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SECOND STUDENT COUNCIL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

COA Regional Training Center, Government Center, Palo, Leyte


November 22-24, 2007

EMPOWERING THE CAMPUS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE:


GENERAL REPORT OF THE SECOND EASTERN VISAYAS
STUDENT 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 two
choices: we can remain passive, disconnected bystanders, or we can walk the paths of
leadership 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 opportunities
both in and beyond the classroom. It gives students the chance to demonstrate their talents, skills, and
interests while continuing to develop new skills. It encourages students to have a more active
participation in the life of the academic community.

Active participation of students can greatly improve and strengthen the academic community in
ways that the administration and faculty alone could not do. Students bring new energy and ideas and
can easily encourage their fellow students to get involved. Through student leadership, students learn
skills that can be transferable to the workplace or community. Finally, it deepens each student's
commitment 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 college
community. They provide the best atmosphere for fostering accessible and participative student
leadership. It provides a link between the students and the teachers and staff in order to support student
activities 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 active
participation of the students in the college community. For instance, student councils can organize and
plan school activities and events, conduct a student orientations and dialogues and help discuss and
solve school problems.

THE STUDENT COUNCIL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Cognizant of the role of the student council within the school community and fully aware of its
potentials, the Youth Arm of the AN WARAY Party List Organization designed and proposed the
convening of the Second Student Council Leadership Conference (Student LeadCon) composed of
participants from colleges and universities within Eastern Visayas. This is also in line with its strong
commitment to education and youth development within Eastern Visayas, as expressed in its party
philosophy,

“Education plays a very indispensable role in enriching our human


resources and optimizing their full potentials, as an effective tool for cultural
appreciation and national pride, for engendering a highly literate human
society with a capacity for deep thinking and appreciation for moral and
ethical values

“In order to realize its agenda for development, the party believes that the
Filipino people are our ultimate and indispensable resource. As such, it is
highly important that education should harness this important resource of
the 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 platform
among student council leaders within Eastern Visayas and to serve as a forum that would provide
opportunities 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 given
the chance to discuss key student leadership issues, study the current trends and challenges confronting
their fellow college students, brainstorm possible solutions and responses to such challenges and
enhance themselves with the necessary skills in order to concretize and realize such solutions and
responses.

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 within
Eastern Visayas were given the opportunity to gather together and form innovative, strong and
sustainable networks, linkages and connections among themselves and collaborate in studying, finding
and formulating creative ideas and promising practices in the student development field.

Enhance. Through talks, roundtable discussions, open forums and breakout sessions, the
Student LeadCon enabled student council leaders to learn from, teach, support and inspire each other in
advancing the in-school youth sector by expanding their leadership knowledge, strengthening their
management skills and building positive connections among in-school youth.

Empower. The Student LeadCon also encouraged both student leaders and campus
organizations to develop a student development plan for their respective campuses that would
accentuate 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 potentials
in 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 and
promising 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 communities
through effective community service, positive leadership roles and active community
involvement.

THE SECOND STUDENT LEADCON EXPERIENCE

A total numbers of 102 student leaders from various state and private colleges and universities
within Eastern Visayas convened for the Second Student Council Leadership Conference which was
held at the Commission on Audit Regional Office 8, Government Center, Palo, Leyte on November 22 to
24, 2007.

Each school was represented by a delegation composed of a maximum of three participants. The
participants pre-registered beforehand with all the requirements and questionnaires as required by the
convenors. The pre-registration process was also a way for the participants to be able to make
reservations since the convenors committed to bear all costs for the conference.

The conference was facilitated by a volunteer conference staff, composed of 20 young individuals
who divided themselves into seven working committees headed by the Conference Director who took
overall 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 youth
leaders of the AN WARAY Youth Arm.

“Crafting a Culture of Action-Centered Leadership” was the theme chosen for the recently
concluded leadership conference. Study guides on the theme were sent to the participants and speakers
to help them understand beforehand the content of the conference.

