As an offshoot of the community reflection session given to administrators, faculty and students on 19th January, the Office of Students Affairs (OSA) represented by Ms. Theresa Salaver-Eliab, in tandem with the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (Arrupe) represented by Ms. Lilibeth Leh-Arcena, and in collaboration with the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO) through Mr. Elvi C. Tamayo and the Office of the Academic Vice-President (AVP) through Fr. Gabriel Jose “Gaby” Gonzalez, SJ, conducted on 2nd February a whole-day training workshop to club leaders and moderators on the upcoming May 2013 local and national elections.

This special session, which is part of the university’s wider engagement called Blue Vote 2013, intended to provide a formative venue for the different clubs to reflect on their participation and engagement in the promotion of electoral and political education among its club members. In concrete terms, this activity was crafted as a response to an action plan of the student cluster (a recognized sectoral grouping of the first community reflection conducted for administrators, faculty and students), represented by the OSA and the Ateneo Center for Leadership (ACL).

The module used for this workshop was the same one deployed during the first community reflection given mostly to administrators and faculty. But in the interest of promoting not just a reflective understanding and more informed decision come this summer’s elections, the workshop also attempted to underscore the active promotion of a leadership model bearing the orientation of the Ateneo de Davao student leadership that is distinctly sue generis.

This being one of the first attempts to gather together all the student organizations representing different classifications (i.e., sociocivic, political, religious, cultural, among others; both co-curricular and extra-curricular) for the specific purpose of reflecting on the stake of this year’s midterm elections, the gathering elicited fruitful results: It has a high turnout among students leaders, with the participation of the moderators. The planning session toward the end also provided promising expected outcomes, especially that the articulated plans are positioned beyond the 2013 elections. It can be gleaned from the different outputs of the planning session that there is a need to mainstream electoral and political education as a regular feature of the clubs’ engagements.

The student organizations that formed part of the roster of participants were the following: The PNSA, Samasikofil, ECOSOC, ADDACS, APS, JSWAP, ASIEM, ACIL, ADDAMS, AFCC, ASSF, AdDU, AIESEC, JFINEX, NWC, JPAMA, ACLC, FEAT, AMARC, ARTCO, YFC, Samapula, Bahaghari, TABS, SD7, JPIA, NSEC, YES, SELECOMES, AHRMS, JPICHE, ADU, ASMS, CYA, CLM, Reacher’s Club, BUKLAT, ACCSS, Piglasapat, JPSME, FUSEE, as well as the CCO.

The OSA will monitor the concretization of the articulated plans pledged by the participating student organizations (in accordance with their specific classifications). (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy, for the Office of Student Affairs)