Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and Services
The Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and Services is envisioned to be a pro-active, responsive and youth-friendly office committed to the total formation of the Marian students.
The office provides integral and holistic programs / projects and services designed to assist every student attain maximum self-realization guided by the Core Values of the Marian Culture: Excellence, Innovation, Communion and Christ’s Mission.
The Office of the Student Affairs and Services is directly responsible for the coordination and development of the non-academic areas of student-life. It plans, implements, and evaluates programs, projects, services designed to assist every student attain maximum self-realization and become excellent, innovative person in constant communion with others imbued with the passion for Christ’s mission.
The Office of the Student Affairs and Services (ODSAS) was originally named as Office of the Dean of Student Affairs (ODSA). It was officially established in June 1968. It was conceived to function relative to the attainment of the student services program of the University which is designed to assist every student attain maximum self-realization and become competent, creative, and community-supportive person imbued with Christian spirit (4C’s). These 4Cs were then the core values of the Marian culture of education as reflected in the previous vision-mission of the University. In the SY 2013-2014, the vision of the school was changed with the core values of EXCELLENCE, INNOVATION, COMMUNION AND CHRIST’S MISSION.
The ODSAS had the following Deans through the years: Sr. Gervacia Cabel, SFIC (1968-1969); Sr. Stephanie Quiben, SFIC (1969-1970); Mr. Amadeo T. Tiam (1970-1971); Mr. Mateo O. Tugab (1971,1974-1990); Mr. Herminio Belarmino, Jr. (1990-1998); Dr. Corazon N. Abriam (1998-2011); and Dr. Marilyn P. Perolina (2011-2016), Dr. Edwin N. Mania (2016-2019). It was in June 2011 under the administration of the University President, Rev. Fr. Renillo H. Sta Ana, CICM that the office started to be named ODSAS (the then ODSA) when all student services units are under its direct supervision. These include the Office of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Services for Men/Women (the then Office of the Dean of Men/Women), the Guidance and Testing Office, the Cultural affairs Office, the Sports Development Program, the Medical/Dental Clinics, the Dorm Caretakers, and canteens, the school publication (The Marian), and the Student Central Council office.
Aside from the programs that the ODSAS usually undertakes, new programs were introduced like the University Week, which is a merger of the University’s Intramurals (usually in September) (now University Games), Foundation Day (December 8) and Teen Week (February). The Tribute to Parents (started in March 2012) which is aimed at giving honor and thanksgiving to the parents of the graduating students for all their efforts, sacrifices and love and support during the college life of their sons/daughters. Another program that has become a part of SMU’s history is the Search for The Outstanding Students of Saint Mary’s University (TOSSMU) where the search process started in January 2012 and the first awarding on the third week of February of the same year during the Linggo ng Likha at Lingkod.
This TOSSMU recognizes the laudable achievements of students in the fields of academics including communication skills, leadership and community extension. The office also launched Freshmen Parents’ Convocation (September 13, 20, 27, 2014) to forge closer partnership with parents by the university’s disclosure of the policies/ regulations on academic and non-academic concerns’ financial matters, external linkages as well as the new developments in the Philippine education. Currently, the office is formulating program focusing more on the full implementation of the shepherding program where students aspired affirmation, encouragement, support as well as inspiration that creates a foundation of academic and social success founded as the vision-mission of the CICM. In 2016, there was a shift from the basic educational curriculum to the K to 12 curriculum. The senior high school was introduced and SMU maintained to be K to 12 ready. To keep up with the necessary and impending changes, the previously eight schools comprising the college were split into four, namely: the School of Accountancy and Business (SAB), the School of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (SEAIT), the School of Health and Natural Sciences (SHANS), and the School of Teacher Education and Humanities (STEH).
When the K-12 program was implemented in 2016, the Senior High School department was established at the college-campus, and with no incoming freshmen students in college, the ODSAS was tasked to handle student discipline and student development & services, for the new grade 11 students. Retooling of new and young faculty members towards effective students’ life-skill development as well as maintaining discipline in the classroom/campus became a major role for the ODSAS. Design of various approaches, like assessment tools and interviewing methodologies for incoming grade 11 students were developed to guarantee students’ success in the university. Some existing non-academic activities practices for the freshmen which were organized and facilitated by the ODSAS were adapted and cascaded to the Senior High Schools’ needs and context. At this time, the different units became more integrated in the day to day operations of the ODSAS. In almost all of the meetings by the Senior High School that concerned student services and development, for instance, the DSA always came with the GTO and the ADSAS as a team to be actively involved in providing support on areas and issues needing solutions.
