The Lasallian Mission Week (LSMW) 2016 was held last November 14 to 19, with the theme, “Pagsasabuhay ng Misyong Lasalyano sa Panahon ng Pagbabago.” The week showcased various activities, booths, workshops, and seminars with the mission of advocating the Lasallian community’s role in creating a change in society.
The advocacy of LSMW 2016 is to act even amidst the prevalence of social issues. Vice President for Lasallian Mission Special Projects and Initiative Coordinator Carmel Puertollano remarks, “We want to let people know that during this time when we hear that change is coming, it could be for the better, because we choose to be part of the solution to our country’s problems rather than to complain and to feel defeated.”
Puertollano believes that Lasallians are privileged with an education that encourages innovation and contribution to change. “There is no reason for us to say we cannot do anything about it,” she adds.
Priority this year
The LSMW 2016 prioritized on strengthening their online and campus presence in order to reach out to more students. The organizers teamed up with Archers Network and the University Student Government (USG) to help promote the event through videos and posters in their social media accounts.
“I think because this is a lesser known celebration, we always need to work doubly hard to promote our programs and to make sure that people understand what the Lasallian Mission is all about,” Puertollano shares. It was expected that the online campaign would result to more student participation in the advocacies and activities of DLSU’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Lasallian Mission.
Consequently, in the process of organizing the event, more students were involved in the formation of activities. Puertollano believes that the students’ involvement means that the formation programs of the University did well in instilling a service-driven mindset among students.
The week-long event showcased a variety of stalls, seminars, and activities. Faculty and students had the opportunity to attend different talks regarding how different disciplines may contribute to positive social change.
Workshops were also conducted such as one on mental health awareness, which was organized by the Office of Counseling and Career Services for student leaders of the different student organizations. The workshop’s goal was to provide them with knowledge on how to identify and aid members of their organizations who are currently experiencing mental health issues.
In addition, a trade fair was set up that features different products of partner communities and entrepreneurs. An exhibit showcasing the Lasallian Mission and the community engagement programs it offers was displayed in the Learning Commons of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall. The highlight of the event was the much-anticipated traditional boodle fight which members of the Lasallian community were invited to take part of.
One in Service, One La Salle
As a culmination program, the Office of the President initiated the One in Service, One La Salle (OSOL) initiative, which was mainly organized by the USG. OSOL offers community development programs through socio-civic activities that cater to the different passions and advocacies of the Lasallian community. The event concluded last November 25.
For its first year, the event highlighted human rights advocacies. Jahziel Lantin (V, CHE), one of the projects heads for OSOL, commented, “There comes a time in college that some students may feel the desire to actualize their advocacies, and create change to the society. This program gives them that opportunity, catering to their different passions and purpose.”
Batch governments and other student organizations also helped in initiating several initiatives of OSOL. The student organizations of the Management of Financial Institutions Association, Ley La Salle, AdCreate Society, Association of Computer Engineering Students, La Salle Computer Society, Chemical Engineering Society, and ENGLICOM were among those who participated in the event.
“To reach out to these organizations, OSOL aligned the advocacy of each student organization to different community development initiatives and partnered them with a non-government organization that corresponds to their specific call of action,” Lantin explains. The event was able to partner with around 117 NGOs from various sectors of society.
OSOL aims to encourage Lasallians to answer the call of service and start a change. OSOL Project Head Zed Laqui (V, AE-APC) expresses, “I pray that this program becomes the start of annual service or a community day for Lasallians teaching minds, touching hearts, and transforming the lives of thousands of families, children, and even our environment.”
Puertollano says that the Lasallian Mission should be something that the Lasallian community live by every day. “The goal of Lasallian Mission Week is to remind us that we have been privileged with a good education and it is our duty to ensure that we use it for the good of this country,” she concludes.