feel the committee really deserve this award.”
Former chair Letitia Grey said: “Anna is going to be really modest here – but she’s helped us organise an amazing show and raise hundreds of pounds for charity and she’s been amazing. That was the award we wanted the most; and we got it.”
The SULETS DSU Societies Awards 2016 was the third of five awards ceremonies to celebrate the achievement of students throughout the year. To find out more about DSU’s awards season, click here. And to find out more about societies at DSU, click here.