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HSM unites students through Inter-school Orgs Summit 2021

Article by: Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo


With the theme “Uniting Towards the New Normal”, the Honor Society of Mapúa (HSM) held its annual Inter-school Organizations Summit last December 11 and 12, 2021 via Cisco Webex Meetings.


Compared to the first Orgs Summit that focused on coping with the pandemic back in 2020, the theme for last year’s summit is transitioning back to the new normal. The speakers and partner organizations, namely keynote speaker Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, guest speakers Engr. Joshua C. Agar, Dr. Teresita T. Rungduin, and Dr. Robert Dominic D. Gonzales, Ang Pahayagang Plaridel, and three organizations from the University, tackled the important issues amidst the health crisis.


Graphics by: Guinevere Rocel N. Rocamora


Shedding light on critical issues


On the first day of the two-day event, VP Leni Robredo highlighted the importance of working together and helping each other in a recorded video message. “Walang batang maiiwan […] kahit anong krisis ang dumating. […] Sama-sama at tulong-tulong sa anumang sakunang dumating,” she said.


Sharing the perspective of engineering and science towards preventing COVID-19 transmission, Engr. Agar, a registered civil engineer and an Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines Institute of Civil Engineering, elaborated on why face shields are ineffective and gave his insights on how to address airborne transmissions. “Face shields can only stop the initial impacts of heavy droplets, but smaller droplets, over time, will recirculate at the back of the face shields towards the face of the person,” he imparted.


Then, focusing on caring for mental health as face-to-face classes are being implemented in some areas, Dr. Rungduin, a registered psychologist and psychometrician, emphasized that everyone should“understand that one size will not fit all” and that not all students have the same pace of learning, so learning might have to wait.


To wrap up the first day of the summit, Dr. Robert Dominic D. Gonzales, also a registered pharmacist, reminded everyone in his talk about vaccines that people should not be too confident even if they have already been vaccinated. “…we still need to wear masks until we reach the herd immunity,” he stated.


Putting the students under the spotlight


The following day, representatives from four student organizations shared their insights on the transition to face-to-face classes.


Ang Pahayagang Plaridel’s Angelah Gloriani listed ten important points to consider when going back to face-to-face learning mode delivery. These included safe transportation, education system changes, mental health plans, a contingency plan, free COVID-19 testing, funds for the development of school facilities, enough and equal supply of vaccines, student consultations, scientific and humanitarian COVID-19 response, and protection for the staff and teachers.


Promoting the safe transition to onsite classes, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers – Mapúa University Student Branch’s Justin Abuan cited that this is a vital role of student organizations. Meanwhile, International Construction Project Management Association – Mapúa Student Chapter’s Harvey Hadlocon highlighted being of service to the student organizations and advocating a safe environment during the said transition


Finally, HSM President Jolo Mari B. Andaya mentioned how the student organization has served the student body even amidst the pandemic including organizing tutorials, webinars, and team-building activities as well as raising mental health and social awareness.


In an interview with the HSM President, he shared that the main inspiration for the event was the student body as they reflected on the things that affected them and the important topics that needed to be discussed to have a safe transition back to face-to-face classes. “… talks about mental health, vaccination, at iyong protocols na dapat i-setup ng CHED or Mapúa para maging safer ‘yong pagbabalik eskwela,” Andaya said.


He stated that the objectives of the event were achieved as the participants shared what they learned on social media and were active during the talks by raising their concerns and questions on the first day. As for the second day of the event, he said that there was a healthy exchange of ideas among the organizations, which was one of the primary objectives of the Orgs Summit.


Andaya also acknowledged the efforts of the event heads and committee members who helped him organize the event despite the challenges of an online setup.


He added that they will be hosting another summit either in the first quarter or second quarter of A.Y. 2022-2023.


The Inter-school Organizations Summit, an annual event of HSM, was first organized last 2020. It eventually became the trademark of the premier student organization to empower the youth and enhance their leadership skills amidst the pandemic.

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