Article by Kyle Sante
Illustration by Glu Lanuza
Published 2020 October 15
A sudden increase in student membership this school year compelled the Ateneo Biological Organization (Ateneo BOx) to convene its first-ever online General Assembly (GA) for two days, October 9-10, 2020.
With the stay-at-home situation of students in the pandemic, the Ateneo BOx planned to introduce its recruits to its different advocacies, departments, and officials via the online platform Zoom.
However, after garnering 218 new applications from RecWeek last September 14-26, the projected number of attendees for the assembly rose to 316, surpassing the participant limit of the platform and requiring an additional day for the event to accommodate all of the organization’s members.
“We decided to do [the GA] for two days for [the] very practical reason that we cannot accommodate all members in one call since the maximum number of participants of our organization’s Zoom account is 300, and we were expecting more than 300 attendees,” Vice President for Membership Affairs Stephanie Obias said in an interview last Sunday, October 11.
“We also wanted to limit the participants per day so that it will not overwhelm us especially because the online General Assembly is something new for everyone,” she added.
With its advocacy for appreciating life in all forms, the Ateneo BOx continues to remain firm in promoting inclusivity, diversity, and holistic formation to its members.
“Although our name has the word biology in it, we are not just a home organization; we are an organization about appreciating life,” General Assembly host, Kyle Guevarra of 5 BS Biology, reiterated in the event.
Revitalization of Family System
The staggering increase in membership also compelled the organization to rekindle the Family System which was renounced last year.
On August 15, the Ateneo BOx Executive Board issued Memorandum 2021-003 which discussed the reimplementation of the Family System. A month after, Memorandum 2021-005 was published to explain some modifications in its implementation.
In the General Assembly, Ateneo BOx Associate Vice President for Member Relations Bea Lipana discussed several reasons for the revitalization of the system.
“We want to create a more inclusive and welcoming culture in BOx, and we want our members to know and feel that besides being part of an advocacy-based organization they are surrounded by like-minded people who share the same advocacies and beliefs that they [have],” Lipana said.
She also emphasized that “companionship is needed now more than ever, since [people] are physically apart from each other.”
The Family System served a big role in distributing the attendees for the online General Assembly. To make the event more fun and interactive, it was also utilized for the breakout sessions during the conference.
Several projects in the near future are reserved to maximize the refurbished system.
Within the school year, the Ateneo BOx will hold Family Cup games and Family Get-Togethers to encourage interactions and bonding moments within its members.