The Council of Organizations of the Ateneo: Organized, Aligned, Effective
by Joanna Ruiz
Meet The Coa
The COA is composed of 47 accredited Loyola Schools student organizations and is divided into nine clusters: Business, Faith Formation, Health and Environment, Intercultural Relations, Issue and Policy Analysis, Media and the Creative Arts, Performing Arts, Science and Technology, and the Sector-Based Cluster. Between the council and the different member organizations there is a fine balance between independence and collaboration, with organizations going about their own activities while staying atuned and aligned to the COA’s objectives. Constantly keeping in touch with each organization, COA also coordinates closely with the Office of Student Activities (OSA).
Following a process of reflection undertaken before the start of the schoolyear, the COA has identified three key result areas, namely: Identity articulation and actualization; membership engagement; and collaboration and consolidation. The process of identity articulation and actualization encourages member organizations to align themselves with the COA mission and vision, making needed adjustments to their own missions and visions along the way. This process of alignment will naturally go down to the level of the organizations’ projects. COA plans to accomplish this valuable foundational process through consultations with each organization and with OSA. The more straightforward goal of membership engagement has three sides to it: increased membership involvement, increased membership retention, and increased membership involvement.
To this end, COA will work with the OSA and each organization to carefully package the organizations and share best practices to attract and retain members, and to encourage members to be more active in their organizations. The goal of collaboration and consolidation is a natural one for COA. The group aims to establish internal and external ties, and strengthen existing ones, to be able to develop its core competencies. Collaboration between organizations is encouraged so that each org benefits from the strengths of other groups.
Besides goals which focus on the relationships between COA and organizations, organizations and their members, and organizations with other organizations, reaching outside the Ateneo is also a priority. COA is involved with the Ahon Foundation, a corporate social responsibility initiative of Filway Marketing which gathers books for libraries in public schools. A book drive is in the works, with a certain “quota” of books to be collected by each organization. Networking with other student organizations from other schools in Metro Manila has also been initiated via the youth organization networking website OrgForward. It is no doubt that the COA has a big job ahead of it this year, what with the goals it has set for itself and its member orgs. But if its leaders’ enthusiasm and can-do attitude are any indication, then we know that they’ll pull it off in style.
Revised version of “Organized, Aligned, Effective” by Joanna Ruiz LSB Vol.4 Number 1.