The need for extracurricular activities, recreational activities and varsity athletics in a tertiary education system is deemed prominent among many college students. With the dreadful demands of academics, indeed it’s a definite plus for students to have another place to channel their energy within the confines of the education system, that will simultaneously help motivate and challenge their skills and widen their interests. Thus, the existence and curation of student organizations within universities campuses and the increasing demand for active members.
Student Organizations in the University of the Philippines (UP)
In the University of the Philippines for example, students can join as many organizations as they please as long as they are able to complete the screening and initiation process, which usually lasts up to a whole semester. My sister, Janina is a member of 2 organizations in UP, which are Pan Alpha (Philippine Association of Nutrition – Alpha Chapter) and FLCD (Family Life and Child Development) her course’s home organization. I remember her investing all her free time on the weekends just to be able to meet the requirements and pass the initiations of each of the orgs when she was just a freshman applying. In most organizations in UP, students are responsible of curating the organizational structure and implementing its rules and regulations, while instilling their org’s vision and mission.
There is a certain level of tenacity that students who run their own orgs have and mandate among its applicants. The will to carry out their mission and vision, and the drive to keep up with the demands of their extracurricular activities and academics all at the same time. A common ritual for initiation that UP is known for is the hazing technique that takes place, usually in fraternities but in other hardcore student organizations as well. Hazing is a dangerous form of initiation to test the physical, mental, and emotional capacity of the student.
Often, it is done through a beating which threatens the student’s physical being as a whole. Controversies that surround this ritual are renowned in the local news for the severity of the hazing cases taking places in universities. Students reportedly die from the beating and other active forms of violence which has been dealt with through legal pursuit, but still consistently takes place among orgs up to date in an underground system. Such practices don’t just apply to the University of the Philippines, it generally applies to all other fraternities and student organizations all over the country.
Org Life in CSB
In my college, the College of Saint Benilde, several organizations are also quite diverse from the LGBT pride org, Debate Society, AIESEC (youth organization), Leaders of Diplomacy (LEAD), Junior Marketing Association (JMA), Ka-Isa (political party), Kristryanong Kabataan para sa Bayan (Christian Ministry) to Greenergy, Media Max, Hotel Restaurant Institution Management Society and Chefs in Progress among many others. My home organization Lead, pioneered model United Nations simulations in the college and held annual conferences where students from different universities locally and internationally are invited to participate and apply their knowledge on international relations and foreign policy.
I was able to take part on my first year and represent the delegation of Denmark during the simulation where I defended policies, actively discussed what my host country had to offer to solve the agenda presented at hand. Aside from that, I was also part of the 4-day simulation’s press where I was tasked to cover the whole event through print writing and web content writing in the event’s own website all developed by Lead’s members.
International organizations like AIESEC which is actively visible all over the world is also present in our college. I was also a member where I was part of the legal and administrative department and was responsible for writing proposals, letters to school administrative heads and proper correspondence to project partners, while making sure that the projects and events held by AIESEC in the college were binding within the school policies and regulations. AIESEC also immersed me in an interactive manner of actively living out social responsibility and servant-leadership. I was also able to meet several other AIESEC-ers from different universities who have AIESEC in their campuses as well. Through this, I was able to improve my public speaking skills, my confidence and my willingness to explore potential in myself and in others; the goal of every AIESEC-er by the end of their stay within the org.
Student organizations make the university and college life interesting and full of technicolor that continues to inspire, challenge and sometimes even help students reevaluate their personal decisions and process of self development. Besides that, org life also teaches students to balance the core of student life which is academics with the demands of organizations that help launch their prospective careers after college. Being active in several organizations is never a bad thing nor is prohibited, but the balance that must be attained is utmost significant in moving forward as a student and that is something one should consider when planning to explore their options when it comes to joining student organizations in Philippine universities.
you might want to read this article if you have no idea in choosing programs and courses.