On 22 November 2007, the participants to the Second Student Leadcon were finally welcomed to
the event through a short program. At this point, the Conference Director gave the general orientation
about the LeadCon as well as read and explained the Conference Rules. The participants were given the
chance 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 order
later 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 theme
and gave emphasis on leading by example and stressed that leadership is action and service to the
people. 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 first
discussion topic, “Achieving the Task: Doing the Right Things Right.” Her discussion focused on the
steps to remember when setting objectives, vision, and mission for any organizational activity. Workshop
sessions then came after with “Leadership Management Crisis” by former Cong. Gilbert Cesar Remulla,
Philippine Legislators Committee for Population and Development, and “Parliamentary Procedure” by
Cong. Justin Mark “Timmy” Chipeco, District Representative of the Second District of Laguna. The first
day ended with the Friendship Night.

Day Two, 23 November 2007, started with the third workshop session topic “Magna Carta of
Students” which was discussed by Mr. Philip Jude Acidre, Visayas Island Wide Convenor of the 6th
National Youth Parliament. Right after the session, the Challenge Courses facilitated by the conference
secretariat followed. The participants were divided into separate small groups. The second roundtable
conference was held in the afternoon. Ms. Josephine Veronique Lacson-Noel, Founding Chairperson of
Kayang 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 the
participant-delegates with the convenors followed. This served as an opportunity for the participants to
vice out and discuss student council issues with the conference convenors. The convenors raised
possible solutions and lend help to the problems the organization could address. A dinner and evening
socials concluded the second day of the conference.

“Developing the Self: Leadership as Personal Growth; the last principle embodying the
theme, was the topic discussed by Rev. Noli Opiniano, Senior Pastor of Nordic Harvest Bible Community
during the third roundtable conference on the third day. 24 November 2007. He mentioned in his
discussion that a sensitive leader must remember the dignity of each member and to encourage and
inspire that individual by the actions he takes. The closing ceremonies followed after the 3rd roundtable
discussion with Mr. Erlend Johannessen, Chairman and Project Director of Streetlight Philippines, as
keynote speaker. His keynote address was about the topic “Others Before Self: The Challenge of
Leadership. He noted significantly that good leadership is achieved when one does not care about
honor or personal gains but of bringing the best out of people and actually changing their lives through
the way he acts. Lastly, the 2nd Student Leadcon was formally closed by Hon. Florencio “Bem” Noel and
was finally adjourned by the Conference Director.

During the conference, the roundtable discussion methodology was utilized. At every session, a
talk on a topic relevant to student leadership and to the theme was given by a resource person or by an
expert 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 their
opinions with the body. After all the reactors and raised questions or expressed their thoughts and when
there was still ample time, some participants posed questions to the speakers or made a statement of
their opinion. A moderator facilitated dialogue and the exchange of ideas between the resource persons
and the participants and among the participants themselves.

At the end of the conference, the participants drafted a Conference Declaration encapsulating the
various experience and lessons learned during the event as well as a stating a commitment to pursue
them after the conference. The declaration was made in the name of all participants and was read during
the closing ceremonies.

OBSERVATIONS AND REALIZATIONS

An assessment activity held by the convenors and the volunteer staff on the evening of
December 2, 2007 and the following observations and realizations were made:

1) The Second Student LeadCon was able to satisfactorily accomplish the pre-determined
objectives of the conference. It was able to motivate and encourage the participating student
leaders to engage, enhance and empower themselves as standard bearers in their respective
school communities;

2) It was able to create an avenue for student leaders to establish networks and linkages with
other student leaders from different colleges and universities;

3) It imparted learning and information to the student leaders on leadership principles and the
necessary leadership skills;
4) It strongly made the students determined to make small yet substantial steps towards a more
effective student leadership in their respective campuses as reflected in the Conference
Declaration;

5) It manifested the strong potentials of the student leadership in the various colleges and
universities within Eastern Visayas.

