THE OFFICE for Community and Development (OCD) and the Office for Student Affairs (OSA) expressed satisfaction with the increase in the community development projects effected by UST organizations the past school year.

OCD Director Jose Cruz III said the results were unexpected considering that the OCD and the OSA only conducted a community development forum last year. The forum, “First All Student Leaders’ Community Development Forum,” is a workshop on developmental plans, concerning the integration of outreach projects into the plans of an organization.

“Basing from how the student organizations did in their community services last year, the results of our forum last year were satisfactory,” said OCD director Joey Cruz. “But there is still room for improvement.”

According to data made available to the Varsitarian, the number of students participating in community development programs has been continuously increasing since 2002. During school year 2004-2005, 5,374 students participated in outreach programs, increase of 3,799 during SY 2002-2003.

Mark Anthony Abenir, an OCD community organizer, said the number of student organizations that availed of the community service fund also increased last school year—from 11 college-based organizations to 16 and from two university-wide organizations to 13—as a result of the forum.

Abenir said before OCD and OSA organized the forum, most UST community service programs focused only on “short-term” projects like medical missions and party-planning. He added that the organizations are encouraged to incorporate long-term goals into their community service programs during the forum

Meanwhile, OCD and OSA told student leaders to strengthen partnerships with other organizations to attain high-impact changes, particularly in education and sports, in their sponsored communities. I.A.L. de Lara

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