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Second Student LeadCon Report

Second Student LeadCon Report

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Published by: philipjudeacidre on Oct 28, 2008
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SECOND STUDENT COUNCIL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
COA Regional Training Center, Government Center, Palo, LeyteNovember 22-24, 2007
EMPOWERING THE CAMPUS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE:GENERAL REPORT OF THE SECOND EASTERN VISAYASSTUDENT COUNCIL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
 In shaping our responses to these complex times surrounded by technological innovation,societal shifting, terrorism, political instability, and globalization, we, as students, have twochoices: we can remain passive, disconnected bystanders, or we can walk the paths ofleadership by engaging the issues of the day and seeking important changes.
Brendon Burchard, The Student Leadership Guide 
Student leadership involves providing college students with meaningful leadership opportunitiesboth in and beyond the classroom. It gives students the chance to demonstrate their talents, skills, andinterests while continuing to develop new skills. It encourages students to have a more activeparticipation in the life of the academic community.Active participation of students can greatly improve and strengthen the academic community inways that the administration and faculty alone could not do. Students bring new energy and ideas andcan easily encourage their fellow students to get involved. Through student leadership, students learnskills that can be transferable to the workplace or community. Finally, it deepens each student'scommitment to education and increases the chances that the student, even beyond college education,will still continue to learn.Student councils have the power to set the tone for the participation of the students in the collegecommunity. They provide the best atmosphere for fostering accessible and participative studentleadership. It provides a link between the students and the teachers and staff in order to support studentactivities and recommendations.The student council is an effective avenue to find and develop potential student leaders.Depending on the purpose of the student council, it can even be an active tool to improve the activeparticipation of the students in the college community. For instance, student councils can organize andplan school activities and events, conduct a student orientations and dialogues and help discuss andsolve school problems.
THE STUDENT COUNCIL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
Cognizant of the role of the student council within the school community and fully aware of itspotentials, the Youth Arm of the AN WARAY Party List Organization designed and proposed theconvening of the Second Student Council Leadership Conference (Student LeadCon) composed ofparticipants from colleges and universities within Eastern Visayas. This is also in line with its strongcommitment to education and youth development within Eastern Visayas, as expressed in its partyphilosophy,“Education plays a very indispensable role in enriching our humanresources and optimizing their full potentials, as an effective tool for culturalappreciation and national pride, for engendering a highly literate humansociety with a capacity for deep thinking and appreciation for moral andethical values“In order to realize its agenda for development, the party believes that theFilipino people are our ultimate and indispensable resource. As such, it ishighly important that education should harness this important resource ofthe Philippines - the talents, skills, creativity, and will of the Filipino people.”(AN WARAY Principles and Philosophy, 15)The said Student Council Leadership Conference was envisioned to become a dialogue platformamong student council leaders within Eastern Visayas and to serve as a forum that would provideopportunities for closer and more regular contacts and dialogues among student leaders within the
 
 
islands of Leyte and Samar who will become now and in the future leaders of their own generation (cf.Student LeadCon Call for Participants, 1).Through a consensual, consultative and principled oriented process, student leaders were giventhe chance to discuss key student leadership issues, study the current trends and challenges confrontingtheir fellow college students, brainstorm possible solutions and responses to such challenges andenhance themselves with the necessary skills in order to concretize and realize such solutions andresponses.
THE THEORETICAL PROCESS
The
Student LeadCon process 
is composed of three “E” steps:
engage, enhance and empower.Engage.
 
During the conference, student council leaders from colleges and universities withinEastern Visayas were given the opportunity to gather together and form innovative, strong andsustainable networks, linkages and connections among themselves and collaborate in studying, findingand formulating creative ideas and promising practices in the student development field.
Enhance.
 
Through talks, roundtable discussions, open forums and breakout sessions, theStudent LeadCon enabled student council leaders to learn from, teach, support and inspire each other inadvancing the in-school youth sector by expanding their leadership knowledge, strengthening theirmanagement skills and building positive connections among in-school youth.
Empower.
 
The Student LeadCon also encouraged both student leaders and campusorganizations to develop a student development plan for their respective campuses that wouldaccentuate how young people can be viewed as valued resources and partners in the community.Student leaders are further empowered to fully perform their leadership role by sharing their energy,time, efforts and focus to the pursuit of the development of the academic community.Specifically, the objectives of the Student LeadCon are:1) To enable student leaders to enhance and empower their leadership capacities and potentialsin response to the current and other developmental issues that confront the student sector;2) To provide student leaders with opportunities to study, find and formulate creative ideas andpromising practices in the student development field through talks, roundtable discussions,open forums and other learning activities;3) To encourage student leaders to explore concrete ways to better serve their communitiesthrough effective community service, positive leadership roles and active communityinvolvement.
THE SECOND STUDENT LEADCON EXPERIENCE
A total numbers of 102 student leaders from various state and private colleges and universitieswithin Eastern Visayas convened for the Second Student Council Leadership Conference which washeld at the Commission on Audit Regional Office 8, Government Center, Palo, Leyte on November 22 to24, 2007.Each school was represented by a delegation composed of a maximum of three participants. Theparticipants pre-registered beforehand with all the requirements and questionnaires as required by theconvenors. The pre-registration process was also a way for the participants to be able to makereservations since the convenors committed to bear all costs for the conference.The conference was facilitated by a volunteer conference staff, composed of 20 young individualswho divided themselves into seven working committees headed by the Conference Director who tookoverall supervision of the entire event. Moreover, similar with the previous LeadCon, the Convenors’Committee was still composed of the officers of the mainstream organization, AN WARAY and the youthleaders of the AN WARAY Youth Arm.“Crafting a Culture of Action-Centered Leadership” was the theme chosen for the recentlyconcluded leadership conference. Study guides on the theme were sent to the participants and speakersto help them understand beforehand the content of the conference.On 22 November 2007, the participants to the Second Student Leadcon were finally welcomed tothe event through a short program. At this point, the Conference Director gave the general orientationabout the LeadCon as well as read and explained the Conference Rules. The participants were given thechance to ask and clarify their concerns on the rules presented. Afterwards, the conference theme song
 