In their Conference Declaration, the participants themselves made the following observations,
commitments and realizations:

1) They were motivated to live out the leadership principles that were discussed in the
conference;

2) They were resolved to make small and concrete steps in order to improve their respective
academic communities;

3) They encouraged the convenors to continue, on an annual basis, the Student Council
Leadership Conference.

The conference staff however noted some adverse observations and necessary interventions in
order to clearly present the ideals of the conference. For example, the political nature of the convening
organization was initially considered as adverse by some schools and applicants. To respond to this
concern, the younger members of AN WARAY bolstered the theoretical framework of the conference
while the mainstream organization took a sideline role in favor of the young members who took the more
central part in the conference.

Another concern was the sustainability of the program. With the positive experience during the
Second Student LeadCon, the organizers proposed the holding of a 3rd Student LeadCon in the second
half of 2008. The organizers received an overwhelming 56% increase of delegates in terms of school
participation. The conference this year was attended by 102 selected student leaders from 39
universities and colleges in Region VIII, a modest accomplishment with last year’s 79 participants from
17 campuses. It was also proposed that an alumni association composed of former participants be
established where the ideals learned from the conference be put to action apart from their own school
organizations.

A number of student council concerns were also discussed during the conference, such as:
1) The creation of college “grievance committees” where students can appeal for grievances and
complaints against a fellow student or towards the faculty or the school administration;

2) Transparency in the management of “student council” or “student fund” fees from college
students upon enrollment;

3) Need for information and learning facilities such as libraries and research institutions and the
necessary interventions to bridge the ICT divide;

4) More active participation of students in the policy-making bodies of colleges and universities;

The Student LeadCon made the student leaders increasingly more aware of their potentials and
strengths and made them familiar with the leadership traits they needed in order to make valuable
contributions in their own campuses.

CONCLUSION

The Student LeadCon is part of the continuing youth development program of the AN WARAY
Youth Arm as approved by the mainstream AN WARAY Party List Organization, the “Comprehensive
Youth Development Program”. It is an experience of young people learning from and inspiring their fellow
young people.

The conference has a vision of transforming student leaders into agents of change and renewal
and to improve the growth and development of young people in the context of a responsive academic
training and collaborative and responsible participation in the life of the academic community.

The 2nd Student LeadCon hopes that student leaders in Eastern Visayas would build friendships
with other student leaders, with their fellow students and the rest of the academic community. It is about
building character, accepting people who are different, and making the school community a better place
to live in. To attain this end, the participants decided to continue to strengthen the network already
established during the conference through sustaining activities and cyber tools such as the Internet
which would allow the participants can interact and share their ideas to improve their own leadership
potentials and skills.

The convenors will continue to encourage and support the development of positive, meaningful
relationships that foster a sense of belonging and connectedness over time among student leaders who
are consistently and actively engaged together in various activities and experiences.

In the long term, the Student LeadCon hopes that the student leaders will take a larger part in the
responsibility expected of them at home, school, the immediate community and the society at large. It
hopes to significantly expand and improve the role that student leaders now play in society and are
brought into the social mainstream and provides them with institutionalized opportunities for student
development.

In order to attain this end, the convenors are designing institutional opportunities and advocacies
to contribute towards the betterment of college and university campuses throughout Eastern Visayas
such as a stronger advocacy for a balanced and conscientious “Magna Carta for College Students” as
well as for student’s rights and responsibilities. They are strongly encouraged to localize their “Magna
Carta” and shape it according to the needs and priorities of their own respective schools and universities.

As far as the success of the conference is concerned, the 2nd LeadCon has been well attended
and actively participated by a significant number of school and university representatives coming from
the different provinces of Region VIII. Drastic increase in terms of school participation has been noted.
The organizers of the 2nd LeadCon strongly believes that the considerable number of participants and
participating schools of this year’s LeadCon will pave way for a more competitive, prestigious and
promising forum which hones the leadership potentials of Region VIII’s young leaders.

Thus engaged, enhanced and empowered, the student leaders, through the Student Council
Leadership Conference and in their own way, are able to contribute in creating, implementing and
sustaining their own growth and development and bring about in their own school communities social
change and transformation - helping student leaders become a positive force in today’s world.

