OSA discusses use of spaces & org registration at UPLB student org orientation

27 March 2024 | Carmel J. Cayaon |

Seventy student leaders attended the orientation for new, renewing, and registered student organizations held by the Office of Student Activities (OSA) on February 26, 2024, at the Makiling Ballroom Hall, Student Union Building.

In her welcome message, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Janette H. Malata-Silva emphasized the importance of having procedures and processes regarding activities inside and outside UPLB.

“Hindi naman natin siya nilagay in place for whimsical concerns, nilagay natin siya for the safety of each and every one of you,” Malata-Silva stated.

She also discussed the use of spaces, affirming that the Student Union Building is a student space while also sharing plans for its rehabilitation.

“The SU and the vicinity of SU can be used by student organizations. We prioritize the use of our student organizations sa ating building,” Malata-Silva said.

On student activities

OSA Director Marcelina C. Miranda gave an overview of the office as a unit under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA). She emphasized the need for students to be active in university activities and events.

“Dapat may participation tayong mga estudyante, kasi first and foremost, para naman ito sa inyo, para ito sa atin,” Miranda highlighted.

Miranda also discussed programs and services for students while giving a short tour of the OSA page. She cited the annual Freshie Activities, where orgs also participate, as one of these programs and services.

The orientation’s main speaker, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (VCCA) Benevieve Villanueva, introduced the OVCCA and its various services and offices to the student leaders. She also discussed the process for requesting the use of and privileges student organizations enjoy in using UPLB facilities.

Registration of student organizations

Following Villanueva’s talk, John Lorenzo A. Yambot, project development associate of OSA, presented the profile of registered UPLB student organizations in the past semester. He noted that there were 176 registered student organizations, mostly academic orgs, with an average of 57 members.

Yambot also said 93% of student organization activities conducted were for academic development and that they filed only up to three activity permits (AP) each term.

Yambot discussed the registration guidelines while highlighting the changes that have made registration easier. He stressed the importance and duties of the point person as the liaison between the student org and the university and the cascading of information from OSA to the student organization through them. He added that organization registration is not only for UPLB’s recognition and other perks but also for the security of the organization and its members.

OSA staff Kimbert D. Adlaon briefed the students on the processes involved in organization registration and activities. He reiterated the importance of point persons and the regular checking of the OSA’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs),  a working document that functions as the unofficial transaction guide of the office.

Open Forum

During the Open Forum, student organizations raised concerns and suggested improvements to the activity permit processes, activities held outside UPLB particularly initiation rites, clarifications on organization registration, and other concerns. RECOMMIT and OVCSA personnel were also present to address space reservation concerns. All questions and responses were included in the OSA FAQs after the activity.

OSA staff Carmel J. Cayaon gave the semester’s lineup of activities after the open forum. She also announced other student organization concerns, particularly the submission of Org Trivia and the revision of the Merit Points Guidelines.

The Merit Points, accumulated and used for the UNO and UNIK awards at the end of the academic year and as student organization incentives, will be on hold starting next semester to accommodate revisions. Student leaders were assured, however, that the present accumulated points would be given due rewards. Cayaon also emphasized the need for proactive and transparent communication between the student organizations and OSA.

Student organizations that registered for the first time were also acknowledged, such as Anakbayan Los Banos (AB), Linking Everyone Towards Service in the College of Development Communication (LETS-CDC), UP Student Catholic Action-Los Banos (UPSCA), and the Tau Lambda Alpha Sorority.

Message from the USC

The Organization Orientation concluded with a message from UPLB USC Councilor Neroz Guanzon, who spoke about the USC’s recent accomplishments and current issues, such as the increasing state surveillance of student leaders and military presence on campus. He added that these are also part of the country’s continuing struggle for democracy and freedom, challenging attendees to learn beyond the institution and use their knowledge to serve the people.

“Bilang mga Iskolar ng Bayan na miyembro ng iba’t-ibang mga organisasyon, fraternities, and sororities, magbalik-tanaw tayo sa mga nauna sa atin, tingnan natin ang mga papel na ginampanan nila upang ipaglaban ang demokrasya at kalayaan ng ating bansa,” Guanzon emphasized.

Student leaders also took the opportunity to call for partnerships with other leaders and organizations right after the closing remarks.

The orientation for student organizations is the final step for their registration with the UPLB OSA, which aims to introduce university protocols, directives, and guidelines relevant to student organizations and their representatives. It also serves as a platform for registered and registering student organizations to be updated on the latest news and announcements of the office.