Davao City (30 October 2012) — The mid-year evaluation and planning of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (formerly the Social Involvement Coordinating Office, or SICO) last 11th-12th October at Eden Nature Park turned out to be a strategic attempt to synchronize initial plans regarding the overall work in bolstering the university formation agenda for the second semester of the current school year and beyond. Attended by no less than Mr. Elvi C. Tamayo, the director of the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation office (ISFO), Atty. Romeo Cabarde, Jr., the chair of the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC), and Ms. Theresa Salaver-Eliab, in her capacity as the incoming director of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), the two-day evaluation and planning provided an opportunity for the Arrupe, headed by its director Ms. Lilibeth Leh-Arcena, to articulate the many areas where the different offices in the formation cluster can collaborate together in pursuit of the overall goals and objectives of student and faculty formation, especially in the area of social engagement.
During the presentation of reports by the different programs under the Arrupe, such as the National Service Training Program / Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP/CWTS), the Student Servant Leadership Program, the Communications and Advocacy Program, the Service Learning Program, and also the First Year Development Program (FYDP) which has just been realigned under the Arrupe, many key areas in collaborative work were identified. The presentation of UCEAC’s framework and its way of proceeding, especially its I-RISE framework or paradigm (which primarily sets the tone and the direction for integrating research, instruction and social involvement) opened more challenges for collaboration with Arrupe since it then paves the way towards recognizing the levels of complementary by which both UCEAC and Arrupe will and can work together on important social engagements, more specially on areas relative to mining and other environmental issues. The delineation of the scope of work between the two has been reiterated: That while UCEAC focuses on the university’s external engagements, it now becomes Arrupe’s mandate to internally prepare the Ateneo community towards a meaningful and relevant engagement outside the university.
This ongoing conversation between Arrupe and its partners in the work of social formation is expected to be followed up with more fruitful meetings as the new semester unfold. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)
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