Former Fair Trade Ambassador and Co-op Student Nell Jedrzejczyk.

Fair Trade Ambassador Nell Jedrzejczyk Wins NACAS Student Author Contest

by Lucas Westhaver

Simon Fraser University Ancillary Services is pleased to announce that Nell Jedrzejczyk has been awarded first place in the NACAS Student Author Contest for her exceptional personal essay "SFU Ancillary Services on the Forefront of the Pandemic: Stitching Us Back Together." A former Ancillary Services co-op student and fair trade ambassador, Jedrzejczyk has already made her mark by helping to secure SFU's Fair Trade Gold Certification in 2020 and renewal in 2021. On top of coordinating seminars, movie nights and other events for the Fair Trade community, she turned her passion for advocacy to exploring the innovative ways that Ancillary Services mobilized to support our students during the pandemic. 

The National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS) is made up of volunteer members across North America, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and more. As the world's largest, leading non-profit organization supporting and coordinating campus auxiliary services, the annual NACAS Student Author Contest is a critical opportunity for young writers to participate in a global dialogue, and help improve quality-of-life for educators, students and staff worldwide. Past Student Author Contest topics have included the importance of fostering a healthy campus dining culture, the complexity of balancing tuition and cost-of-living, and the essential importance of building an ethically sustainable consumer culture on campus.

The topic of this year’s essay contest is even more timely: the impact of auxiliary services on student success in the midst of the coronavirus. 

In her essay, Jedrzejczyk dives into the groundbreaking initiatives deployed across SFU in response to the pandemic. Every Ancillary Services department had a vital role to play, as her essay explores in detail. From the digital restructuring of conference and meeting services at MECS, to unique community experiences at StreetFest!, to the carefully-considered responses from Food, Parking & Sustainable Mobility, the SFU Bookstore and more, Jedrzejczyk elucidates how each department played an essential, assertive role in navigating a uniquely challenging year. With an eye for detail, she focuses on the individual, human impact of the pandemic, and of ancillary services' successful efforts to support SFU's students.

The pandemic hasn't been easy - however, by focusing our efforts as a true community, we've shown we can pull through with aplomb. Or, as Jedrzejczyk puts it, "stitch ourselves back together."

Click here find out more about Fair Trade at SFU.