Prepared by:

THE CONVENORS AND CONFERENCE SECRETARIAT


SECOND STUDENT COUNCIL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
Commission on Audit Regional Training Center
Government Center, Palo, Leyte
November 22 to 24, 2007
SECOND STUDENT COUNCIL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
COA Regional Training Center, Government Center, Palo, Leyte
November 22-24, 2007

CONFERENCE DECLARATION ON ACTION-CENTERED LEADERSHIP

Crafting a Culture of Action-Centered Leadership

We, the participants of the Second Student Council Leadership Conference in Eastern Visayas
convened upon the initiative of the AN WARAY Party List Organization at the COA Regional Training
Center, Government Center, Palo, Leyte on the 22nd to the 24th of November 2007, do hereby declare:

Crafting a Culture of Action-Centered Leadership. The young leaders of today’s society joined hand
in hand in promoting the skills and strategies of leadership by doing it systematically and radically. There
are methods and procedures to be followed and hopefully become a habit in influencing others to
become good leaders of the society. The initiative, being responsible, the sensitivity, determination, the
passion, love and commitment; such are the concepts and intents that must be inculcated and imparted
in the mind of a person to become an effective and dynamic leader of a community.

To create a culture of Action-Centered Leadership, one must live by the following attributes:
• Values
God-Fearing, Self-Awareness and Interpersonal
• Visionary
Looking beyond what others normally see
Knowing what to hit and the steps to take
• Purpose-driven and Willingness
Serve as the driving-force in fostering growth, flexibility and creativity to achieve goals
• Integrity
Must possess necessary characteristics and upholds a strong conviction and principles to
serve for the common good of his constituents
• Influence
A good influence comes from a good example
• Trust his members
Trusts and shares responsibility
• Critical-Minded
Systematic and organized
Able to balance pros and cons
Takes risks
Always provide alternative solutions

Action Centered Leadership focuses on what leaders have to do in order to be effective. This calls to
take a proactive stand to implementing well planned set of actions towards achieving goals.
In order to achieve the task, leaders must have the vision and outlook that will make a good difference to
the community.

We also believe that to build and maintain the team, it is necessary to be driven by an inspiring leader
and be empowered towards sharing a common end goal. As we face the challenges to develop our own
self, we believe being sensitive to the needs of others is important for a leader to respond to each
person’s growth through good communication and understanding.

We commit ourselves to serve and lead by example; to embody and apply the knowledge and idea in
building integrity which is necessary for an effective and dynamic practice of leadership.

We also commit ourselves to effectively share the knowledge, values and skills we have learned from
the conference to potential student leaders in our school, thereby, creating a community of action-
centered leaders. Being empowered we commit ourselves to build a team of leaders guided by shared
responsibility and accountability towards nation building.

We support that the institutions we represent be a tool in crafting a culture of action-centered leaders
that will inspire a shared vision and will make it become a reality for the betterment of this nation.

We resolve to support the ideals of this leadership conference. We believe in the effectiveness and the
long-term benefits of this activity in our community. We commend and appreciate the confidence and
enthusiasm of the organizers who invested efforts in leaders who will work collectively towards national
solidarity.

We also resolve that as student leaders, our duties and responsibilities go beyond the threshold of the
academe. We know as student leaders that we have responsibilities to assume, roles to take and path to
follow as we face the odds of our daily existence.

Finally, we resolve to live with the ideals and principles instilled in us by this conference. We pledge to
support, in whatever form it maybe, the continuity of this noble endeavor.

We thank, above all, God Almighty for the completion and success of this conference.

We thank the AN WARAY Party List Organization, its convenors and the organizers of this conference
not only for their passion and efforts in initiating and continuing it but also in inculcating ideas and
commitment to the participants, to all the volunteers and especially, the Commission on Audit for their
hospitality.

Done at the Commission on Audit Training Center, Palo, Leyte, on the 22nd - 24th of November 2007.

The Participants of the Second Student Council Leadership Conference