05212024.Web.Banner Xavier Ateneo News

Beyond academic excellence, Jesuit education emphasizes the Atenean's role in sustainable nation-building, with a preferential option for the poor and care for the environment. The Xavier University (XU) Social Development (SD) Cluster is mandated to ensure this holistic experience is carried out in the university. XU holds an annual Social Development Week to celebrate and showcase various engagements and projects of students, faculty, formators, and their partners. This year’s SD Week ran from 6 to 10 May 2024, with the theme: “PADAYON XU! Continuing Commitment to Sustainable Development.”

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The week-long celebration commenced at the Xavier University Little Theatre, with the opening program titled: “Advancing Xavier Ateneo’s Mission for Sustainable Development.” Fr Antonio Moreno SJ, founding and former Vice President for Social Development, delivered the keynote message. This was followed by a eucharistic celebration concelebrated by: Fr Mars Tan SJ (XU President), Fr Antonio Moreno SJ (former Jesuit Provincial), Fr Amado Tumbali SJ (Chaplain), and Fr Jomari Manzano SJ.

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The Social Involvement and Advocacy Summit was held on the second day. Organized by the Social Involvement and Advocacy Program (SIAP), the Summit was participated by various Xavier Ateneo student organizations, faculty, formators, and community partners, showcasing projects that highlight the institution’s dedication to holistic education and community engagement.

In the afternoon, the SD Cluster hosted the SD Conversations: Collaborative Dialogues with Social Development Partners, emphasizing the pivotal role of partnerships in driving meaningful change in communities. The event aimed to provide an avenue for diverse stakeholders, including partners from the Service-Learning Program (SLP), Social Involvement and Advocacy Program (SIAP), and Institutional Professional Societal Engagement (IPSE), to exchange insights, feedback, and share ongoing engagements with Xavier Ateneo.

The third day highlighted SD’s flagship program on Service Learning with the theme: “Service Learning: Harnessing Education and Service for Sustainable Development.” The summit underscored XU’s commitment to holistic education and community development with students showcasing their service-learning projects, as well as sharing valuable experiences and insights gained. In the afternoon, a Service-Learning Conversation with other colleges and universities was held.

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XU’s Laudato Si journey was highlighted on the fourth day with a forum on Food and Water Security. Xavier Ateneo experts in science, engineering, law, economics, community work, and spirituality convened on how various XU units can contribute to the university’s seven-year journey to Pope Francis’ call towards Integral Ecology.

In the afternoon, the SD Week 2024 celebration culminated with a momentous event called: SD Partners’ Recognition and Ceremonial Signing. In his closing message, Fr Tan SJ, University President, expressed gratitude to all partners for their commitment to the mission of social development. Fr Tan emphasized the importance of collaboration in achieving shared goals. He affirmed Xavier Ateneo’s dedication to nurturing partnerships and building a stronger collaborative framework for sustainable development in the future. The SD Partners’ Recognition and Ceremonial Signing event concluded with a renewed commitment to collaboration and partnership, underscoring Xavier Ateneo’s mission to make a meaningful impact in society through service-oriented education.

On 10 May, the SD personnel (administrators, faculty, formators, and staff) convened for a reflection session called: “From Doing to Being” facilitated by no less than Fr Mars Tan SJ, University President. It is an annual examen ritual practiced by the SD Cluster to find deeper meaning and purpose in the many engagements throughout the years.

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Throughout the week, SD units also organized specialized activities such as the 2nd Clinical Legal Education Program (CLEP) Summit, themed “Pag-ugmad: Cultivating Seeds of Social Justice in Nurturing Advocacies of Law,” led by the XU Center for Legal Assistance (XUCLA). The Xavier Center for Mental Health and Research (XCMHR) and the Arrupe Educaitonal Center (AEC) also jointly held the Psych Assessment for the XU Night School Learners.