CERTIFIED LEADERS. Participants of the 2017 Student Leadership Congress pose with their certificates at the end of the event. Photo by Tristan Miasco/VSU Web Team intern.

BAYBAY CITY, Leyte – Visayas State University's Supreme Student Council, or USSC, conducted what was dubbed the "Student Leadership Congress" on July 19-22.

The event, conducted in partnership with Kaya Natin Youth Leadership Academy (KYLA), was given positive reviews by the present student regent, Mark Michael Unlu-cay, and the student leaders participating the event.

Transition

Formerly called, “TIME Congress”, the now “Student Leadership Congress” is what outgoing USSC President Mark Unlu-cay describes as a fresh start for the new set of officers to sit in the council next school year. Unlu-cay said that changing the event’s name from “TIME Congress to “Student Leadership Congress” is a hope for building a new and better USSC.

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“When we say ‘TIME Congress,’ ang mahuna-hunaan dayon kay palpak, dako ug gasto, daghan ug utang (what comes immediately to memory are [the USSC's] failure, expenses, and debts). We wanted to erase stereotypical views like that so we strived hard to come up with a theme this time. Truthfully, this event is very costly and during the past years, the planning for the expenses were not strategic. But we have already assessed the lapses of the past administrations and right now we are trying to make the council in good shape.”

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KYLA partnership

Student regent Unlu-cay said that the partnership with KYLA was a great experience. He was very grateful that KYLA chose to collaborate with Visayas State University despite the number of schools that were trying to invite them as well.

“There were actually a lot of schools that were trying to get KYLA too. I introduced VSU to them - that we are the Very Scenic University and they approved to be here with us.”

The sponsorship from KYLA was a big part of the event’s success. They invited guest speakers and designed a 2-day leadership training for the participants. Unlu-cay is happy to see that the participants are giving positive feedback with the kind of training they were immersed in.

“Hearing the feedback from the students, they will tell you a lot of things. This is a perfect avenue for them to see first if what are their strengths and weaknesses, to discover what kind of leader they are and to be inspired with stories.”

Former Daet Mayor Tito Sarte Sarion and former Southern Leyte Governor Rosette Yniquez-Lerias came to speak at SLC. They inspired the student leaders with their success stories and shared tips on how to become effective in public service.

Unlu-cay expressed amazement with the new things he is seeing in this year’s Student Leadership Congress.

“Last time, it was more on lectures. It was actually useful but what we’re trying to achieve is learning while having fun. They are doing activities that are new to them because they have national speakers. They assess themselves and the things they learned after each activity.”

Unlu-cay also mentioned about USSC’s possible partnership with KYLA in the future.

“KYLA is looking forward for another partnership. Next engagement is to follow up the leadership journeys of our student leaders. It is possible to have them [KYLA] again as long as the next batch of USSC officers will also know how to deal with these people.”

Unlu-cay challenged the upcoming officers to come up with activities for them to share their learnings from KYLA during the congress.

“After the congress, they [CSSC] have to come up with a series of activities so that they will be able to share whatever they learned here to their respective colleges and campuses.”

The Student Leadership Congress 2017 was participated by the newly elected officers of the different colleges and campuses of Visayas State University.

On July 22, the CSSC Presidents elected College of Engineering President John Allan Gulles to become the next USSC President, succeeding Mr. Mark Michael Unlu-cay.

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