University of the Philippines Los Baños
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 09:49

UPLB-OSA director assures support to students at leadership summit

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Kakampi ninyo kami! (We are your ally!),” said Dr. Nina M. Cadiz, director of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), to 55 student leaders of UPLB.

The students, each representing a recognized student organization in the University, participated in the Student Organization Leaders’ Summit 2017 on June 5-6 at the BP International Hotel, Los Baños, Laguna. The Summit, with the theme “Our real goal: realizing possibilities, maximizing capabilities,” sought to empower students and bridge the gap between the administration and the students, a task that OSA believes is achievable.

Dr. Cadiz assured the students of OSA’s support to them. “I take the problems of students very seriously,” the ‘dean of students’ said.  Dr. Cadiz expressed concern about students’ fear and apprehension to approach OSA about their problems due to stigma and past unpleasant experiences. “Kung may problema, iparating ninyo sa amin; huwag kayong mahiya (If you have problems, do not be ashamed to tell us about them).”

Dr. Cadiz also recognized the role of organizations on the students’ psycho-social and emotional well-being. She said that student organizations provide avenues to support and develop the students’ skills and talents and serve as the students’ family away from home.

Jickerson P. Lado, head of OSA’s Student Organizations and Activities Division (SOAD), the unit that organized the Summit, discussed the goals and accomplishments of SOAD. He introduced its new activities, namely: the Student Org Leaders Assembly (SOLA), a platform for student organizations to voice out their concerns; the SOADvisers Forum, which guides student organization advisers on relevant policies; and the SOADmin Forum that aims to unify the policies on using campus buildings and spaces for student activities.

Lado also relayed the Division’s proposal to create SOADD points, an incentive system which can enable student organizations to use classrooms for free. He also announced that OSA has received its first research grant, which will study gender roles and empowerment among UPLB student organizations.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., in his inspirational message delivered by Dr. Portia G. Lapitan, vice chancellor for academic affairs, emphasized to the students the importance of having good character.  “Apart from training UP students to be excellent, UP students must also have the character and the heart, not only to fulfill their role towards nation building, but more importantly, to help make the lives of their fellow Filipinos better.”

The Summit also featured a talk from Percival V. Cerdaña, commissioner of the National Youth Commission and a UPLB alumnus. He discussed the importance of organizations in the context of achieving well-being and development that are both important in reaching one’s full potential. He also encouraged student leaders to provide perspectives and feedback that could help policy makers and duty bearers in crafting proper programs and approaches for youth’s welfare.

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The summit covered topics ranging from balancing academics and maintaining good emotional and mental health, to the implementation of the anti-hazing law and drafting alternative methods to organization process and final rites.

The Student Organizations Awards and Recognitions (SOAR), which intends to honor and recognize the best performing student organizations and students, was also launched during the summit. (Jessa Jael S. Arana)