This year, the Ateneo Student Exposure Program (ASEP), an institutionalized exposure program for student volunteers since 1978, is being mapped out to serve areas and communities hardly hit by Tropical Storm Pablo. The Arrupe Office of Social Formation, where the ASEP is lodged under, is currently re-thinking and re-designing the program for this year to factor in community service that specifically responds to Pablo’s impact, fielding its corps of student volunteers to undergo intensive two-week exposure in areas that suffered the most devastation. Communities eyed as possible exposure areas are those in Compostela Valley and in Davao Oriental.

The Arrupe Office will soon do an extensive area scanning to determine appropriate venues as possible areas of deployment for its groups of student volunteers. The intensive exposure period is set to commence shortly before the summer session. Student volunteers who qualify for the program are expected to sojourn in their specific area of exposure and are expected to render community service in accordance with the specific needs of the community.  To some extent, this is a bit different from the previous management of the program, since this year’s design is specifically tailored fit according to the contingencies demanded by the effects of Pablo in areas that have been badly hit.

Undergoing the ASEP experience has since become the hallmark of its corps of student volunteers now known as the Arrupe vols (formerly, the SICO vols). It has since become a distinguishing character of their overall formation as co-formators, thereby forming part of the roster of volunteers who assist the office in its mandate of social formation. As a matter of fact, a number of past and current university administrators and faculty have had undergone the ASEP while they were students. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)