When Director of Student Life Vic Lindsay took a group of Sweet Briar student leaders to Christopher Newport University to attend a conference for resident advisors, the last thing he expected was an award. But before it was all said and done, Lindsay was named “Advisor of the Year” by the Virginia Association of Residence Halls (VAARH).
Student leaders participating in the VAARH annual board meeting, which coincided with the VAARH Annual Conference on Feb. 23, had the option of nominating someone on the spot. Thinking on her feet, Shifti Kamal ’20, one of Sweet Briar’s RAs, nominated Lindsay.
“Everyone who nominated an advisor had to speak for them and convince the entire board why they deserved the award,” said Kamal, who was up against three other Virginia schools. “So I did. I spoke from my heart and said things that were true. I also realized it was time for me to use my debating skills to make sure my points come off as coherent and convincing. And Vic deserved every good thing I said about him. After all four of us gave a speech, the rest of the members had a discussion — those who nominated someone had to leave the room — and then they moved on to blind voting. Two advisors got the most votes. Then in the second round of voting, Vic won!”
Among other things, Kamal praised Lindsay’s skills as an empathetic change-maker and his ability to turn criticism into personal growth. “As someone who has been here since before Vic’s time, I can see the difference — in a very positive way,” Kamal said.