Last September, the Council of Student Organizations (CSO) and its allied student bodies held the Annual Recruitment Week (ARW). Setting up booths around campus, various student groups recruited new members into their teams and committees.
Joining the ranks of CSO organizations who recruited members this year are the De La Salle Model United Nations Society (MUNSoc) and the Archers for UNICEF (AU), aspiring organizations that the CSO recently recognized as “probationary” organizations. In an interview with The LaSallian, CSO Chairperson Jayrene Cruz sheds light into the processes undertaken by student bodies who wish to become recognized and accredited student organizations.
The Accreditation Committee
According to Cruz, all matters regarding accreditation are handled by the Aspiring Organizations Accreditation Committee (AOAC). “Promulgated by the Dean of Student Affairs and working under the Office of Student Life (SLIFE), the AOAC facilitates the processes of recognition and accreditation of student organizations. The AOAC is composed of the Director of SLIFE, the University Student Government (USG) Vice President for Internal Affairs, and the CSO Chairperson,” she says.
All organizations who wish to become accredited are evaluated using an “accreditation model” made by the AOAC. The committee, through this model, evaluates an organization’s purpose, activities, leadership, and adherence to the University’s vision-mission.
A student body, referred to as an “aspiring organization,” who wishes to be recognized as an “accredited organization” follows a series of steps for application.
Filing is the first step, and is to be accomplished once the school year starts. “The filing period is during the first trimester of the year, not more than 30 school days before the final examinations of that trimester,” Cruz explains. She also mentions that for an organization to be accredited, it has to have a minimum of 15 founding members in its roster.
Among the documents to be passed for filing include a formal letter of application addressed to the AOAC, the constitution and by-laws of the organization, a list of interim board members, a master plan of activities good for one academic year, an organizational structure, a list of faculty advisers, and Student Discipline and Formation Office (SDFO) certifications for each founding member stating their status as bona fide Lasallian students and their accompanying discipline records. The organization’s initial master plan must include the CSO standard “Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Measures” (GOSM) components for every activity.
After submission of documents, the AOAC then evaluates the student organization for accreditation. Numerous factors are checked by the committee during evaluation. An organization that wishes to be accredited needs to ensure that its officers understand its ideologies, that its purpose does not overlap with existing organizations, that its planned activities are in-line with their ideologies and deliver a clear impact to the Lasallian community, that its leaders are capable project managers and have undergone leadership trainings, and that it promotes volunteerism and commits to the University’s vision and mission, among others.
According to Cruz, a recently accredited organization is not regarded as “accredited” immediately, but is rather kept on “probation” for a time. “When the aspiring organization passes the accreditation requirements of the AOAC, they are issued a letter that certifies this. However, they are not called accredited organizations yet. They are under the category of probationary organizations for the academic year when the letter is issued,” Cruz clarifies.
The probationary period for organizations take a full academic year, according to Cruz. While under probation, an organization functions like an accredited one, and will undergo another evaluation at the end of the year. Probationary organizations also do not work under a specific office, body, or alliance yet, but is supervised by the CSO chairperson.
“[Probationary organizations] will first function under the supervision of the Chairperson of CSO and hence will be under the jurisdiction of CSO itself. Probationary organizations will fulfill similar duties as the accredited organizations. After a year as a probationary organization, the initiatives and activities they have executed in their first year will be evaluated by CSO and the AOAC to which the organization will be subject to promotion as an accredited organization. This is also when the committee will determine which office the probationary organization, now accredited organization, will work under. So, for example, AU may work under COSCA,” Cruz explains.
New orgs under probation
The DLSU Model United Nations Society (MUNSoc) and the Archers for UNICEF (AU) are two new organizations that joined the CSO in its ARW this year.
MUNSoc, headed by Angeli Andan as its founding president, describes itself as a professional organization in the University committed to promoting interest in diplomacy and providing the opportunity and the formation to its members to participate in local and international Model UN-related activities. The organization strives for the holistic development of its members in public and impromptu speaking, resolution writing, networking, international engagement, and creative problem-solving.
AU, with Danielle Solancho serving as founding president, brands itself as an organization serving as an avenue to raise national awareness and enact on prominent social issues through student volunteers with the compassion to address the negligence of basic human rights, working in aid of the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines.