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Cardinal Cyberspace: MU celebrates FroSHS Week 2021

Article by: Crismhil S. Anselmo, Goven M. Barrera, and Therese Anne B. Cruz

Graphics by: Clark Vincent P. Constantino

Marking the start of the new academic year, Mapúa University (MU) opened its virtual gates to college freshmen and Grade 11 students through its annual FroSHS Week with the theme “InteGREAT: Flex-ability” last August 16 to 21, 2021 via various online platforms.

Throughout the week-long celebration, the University’s different schools, departments, and student organizations introduced the Mapúan life to the new batch of Cardinals through a series of webinars and events.

Logging in to Mapúa

During the opening ceremony last August 16, MU President and CEO Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea welcomed the new senior high school students and college freshmen into Mapúa’s corner in cyberspace. He added that he hopes to welcome them to the University’s Intramuros and Makati campuses soon.

“It [Mapúa’s online environment] is a place where you will study and socialize throughout your stay with us – fully while the pandemic is still around, and partly, under a blended learning system when the pandemic is gone,” Dr. Vea remarked.

Moreover, the CEO emphasized that those who chose to take the University’s ubiquitous online experience, or those who took the fully online programs, will be entirely immersed in the online space throughout their stay. 

Later that day, the University hosted a non-academic services orientation wherein representatives from the Campus Maintenance and Development Office, Health Services Department, Center for Guidance and Counseling, Center for Student Advising, Office of International Career and Exchange Programs, Office of the Prefect of Discipline (OPD), Office of Student Affairs, and Registrar’s Office discussed the various facilities and services that the University offers. During the same orientation, the OPD discussed the contents of the student handbook, policies on social media violations and academic integrity.

Exploring the Virtual Campus

The following day, several student organizations held webinars and talks via Zoom and Facebook Live. The Mathematical Society of Mapúa conducted a webinar entitled “The Data Scientist in All of Us” that featured the present applications and relevance of data science. Subsequently, the Association of Biological Engineers of Mapúa (Biologic) organized the webinar entitled “Embarking on New Journey the BEst Way” that discussed pointers in managing one’s academic and personal life amidst the pandemic.

Afterwards, the Hiraya: School of Media Studies (SMS) Student Council carried out “Barangay SMS”, an orientation that introduced their department to SMS freshmen. Meanwhile, the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies/Transportation Science Society of the Philippines - Mapúa conducted “Destination Acquired,” a webinar where their seniors shared lessons and experiences to the new students.

Furthermore, the Mapúa University Sports Enthusiasts Organization hosted a webinar on getting back on track with one’s priorities amidst time conflict and crisis. Lastly, the Philippine Society of Sanitary Engineers - MU Student Chapter organized “The ESEntials: Environmental and Sanitary Engineering Starter Pack” which provided aspiring Environmental and Sanitary Engineering students tips for their journey in the program.

Furthermore, he mentioned the addition of artificial intelligence to the University’s online learning materials. “We have also deployed artificial intelligence in some of the basic courses called Aleks, [by] McGrawHill, where it learns how best to guide students in navigation of the different topics in a particular course,” Dr. Vea explained.

In addition, the School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering and Sciences (CBMES) partnered with four student organizations, namely Materials Engineering Society, Biologic, Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers - Mapúa Student Chapter (PIChe-MSC), and  Chemistry Society of Mapúa to conduct a four-day Alter-CBMES podcast via Facebook Live from August 17 to 20. The representatives from the said organizations shared their personal experiences as students of CBMES while promoting organizations within the said school.

Building Online Connections

Last August 18, the Mapúa Council of Organizations started the day with an orientation introducing the University’s institutional, general, and departmental student organizations via Facebook Live. Throughout the event, representatives discussed their organization’s goals and benefits to encouraged freshmen to join them.

On the same day, the Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines – MU Student Chapter recounted the plight of the student body towards the online class setup through their event entitled “COVID Mapúa: Coming Out Vividly in Doom from Mapúa” via MS Teams. Additionally, the School of Information Technology Student Council (SoIT-SC) held a webinar via Zoom on mental health wellness, particularly in coping with the struggles of studying at home

Ending the day, the Association of Geologists and Geological Engineers of Mapúa conducted a webinar entitled “Terra Nova: What Lies Ahead?” that tackled the expectations of the Geology undergraduate program.

On the fourth installment of the FroSHS week, PIChE-MSC shed more light towards the Mapúan life in an event entitled “ChEka Muna: An Intro to the Mapúan ChExperience”. Following this, the MU SHS– Social Sciences Circle hosted a social event entitled “The Circle’s Asylum: SOCSCINEMA” where they had a movie marathon for both members and non-members of the organization.

Meanwhile, the Enrique T. Yuchengco School of Business Management (ETYSBM) Student Council introduced the freshmen to the Mapúan journey as the alumni shared their experiences through their webinar entitled “Skies of Excellence: A Whole New Mapúan” via Discord.

Afterwards, Every Nation Campus – Mapúa hosted a webinar where past and present Mapúans talk about their personal experiences through digital learning and how they navigate through the University’s digital set up.

The next day, the Webmasters Guild of Mapúa taught the basics of Python, a programming language, through a workshop. Subsequently, the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers – MUSC held an event entitled “Survival Guide 2.0: Strategic Headstart for Civil Engineering Mapúans” where speakers shared tips on surviving life at the University. Similarly, the School of Social Sciences and Education (SSSE) had the SSSE seniors meet and interact with the freshmen to talk about managing the college life.

Welcoming Digital Cardinals

Moving to a close last August 20, the Council of Presidents hosted an interactive event entitled “Mapúan InterACT: Acing College Together” where the local student councils aimed to promote the Mapúan spirit and camaraderie through their virtual mentorship program.

Later that day, MU held its traditional acquaintance party with performances from guest bands, Spongecola and Itchyworms, as well as Mapúa Radio Cardinal’s featured artists, namely Paper Satellites, Breezy Blues, Aunt Robert, and Carlos De Guia via Facebook Live. Raffle prizes were also given away to the students who attended the event. In partnership with the Central Student Council, the University also encouraged the students to join the FroSHS Week 2021 Tiktok Challenge.

On the last day of the week-long celebration, School of CBMES hosted the webinar entitled “Frosh Day High” where they shared their perspectives on the typical life of a CBMES student. Meanwhile, the SoIT-SC released its podcast’s seventh episode named “Spill the SOITea” which focused on sharing memorable Mapúan moments while also giving advice to the new students.

Through the various events and webinars conducted during the FroSHS Week, the new Cardinals were equipped with the tools they needed to start their journey as Mapúans.  As the freshmen geared up for the online learning mode, Dr. Vea highlighted how lucky the new students are to be digital natives who grew up being familiar with technology and the internet. However, he said that online systems are just tools for them to use.

“What is important is what we wish to accomplish with these tools and that is learning - the very essence of why you are here at Mapúa.” the MU President and CEO said.

“Here, each academic program subscribes to a set of learning outcomes or student outcomes that will equip the likelihood of the successful launch of your careers a few years from now,” Dr. Vea added.

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