Student and faculty delegates from different member schools in and outside the country participated in the 22nd Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASEACCU) Conference hosted by the Ateneo de Davao University.
The conference commenced last August 27 with the theme, “Catholic Higher Education for Social Justice”.
Different activities were featured in the conference, such as conversation sessions on peace and development and inter-cultural dialogues. The aim was to have an active social community and to inculcate a sense of social responsibility in pursuing the truth. The delegates of the conference came from Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Philippines.
Ms. Lilibeth Leh-Arcena, the Director of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, said that the challenges of organizing the event were to come up with a contextualized programme that will give justice to the theme and will suit the youth.
Conversation sessions on the Peace and Development Framework for Mindanao and Inter-religious and Inter-cultural dialogue allowed for an open exchange of ideas between the delegates.
Arcena shared that many of the delegates initially had negative perceptions of Mindanao, but after the conference, they were “moved and challenged to bring what they have learned in their own universities”.
The Director believed that the whole event turned out successful. “It is a very good partnership among the student leaders, the SAMAHAN Central Board, the Arrupe Office, and the Office of the President. It is such a consoling feeling that everything ran so smoothly,” she said.
One of the student delegates from Korea expressed how happy she was to participate in the conference. “I am very grateful to be a part of this conference, because I was able to share ideas and learn different cultures. I am very impressed with the conversations on social justice. I am excited to share this experience with my colleagues!” shared Woo Jeong Lee, a delegate from the Catholic University of Pusan.
A farewell dinner at the Finster Auditorium last August 30 marked the end of the conference.