Designing Sustainable Communities for Living and Learning


Writing A Great "Of the Month" Nomination

What is an “Of the Month (OTM)” nomination?

First we need to understand what an OTM actually is. An OTM is a small piece of writing (at maximum they are 600 words) describing a resident, faculty/staff person or program that has made a difference in the on campus community. These pieces of recognition go to the university organization, NRHH, where they will select winners from the seven categories. These winners, the actual nominees for recognition, will then be called to attend a luncheon at the Top of Carolina in their honor.

How to Write an OTM
  1. Start with finding a program or person that has done something exceptionally well and made campus life at the University of South Carolina incredible.
  2. Next, figure out what category the person or program fits into (advisor, community, executive board member, first-year student, Resident Mentor, spotlight, student, organization or faculty/staff).
  3. Then, complete the information as needed and start writing about why this program or person deserves to be recognized.
  4. Be mindful of your word limit as OTMs for a person cannot exceed 600 words and many of the questions regarding a program cannot exceed 200 words.
  5. Fill out the form available below by the last day of the month for which you are nominating them.
How to write a good OTM (Quick Tips to keep in mind)

Technical Tips

    1. Always keep in mind that the OTM you write must be about something that has happened in that month. For example, a Hall Government President directs a well done event on September 10. The OTM needs to be submitted before September 30.
    2. Always proofread what you've typed before you send it in. It makes it easier for those who read them if they don't have to guess at your meaning.
    3. Stay away from making the OTM sound as if it can only occur at your university. The point of these is to recognize someone or something that other campuses can aspire to as they read these OTMs.
    4. Always make sure you mark the appropriate category.
    5. As well as marking the correct category, keep in mind that the category criteria will be used in judging. Try to answer the criteria questions to help the judges out.

    Style tips to Help Set Your OTM Apart

    1. Use your own unique writing style. Don't feel like you're writing a formal essay on a Shakespearean Tragedy; spice it up with your own language and flare to set your OTM apart.
    2. Is the topic of your OTM something you're passionate about? If so, make sure that passion comes through in your writing.
    3. Talk about how the person or program that you're writing about went above and beyond the normal expectations and helped improve campus life.
    4. Don't forget to separate your ideas and thoughts into paragraphs. Smaller chunks of reading make it easier for a judge to comprehend.
    5. Be sure to explain any abbreviation you use. Remember that once these make it to a regional level, judges from other universities will be reading these. They might not be familiar with what "the Strom," "the Blatt," "RHA" or "the Colonial" is.

Example of an Excellent OTM