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On 9 October, the student award ceremony, Golden Horseshoe, was held as part of the 27th anniversary celebrations of Rīga Stradiņš University Student Union (RSU SU). The award was presented in ten categories, and this was the first year that the Innovation of the Year award was presented.

Although the event took place 168 days later than planned, representatives from the SU council and board, its activists, senior members, as well as university management and guests from other student unions gathered at the Chamber Music Hall at the VEF Culture Palace on Friday night.

The Activist of the Year award was presented to Edvards Rainers Krūmiņš who helped to implement nearly every SU project last year. In the category Student Interest Group of the Year the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Interest Group, led by Ieva Pitkēviča, earned the students’ special appreciation noting that the interest group’s traditions intertwine with innovative ideas. In the Inspiration of the Year category, the award was given to the organisers of the 2020 RSU International Student Conference Health and Social Sciences who were able to adapt the largest project organised by the SU to accommodate the global pandemic in just a few weeks. 

Every year, the SU expresses gratitude to its major supporters that have helped provide for various events and projects. This year’s Supporter of the Year is MikroTīkls, who supported the 2020 RSU International Student Conference that took place in the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis. The winner in the category Senior Member of the Year was 2018 Chairperson of the Board, Linda Skulme, who always lends a helping hand and is available to give advice. 

The areas that the new cateogry Innovation of the Year wants to highlight are innovations, improvements or projects that have positively affected the well-being of students. The winner in this category was the event New Members Workshop, which has taken on a new shape and content, retaining only the previous objective and title. The award in the category Friend of the Year was presented to Prof. Tatjana Koķe who has been a key person in addressing issues that the students have faced this year. 

Anna Kricka, Head of Social Matters, was awarded with the Advancement of the Year Award. She started working at the SU with the Green Week project and has provided endless support to students in a variety of ways: she achieved that printers were placed in student accommodation, helped improve the environment in the accommodation, pursued discussions about the availability of databases, as well as achieved that psychological support is available to students.

Issues that have caused the students headaches and worries over the year have been nominated in the category Problem of the Year. This year, there were four such issues. Students voted for the Ministry of Health and the 6th clinical practical year, an initiative that started a year ago. Unfortunately, even after several rounds of discussions between the Ministry of Health and RSU, no compromise has been reached with regard to the definition of students’ role at medical institutions, or regarding targeted scholarships for students to help during these especially difficult times.

Various accomplishments and projects that have proven to be especially successful were nominated for the award Horseshoe of the Year. This year this award was won by the student cooperation memorandums that have been signed with various faculties. These memoranda mark the beginning of new and improved cooperation between students and the university with an aim to improve the quality of studies.