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AQYLES traces roots at 10th year

Continuing its legacy of producing proactive and dynamic student leaders, Aquinian Young Leaders’ Summit (AQYLES) gathered student leaders on June 30 to July 1, 2017 at Viento de Mar Beach Resort, Bacacay, Albay.

With the theme “Tracing the Roots of Aquinian Leadership”, the annual leadership summit was attended by student leaders coming from university-based organizations and college-based organizations. Before anything else, a Eucharistic mass was celebrated at the Aquinas University of Legazpi (AUL) chapel with AUL Rector and President Fr. Ernesto Arceo as the celebrant. After, the participants were transported to the venue. Upon arrival, Supreme Student Council (SSC) President Kenneth Osabal welcomed everyone to the event which was followed by a message from Office of Student Services (OSS) Director, Jesus Barizo.

The afternoon session for the first day started with a talk from Fr. Arceo. He discussed the components of being an Aquinian. In his talk, he emphasized that an Aquinian student leader should possess three important qualities which are: academic excellence, moral integrity and emotional maturity.

It was followed by a talk by Ayala Young Leaders’ Congress (AYLC) Alumni 2014 and former faculty of the university, Nikki Estevez. Her talk was on self-awareness and servant-leadership. She reminded and imparted with the participants that “[t]he heart of leadership should always be about service” and that one should be “loyal and faithful to an idea”. She also encouraged the participants to join and participate in government as according to her, “We need more young and brilliant people who would change the way people see government.”

Another AYLC alumni and graduating BS Accountancy student, Karen Daniele Besmonte discussed her Starfish Project, a means for her to pay forward what she had learned in last year’s congress. The focus of her project was how student leaders, especially the non-graduating ones, could involve everyone in moving the university together. “We have to awaken again the passion of student leaders and we have to make them realize that becoming a student leader is fun and is a good way of helping others.” She plans on conducting a series of talks and forums centering on important aspects of leadership such as self-awareness, project planning and management, crisis management, understanding faith and love of society, and creating the future for student leadership. A forum with both AYLC alumni speakers followed after.

Further discussion of concrete ways to mobilize student leaders towards community extension was done by Hazel Bermudo of AUL’s Center for Community Involvement (CCI), as well as the proper process when organizations collaborate with CCI for various community-related programs. The day was concluded with the conduct of 'Mr & Ms. AQYLES 2017’ with one male representative and one female representative from each of the six groups. The mini pageant had production numbers and a fashion show with participants wearing their AQYLES shirts and nature attire. A question and answer portion was also done to determine the winners of the contest. At the end of the night, Berniesan Adra of Cabana 2 and Alyson Mae Budy of Cabana 3 became Mr. and Ms. AQYLES 2017, respectively. Special awards were also given for Best in Production Number, won by Adra and Budy, as well as Best in Environmental Attire, won by Charlz Zendle Pallan of Cabana 5 and Budy of Cabana 3.

During the second day, two former SSC presidents reminisced and talked about their leadership styles and experiences during their service as student leaders. Office of Media, Alumni, and Public Affairs Director Kristina Azaña talked about the origin of the event and the hardships they experienced as student leaders. Valerie Rose Chan, an AYLC, alumni tackled more on how she and her council worked together despite the lack of budget. An open forum was held right after the talks where the participants asked about dealing with student apathy and procuring sponsorships from prominent companies. The final activity for AQYLES, the team-building training course, was facilitated by Philippine Red Cross - Legazpi Albay Chapter. They also conducted a brief Emergency-First Aid Training or E-FAT.

AQYLES is an annual leadership training organized by the Supreme Student Council. It was created by Gideon Villar Peña back in 2007 in order to develop leadership and camaraderie among officers from organizations from AUL.

Posted on: 07.03.2017

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