The University Vision-Mission Week (UVMW) is an annual fixture in the lives of Lasallians. This year’s theme, Imakadiwa: Sigaw ng Paglilingkod, aptly reflected the Lasallian core value of service for others. The week-long celebration officially began on June 8, with University and college-initiated events taking place simultaneously at the Taft and STC campuses.
This 2017, the UVMW Central Committee also paved the way for changes to the event in the hopes of making it a more sustainable, service-oriented, and student-run project for years to come.
How Imakadiwa came to be
According to University Student Government (USG) Vice President for Internal Affairs (VPIA) Karl Ong, the planning and preparation for this year’s UVMW started upon his appointment as VPIA. “Since first term, we were working with the team leaders already, having planning sessions and team-building activities because we believe that when we start early, we will be able to tackle the problems that were faced last year,” Ong explains.
As per tradition, UVMW focuses on one of the three Lasallian core values. Ong states that this year, the theme highlighted the value of service. “Last year, it was about Faith, and now it’s Service. It’s a cycle handled by the Vice President for Lasallian Mission,” he adds.
The choice of Imakadiwa as the official theme was a strategic move by the Central Committee. It was taken from the Bumakaya cheer taught to students as soon as they begin their time at DLSU.
“What we really liked about it is [how] it can capture the essence of igniting the fire within you in order to serve others–and [that became] our center of focus all throughout. That’s one of our main thrusts as project heads because we want to be able to bring a celebration that would remind [students] that we should be Lasallians first,” emphasizes UVMW 2017 Project Head Kaye Baguilod.
Lasallians for others
In coordination with Imakadiwa’s focus on service, the UVMW Central Committee strongly encouraged all participating sectors to organize projects geared towards helping others. This included the events headed by the different colleges and several classes under the Lasallian Enrichment Alternative Program (LEAP) of the Council of Student Organizations.
Some notable college-based initiatives include DLSU Ambisyon 2017, an innovation case study competition organized by the School of Economics Government in partnership with the National Economic Development Authority. Another event is One DLSU Cares, a thanksgiving project of the Arts College Government for the staff and employees of DLSU. This year’s LEAP class offerings also featured a variety of socio-civic topics such as basic sign language, animal welfare, and social entrepreneurship.
Proceeds from the events will be distributed among different beneficiaries. 20 percent will be for La Salle Preschool, 20 percent for the Lingap Scholarship Fund, 20 percent for the Lasallian Legacy Scholarship Fund, 25 percent for the Centralized Scholarships and Allowance Fund and Student Government Assistance Fund, ten percent for the UVMW Fund, and five percent for the Lasallian Immersion Program.
Imakadiwa also gave Senior High School students their first opportunity to be involved in UVMW as both participants and organizers. The SHS student organizations headed several LEAP classes like Krav Maga, cryptology, and theater arts among others.
“[When] we gave them an opportunity to join, they were really “Go!” [for it]. You don’t expect that kind of enthusiasm much [at the] college level. But then, the [senior high students] showed it and it’s refreshing to see,” comments Student Coordination Team Leader Honeylette Sanchez.
On long-term changes and plans
Though UVMW is only a short celebration, the Central Committee assured that its impact would last well beyond the week of the event through several changes they implemented. This includes the allocation of five percent of the proceeds for next year’s Central Committee to use as their initial funding, which will make the project more sustainable as they will no longer start with a zero budget.
This year, the Central Committee had to begin mobilizing through the use of funding from the USG–an occurrence that Ong wants to avoid in the future. “One of the thrusts we had is to really separate University Vision-Mission Week from the USG because we want to make this an effort of the whole University. We believe that by having sustainable funding, it would be our direction for the next coming years,” Ong points.
In addition to their preparations for Imakadiwa, the Central Committee also spearheaded the creation of the Lasallian Immersion Program, which will be held in July. This program will allow students to experience life at three chosen communities: the Salikneta Farm, Jaime Hilario Integrated School, and Bahay Pag-asa in Dasmarinas. After spending time at these areas, students will return to school to share insights with one another.
“We want to be able to at least touch the hearts of those three groups [so that] they learn how to [really] become Lasallians, in a sense that they can care for the last, the least, and the lost,” expresses Baguilod. Registration for the Lasallian Immersion Program took place throughout the duration of UVMW.