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What Are Student Organizations in the Philippines?

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Sep 08, 2021

Student Organizations in the Philippines are one of the most active social groups formed by the youth. From high school to college, student organizations are everywhere — and for good reason! But, what are these student organizations to begin with? Let’s find out!

What is a Student Organization?

The Barden Bellas talking to each other before their performance

As the name suggests, a student organization is a formally organized group of students that serve a certain vision or purpose, and achieve a  mission or goal. These student organizations are usually found in schools while some are made up of students from different schools across a certain region or country

Student organizations exist for different reasons and knowing these can help you decide if you should join one. For example, there are student organizations that are mandatory in schools such as the student government and the student newspaper. While there are some organizations that are advocacy-based (e.g., environment conservation or LGBTQIA+ rights), interest-based (e.g., Math or debate clubs), and sports-related (e.g., varsity sports teams). The best part in student organizations? You can definitely join more than one!

In short, student organizations are like your barkada — formal but fun!

High School Musical cast dancing together in a gymnasium

What to do and expect in a student organization?

Being a part of student organizations is not only fun but also very fulfilling as you get to experience a whole new level of friendship! You enjoy doing the activities you love with people who also feel the same way! 
Other than doing activities together, one thing that you can expect from student organizations is that they are literally your ates and kuyas, especially for those entering college! Not only can they give you guides and notes throughout your entire college journey, but they also make your freshman year very memorable! They prepare activities to welcome you to your univ life during college orientations — popularly known as the freshie week!

What’s the difference between high school and college student organizations?

Mike Wazowski jumps in excitement

Hold up! You might ask, what separates high school and college student organizations from each other? Well, most of the time, it all boils down to scope of activities, categories in competitions, or even the members’ population.

Of course, high school students are much younger than college students. They may be able to lead in student bodies or write in student papers but they may require more supervision from the school faculty and cannot simply conduct activities on their own — compared to college students. Also, the younger students are more likely to compete in amateur-level competitions while the college students may be in the pro-level. And, generally speaking, college student organizations usually have more members than their high school counterparts as there are more students in a university than in a high school.

But, don’t worry! The differences between the two doesn’t mean one is better than the other! All student organizations, whether they are in high school or in college, are equally good for your development and interests. If anything, joining student organizations in high school can even help you perform better in college-level student organizations! It can serve as your training ground.

How to find my role in a student organization?

Tracy Turnblad dancing in the middle of her class

Now that you’ve known the basics of student organizations, you might be asking yourself, “what is the best role for me in student organizations?” Well, let’s look at a few of them and see which ones suit you!

The President

An important thing to know about student organizations is that they are led by students, too, and are (usually) simply advised by faculty members of the university or school where the organization belongs to. This allows students with a passion for leadership to step up and lead their organizations! The president generally controls what happens to the organization based on the inputs they will receive from their members. It may sound like an overwhelming task but with the support of your members and co-officers, leading the organization can be a breeze! (Psst… to know more about how to be a student leader, check out this article!)

The Officer

Of course, not everyone can be the president, but there are other positions you can occupy to be a student leader! Most organizations follow the standard set of officers where there is a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, an Auditor, a Public Relations Officer, and the Chief-of-Staff. These officers help the president in steering the organization to achieve its goals with their specific task. For example, the Treasurer collects and safekeeps the funds while the Secretary takes care of all paperwork. Whatever position you choose, you’ll surely be a huge help for the organization.

The Member

Like the president, not everyone can be an officer. The officers must have a population to lead — the members. You might think being a member is simply being present during events or paying membership fees but it’s more than that! As members of an organization, it is your duty to be proactive in helping your organization reach its goals. You need to contribute ideas, resources, manpower, or even connections! Being a member of a student organization is more than just a label.

How can I start my own student organization?

Demi Lovato dancing in Camp Rock

Joining student organizations is good but starting your own can be better! It may be scary at first but starting your own student organization starts with discovering your purpose: why do you want to start an organization in the first place? You can try using tools such as the SWOT, PERMA, or Ikigai to help you answer that question. From there, you can start talking to your friends for support and your school’s administration about the necessary paperwork. Soon, your organization will be up and running!

School organizations in the Philippines are known to be very active with events and activities. Enjoy joining these organizations and surely your school life will be so much memorable!

Enjoy reading more blogs like this at Edukasyon.ph/blog!

Art by Shai Libunao

 

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