WHEN the United Architects of the Philippines Student Auxiliary (UAPSA) – UST Chapter became stagnant for two years, it took only a simple question and a strong initiative to start anew and revive the moribund organization.

Two years ago, Marian Eileen Florentino, now a fourth-year Architecture student whose father is an active member of the UAP National Chapter, became curious why the UAPSA-UST was not collecting membership fees anymore. She later found out that the organization had been inactive due to the hectic schedule of the organization’s officers.

Rebirth

When Eileen turned second year in 2000, she became an organizer for the chapter. With permission from the national chapter, she prepared plans for the organization with the help of a co-member, Varsitarian art director Carlo Fundador Marudo. Slowly, they worked together to make wonders for UAPSA-UST. They gathered seven others to help revive the society.

These nine ambitious individuals provided the organization its needs, with most of the funding coming from their own pockets. Their selfless efforts are now evident with the sudden upward surge in the performance rating of the chapter for the past years.

“Pag dating sa national, nagulat sila (when they learned about the achievements of the chapter). Sabi nila ‘Aba, nabuhay ang UST’,” Eileen said.

New life

The first challenge was to recruit members. On the first day of recruitment, when only few registered. But the officers did not lose hope and continued the recruitment until the number of interested applicants reached over a hundred.

They informed the applicants of the plans of the organization and how it could help them. They promised to expose them to other fields of architecture.

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From there, they started their “idealistic plans,” as the others called it. They had planning and leadership training seminars, educational tours, seminar-workshops, general assemblies, and parties. They provided letterheads for transactions, identification cards for members and chapter ID lace to identify members. They even opened their own bank account.

Funds came from themselves and the P150 membership fee. The rest of the organization’s fund came from solicitations and sponsorships.

“Noong naging active ang UST, sobrang tingala kami sa lahat ng achievements namin for the past year,” Carlo said. “Pati iyong mga pinasa na proposed activities hindi nila akalain na magagawa namin dahil sa haba ng list.”

By the time Eileen was elected president and Carlo as vice-president the following year, the organization had jump-started its activities. But then, the organization was not accredited by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). It was a hard life for the UAPSA-UST, having to go through the arduous task of seeking accreditation by the OSA.

According to the OSA, the UAPSA-UST was on probation, having been inactive for two years. However, the officers, led by Eileen and Carlo, protested this.

The OSA’s non-accreditation did not stop the chapter from continuing its plans, however. In fact, members worked harder to prove their competence and brilliance.

Eileen, now the national chapter president, is working for the chapter’s reaccreditation by OSA. Eileen knows they will get reaccreditation.

Their belief that education is not merely confined within the walls of the classroom is the driving force that propels them forward.

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This, coupled with their faith in the Supreme Architect, will prod them on. Julienne Therese S. Villaluz

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