Notwithstanding the role of the other units like the GTO, Medical Office, the CAO who cascaded programs adapted to the students – i.e. Revitalized Homeroom Guidance Program (RHGP), Marian Peer Counselors, medical & dental check-ups, dance troupe, chorale, to name a few. Thus five years after, the different units of the ODSAS was incorporate into one by Fr. Neil Sta. Ana, CICM, it became more cohesive and fully integrated. The first Senior High School Handbook on non-academic concerns was crafted by the ODSAS weeks before the academic year commenced on August 2016.
In the SY 2017-2018, the academic year was shifted from June to August, for a more globally and internationally competitive schools. With this reason, the Foundation Day’s celebration became separated from the University Week. The Foundation Day was still celebrated on December however the University Week was celebrated on February. This was the first time the University Week was celebrated on a February, in consonance with the other University Weeks of SMU’s sister schools. Another important highlight for 2017 is the institutional implementation of the Responsible Citizenship program (retizen) for the University. As envisioned by the University President, Marians will have a deeper and better appreciation and understanding of what it means to live for “God and for our Country and for Thee,” as expressed in the University Hymn. But more importantly, it is founded in the Vision and Mission of the University “to form persons exemplifying, excellence, innovation and Christ’s Mission.” Every Wednesday afternoons, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, students are scheduled to attend monthly Eucharistic Celebrations and one thematic seminar -workshops conducted by their respective schools based on themes approved by the Extended Advisory Board. For this year, some topics that were discussed to the students were: Determinants of impulse control problems; How addiction develops; GAD in the context of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love); Friends’ behaviors affect sexual activity; Personality types as factors in behavioral impulse problems.
In connection with the University’s “MISSION et EXCELLENTIA,” and with the directions provided by the then, President, Rev. Fr. Renillo H. Sta. Ana, CICM, and the former VPMI, Rev. Fr. Earl Antoine Alan C. Cura, CICM, for a more organized and deeper formational programs for the University scholars, the “Student Affairs Leaders and Volunteers Empowerment (SALVE)” was organized and launched in November 2018. The SALVE aimed to be an avenue for the school and the students to exercise volunteerism (RA 9418) by providing opportunities and allow student to share, reflect, and act on their calling as Marian volunteers. The word SALVE came from the prayer in honor of our University patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen). All scholars duly enrolled during the semester, specifically students under the Tulong Dunong Program (TDP) of CHED, DOLE Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) scholars and Service Grant recipients, are the official members of SALVE.
Finally, with the publication of the new Student Handbook for the new freshmen under the new K-12 curriculum, 2018 was defined as the year where an updated approach on the policies and procedures for managing Pregnancy Out of Wedlock (POW) cases became holistic, proactive and reformative by making it more inclusive based on Catholic Moral Principles, Academic Regulations and legal principles.
In 2019, Mr. Samuel B. Damayon was appointed as the Dean and among the two Regional TOSP Finalists, Miss Florizza Lorrainne B. Galamay, BS Psychology and Guidance Counselling and Mona Liza R. Acosta, BS Pharmacy, the latter made it to the national level for the 58th search for the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP). It was also during this school year that the SMU Anti-Drug Use Policy was finally approved by the University administration of which the implementation was held in abeyance due to the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic. Likewise, the university also hosted the 2020 CICM Schools’ Friendship meet held on February 4-8, 2020 with the theme “Inspired by Mission, Driven by Excellence” where SLU bagged the overall championship. There are still tasks to be done and challenges ahead to be overcome but nothing is impossible if the ODSAS as a unit and the university as a whole work together to achieve our Vision-Mission and Objectives.
The services administered and monitored by the ODSAS are the following:
- Discipline and Guidance and Counseling services through the ADSAS Men and Women as well as the Guidance and Testing Office;
- Sports and Development programs through the Sports and Development Office;
- Cultural and Arts programs through the Cultural Affairs Office;
- Health Services through the medical-dental clinic;
- Housing Services through the Men’s and Ladies’ Dormitories;
- Food services through the university canteens;
- Publication services through the university organ, The Marian; and
- Financial Assistance to students through the different financial loan programs.