1st CAS-1 (One) Student Summit Held

Students from 32 student organizations and administration officials of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) participated in activities and breakout sessions in the first ever CAS-1(One) Student Summit hosted by the Office of Student Services (OSS) on September 8- 9, 2016 at the Citystate Tower Hotel, in Manila.

Why did CAS devote a significant portion of its resources, time and finances to conduct an activity like this? Asst. Prof Mishima Z. Miciano, Coordinator of the Office of Student Services said that the emphasis behind the project is simple: students matter. According to Asst. Prof. Miciano, “The students are the reason the college, the university exists. We want our students to have the best experience that the University can afford, one that is meaningful, balanced and additionally, with commitment to serve the community and the country.  We recognize the importance of student organizations in fostering campus and community involvement/interaction as well as intellectual development among its members. In other words, student organizations are significant partners in upholding the UP values’ of honor and excellence.”

The summit aimed to provide student organizations a stronger voice within the CAS community. Additionally, to strengthen organizations roles as partners of the college administration by maintaining and improving CAS objectives, organizing activities leading to personal development, academic excellence and unifying the CAS goals. Accordingly, the Summit is envisioned as a yearly activity. “The title reflects what we hope to achieve: One CAS family moving forward as one unified body towards the goal of making CAS the best it can be for our students. CAS-1, nagkakaisa , nangunguna, “ Asst. Prof. Miciano further explained.

This is an excellent opportunity for us, the administration and student organizations to collaborate as one. Bakit nga ba CAS –1 ang title ng summit natin ? We are aiming na ang CAS ay maging isang unified na kolehiyo na kung saan nagkakaisa ang administration, faculty and students sa mga layunin at goals nito in line with UP Manila’s  vision and mission.  Siyempre nga dahil nagkakaisa tayo, we are aiming for number one,” stated Mr. Clark Trovela, Vice-Chair of CAS Student Council in his opening statements during the summit.

In her inspirational message, Chancellor Carmencita D. Padilla, represented by Dr. Tristan Ramos, Director of UP Manila Office Students Affairs, commended the CAS for its continued efforts to provide an avenue to develop and prepare students for leadership roles and responsibilities.  As the national university, she said that it is UP’s task to develop leaders. “Being UP students, the call and expectations to be future leaders are greater and in preparing students for leadership roles and tasks, student organizations play an important role,” Chancellor Padilla said.

This year’s summit had the following objectives: 1) for participants to assess their personal values and articulate their thoughts on leadership; 2) for participants to articulate organization’s roles and contributions within the framework/context of the UP Manila and CAS vision and mission; 3) to draft collaborative projects to be implemented within the academic year and finally 4) to draft collaborative projects between student organizations and CAS administration.

The 2016 Summit offered a varied program of speakers and activities, and promoted shared learning, participation and networking opportunities for members of different student organizations. The program was well designed to achieve these objectives, with topics carefully planned to respond to these needs. The CAS Student Council, headed by Mr. Alfie R. Omaga, played a key role in selection of the topics.

Each of the two days of the Summit began with talks from people who gave students different perspectives on leadership. These talks were followed by time for the students to work together through simulated activities moderated by Prof. Marie Diane Monsada of the Department of Behavioral Sciences.

On the first day, Dean Leonardo R. Estacio Jr. gave an overview of the UP Manila and CAS vision and mission and “RISE UP CAS“ general action plan. Rep. Sarah Elago of Kabataan Partylist talked about personal integrity and leadership, while Mr. Michael Angelo Austria, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development of ProFriends, discussed the importance of vision in achieving unity.  Dr. Ma. Paula G. Sioco, Associate Dean for Planning and Development presented a list of CAS projects for partnerships with student organizations. Among these CAS projects students could consider which projects would fit their organizations (in terms of interest, resources, target beneficiaries, identity and goals). These included infrastructure projects, psychosocial wellness/student services, extension services, culture and the arts or a gender related project. Asst. Prof. Allan F. Mesina, Coodinator, Office of Extension Services, gave an overview of the extension projects of CAS.

The second day of the summit featured presentations of Mr. James De Vera on the topic, “Making Projects that Win”.Mr. De Vera is the Executive Director of TAYO Awards Foundation Inc. Dr. Tristan Nathaniel Ramos, Director of UPM Office of Student Affairs spoke about the university’s support for student organization initiated projects. Director Ramos afforded the students the opportunity to address issues and concerns during a Q&A session which included student fees and room reservations.   In her closing remarks, Dr.  Nymia P. Simbulan, UP Manila Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs reiterated the importance and crucial role of student organizations.

The two-day summit ended with a Resolution by the students to work together with CAS administration, Student Council and fellow organizations to ensure the completion of proposed projects generated during the CAS-1(One) Student Summit.

Hopefully, the summit will enhance our ability and goal to become one family,” said CAS Dean Leonardo R. Estacio Jr. The student summit is an important part of the Dean’s flagship program “RISE UP CAS” which focuses on student centered leadership. The challenge for the administration now is to ensure that every student’s concerns and issues are heard and valued, and that every student would contribute towards achieving that goal while no one would be burdened by the task at hand, and more importantly, the output presentations would be completed within the allocated time. (DAEstanislao)

Highlights of CAS-1(One) Student Summit at:: https://www.facebook.com/casupm/