WE JUST concluded Recruitment 101, an activity sponsored by the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) and the Office for Student Affairs (OSA) last June 25 . It was an exciting and fun-filled four-day event participated in by 27 university-wide student organizations, including the Varsitarian and the Domnet Youth Group, an organization of students from Dominican schools.

Religious, socio-civic, sports and wellness, technical, arts and culture, and cause-oriented organizations participated in the event.

The officers and members of these organizations enjoyed great moments of recruiting new members, meeting new friends, watching performances, showcasing their talents, savoring delicious food and, finally, getting wet under the heavy rain at the Plaza Mayor.

The parade that ushered the opening of Recruitment 101 revealed the dynamism and creativity of these organizations. The colorful costumes, props and beautiful faces animated the entire parade and tremendously charmed the crowd. These are just one of the exciting experiences that a student in UST, especially those who are active in student organizations, can enjoy.

While Recruitment 101 was running at the Plaza Mayor, “Growls 400: Characteristics of a True Thomasian”, sponsored by the UST Central Student Council, prepped up students especially the freshmen to growl like a true Thomasian. Students had their picture taken at the photo wall of the Growl. Students excitedly lined up and patiently waited. Meanwhile, the local Student Councils conducted the Freshmen Tour of the campus.

All these activities welcomed freshmen to Thomasian campus life and exposed them to the fun of joining the organizations.

Of course, joining student organizations does not only bring fun-filled experiences. It actually helps complete the development of the students. They will be challenged to handle their emotions well, understand the feelings of others, cope with difficult situations as well as pressure, experience victory and sorrow as part of a team, share opinions and be open to the opinion of others.

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Joining organizations provides the students with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. They may choose to serve as officer or committee head in their organization, or a member who actively participates. They may choose to be good followers who perform well supportive roles. Whatever role they take, students are developed to become a part of an organization where leadership and group skills are honed.

Being members of an organization, students can develop their skills to organize, initiate and implement meaningful activities on campus, which instills in them good decision-making skills.

Organizations provide opportunities to increase one’s confidence, to discover and hone talents, and to find an effective avenue for self-expression. More importantly, organizations serve as grounds where individual and group values can be nurtured.

Joining an organization and becoming a leader in the chosen organization requires excellent time management—the ability to do a great balancing act between curricular and extra-curricular activities. Many students are great in this. They study well, join extra-curricular activities and experience the fun of growing into mature persons. Some even graduate with Latin honors.

I think it is important for everyone engaged in the total formation of the students to understand how vital extra-curricular activities and student organizations are in complementing the curricular activities. Curricular activities should certainly take the center stage. However, we should realize that many aspects of student development cannot be completely achieved in the classroom. Student organizations and student activities outside the classroom completes the Thomasian campus life.

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