RECTOR Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P., urged the student leaders to play an active role in social change and nation-building during the 1st SOCC Leadership Congress last June 30 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex (TARC) seminar room.

Quoting the television commercial slogan “walang ganyan sa States,” Fr. Lana said the students have the ability to transform the mock negativity that advertisement implies against the nation into a source of national pride.

He also said the leadership congress should be a venue to enlighten the youth regarding such issues as government, globalization, poverty and education.

“Unlike previous leadership seminars, which focus only on developing the skills of participants and orienting them on school policies, the congress tackled matters of national concern,” Dr. Walter Jalgalado, secretary general of Aquinas University in Legaspi City and former student council officer said. It sought to cultivate the student involvement in activities outside of the University, such as lobbying for crucial legislation.

The Congress tackled five main topics: governance, education, media, and globalization under the theme, “Thomasian Leaders: Shaping a World that Works”.

Dr. Antonio Torralba, University of Asia and Pacific College of Arts and Sciences dean, stressed the importance of education in national development.

“Literacy helps guarantee responsible citizenship,” he said. It is through reading and listening that one is able to transmit. Student organizations have the responsibility to help ensure literacy within the University.”

He also said education reform should be prioritized even before coming up with a project such as the Bridge Program.

Artlets professor lawyer Enrique dela Cruz, a former student council president and councilor of Baliuag, Bulacan, stressed the importance of good governance in leadership. He said a good leader must be responsive, accountable, transparent, and ethical.

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Other speakers tackled community development, media, and globalization. Mary Elaine V. Gonda

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