 
was presented by the AN WARAY Youth Band. The conference was formally opened and called to orderlater in the afternoon during which Cong. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Deputy Minority Floor Leader,graced the opening ceremonies with his presence as the keynote speaker. His talk dealt with the themeand gave emphasis on leading by example and stressed that leadership is action and service to thepeople. After the opening ceremonies, the first roundtable discussion immediately followed with Ms. Ma.Consuelo Jamora, Business Development Officer of the Philippine National Bank, talking about the firstdiscussion topic, “Achieving the Task: Doing the Right Things Right.” Her discussion focused on thesteps to remember when setting objectives, vision, and mission for any organizational activity. Workshopsessions then came after with “Leadership Management Crisis” by former Cong. Gilbert Cesar Remulla,Philippine Legislators Committee for Population and Development, and “Parliamentary Procedure” byCong. Justin Mark “Timmy” Chipeco, District Representative of the Second District of Laguna. The firstday ended with the Friendship Night.Day Two, 23 November 2007, started with the third workshop session topic “Magna Carta ofStudents” which was discussed by Mr. Philip Jude Acidre, Visayas Island Wide Convenor of the 6
th
National Youth Parliament. Right after the session, the Challenge Courses facilitated by the conferencesecretariat followed. The participants were divided into separate small groups. The second roundtableconference was held in the afternoon. Ms. Josephine Veronique Lacson-Noel, Founding Chairperson ofKayang Kaya ni Misis Foundation, talked about “Building the Team: Leadership as Shared Action.” Mrs.Noel stressed that a leader must have the power to influence his followers. Afterwards, a meeting of theparticipant-delegates with the convenors followed. This served as an opportunity for the participants tovice out and discuss student council issues with the conference convenors. The convenors raisedpossible solutions and lend help to the problems the organization could address. A dinner and eveningsocials concluded the second day of the conference.
“Developing the Self: Leadership as Personal Growth;
the last principle embodying thetheme, was the topic discussed by Rev. Noli Opiniano, Senior Pastor of Nordic Harvest Bible Communityduring the third roundtable conference on the third day. 24 November 2007. He mentioned in hisdiscussion that a sensitive leader must remember the dignity of each member and to encourage andinspire that individual by the actions he takes. The closing ceremonies followed after the 3
rd
roundtablediscussion with Mr. Erlend Johannessen, Chairman and Project Director of Streetlight Philippines, askeynote speaker. His keynote address was about the topic
“Others Before Self: The Challenge ofLeadership
. He noted significantly that good leadership is achieved when one does not care abouthonor or personal gains but of bringing the best out of people and actually changing their lives throughthe way he acts. Lastly, the 2
nd
Student Leadcon was formally closed by Hon. Florencio “Bem” Noel andwas finally adjourned by the Conference Director.During the conference, the roundtable discussion methodology was utilized. At every session, atalk on a topic relevant to student leadership and to the theme was given by a resource person or by anexpert invited by the conference secretariat. An open forum followed the talk, during which reactors,selected from the participants themselves, addresses questions to the resource persons or share theiropinions with the body. After all the reactors and raised questions or expressed their thoughts and whenthere was still ample time, some participants posed questions to the speakers or made a statement oftheir opinion. A moderator facilitated dialogue and the exchange of ideas between the resource personsand the participants and among the participants themselves.At the end of the conference, the participants drafted a Conference Declaration encapsulating thevarious experience and lessons learned during the event as well as a stating a commitment to pursuethem after the conference. The declaration was made in the name of all participants and was read duringthe closing ceremonies.
OBSERVATIONS AND REALIZATIONS
An assessment activity held by the convenors and the volunteer staff on the evening ofDecember 2, 2007 and the following observations and realizations were made:
 
1) The Second Student LeadCon was able to satisfactorily accomplish the pre-determinedobjectives of the conference. It was able to motivate and encourage the participating studentleaders to
engage, enhance 
and
empower 
themselves as standard bearers in their respectiveschool communities;2) It was able to create an avenue for student leaders to establish networks and linkages withother student leaders from different colleges and universities;3) It imparted learning and information to the student leaders on leadership principles and thenecessary leadership skills;

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