Thursday, April 14, 2016

Secretary: Maria Carmelia Galapon

Hey! I'm Maria and I'm currently serving as COSDU's secretary.

To start off, let me explain why (how) I became the secretary:

Right before I left the Philippines to study in Australia, I was part of a youth group at my Parish. I was there for roughly 3 months, which if you think about it isn't that long. Having to leave a group I was just starting to feel welcomed at, I felt this need to look for another youth group here. It took me around 7 months, but hey, I found it - COSDU. Right at the moment I saw COSDU's name on UMSU's clubs list, I knew it was the one.

So anyway, months before the Annual General Meeting, I sort of already knew that I was going to be Secretary. During the first session I attended, we had a Special General Meeting where we had to elect a new Secretary. Right then and there, I knew I wanted to be part of the committee. To be fully honest, I was actually thinking about running as the Publicity Coordinator. God, however, gave me signs to think otherwise. 

I guess my point is: if you really try to seek it, if you wholly trust and put your faith in God, He will make it happen. He knows what you want, He knows what you need, and He will help you get it. He will not call you if He knows you are not ready. He will give you signs. Do not be afraid to open your heart and to acknowledge them for you are being called for a reason. As for my case, He knew I wanted to serve. He called me and I answered. As the saying goes, "He doesn't call the worthy, He makes the worthy called".

With regards to the job description, being Secretary isn't as difficult as it seems. 
1) Create and collate presentation slides for the weekly sessions.
2) Manage COSDU's email account
3) Be in charge of the membership list and the constitution
4) Submit documents regarding grants, events, and affiliation

Now, will you be brave enough to answer His call?

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Social Activities Coordinator: Patrice Penas

Hey there!

My name’s Patrice and I am serving as the Social Activities Coordinator 2015-2016.

Social Activities involves two of my favourite things: food and games.

As such, the SA coordinator is mainly in charge of the Welcome Food and Games session as well as organising the dinners each week. It’s more than just going to Rice Bar because you feel like having Asian food that week; it involves having the consideration of location, quality of food, and probably most importantly, since we’re all uni students- affordability. But I found that no matter where we went and what food we ate, COSDU dinners are always fun and full of joy, all thanks to our members!

Aside from that, the Social Activities Coordinator is involved in, of course, organising social activities. The big events each semester include Sports Day, Trick or Eat, and Scavenger Hunt. The unofficial birthday celebrations and get togethers are also a part of COSDU’s social activities. As we all know, COSDU loves fellowship! And for many of us, COSDU is our family away from home. Part of social activities is to have the vision of deepened friendships among fellow COSDUans, among fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Running for COSDU committee was something that didn’t even cross my mind. At the Annual General Meeting, let’s just say that it was peer pressure that landed me this role. But I praise God for those very persistent people that made me say yes! Being in the committee is truly something else.

For me, being a part of the committee means, for one, attending the sessions. I’ve been a member of COSDU for years now, but I used to only go maybe a couple sessions per semester, if that. Being in the committee meant that I’m pretty much obliged to be present at the sessions- which I saw as God already giving me more opportunities to be in His presence and giving me more ways to know, learn, and serve Him more.

Taking on the SA role, I discovered a newfound appreciation for icebreakers and games. Too often I get caught up in worrying about what is going to happen next, in sessions and in life, but I realise that I have a joyful God, a God that wants me to have fun!

If you’re reading all of this and worrying that you aren’t fun or sociable enough, organised enough, or just not enough, I urge you to listen to the God that calls on us not to worry and calls us to rejoice and pray instead!

Philippians 4: 4, 6-7 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

God bless in your discernment! I am praying for you!

In Christ’s peace,


Friday, May 15, 2015

Sessions Coordinator - Fernando Jativa

Hey all! 
My name is Fernando Jativa and I am the session coordinator! I’ve been living on Melbourne for less than 2 years, but I was blessed enough to find COSDU almost straight away. 
 If I were to describe COSDU in a single word, I would say: FAMILY! And as you can see it is a big one as it has been around for more than 25 years! The COSDUAN’s past and present are still part of this big family! Once a COSDUAN, always a COSDUAN. Now you can find COSDUAN’s everywhere! 
What got me into the committee was not only a decision to help, but also to acknowledge that my God-given abilities will be used fruitfully in this role.  
I like meeting new people, I like to learn, I like to teach, and I like planning. I was very excited to be a part of the committee that will lead COSDU in their spiritual journey.
 As you all know, being in the committee is also a big responsibility! This is not something to be scared about, because it has been a beautiful responsibility to carry. It has never been a burden because as in the Scriptures, if we accept our daily crosses, the “yoke will be easy and the burden light”. 
My main role as the session coordinator is to invite different speakers every week. At the beginning, I thought this was going to be difficult, but I discovered that there are so many people around the diocese who is willing to help and share their knowledge about the faith and other relevant topics. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”. 
As a session coordinator and a committee member, you will have the opportunity to choose what are the most relevant topics that the COSDUAN’s need for their spiritual growth. It is not just a matter of being knowledgeable about the faith, but more importantly bringing it to your prayers and entrusting everything to the Holy Spirit. Rest assured that He will always give you a hand on this journey. I can definitely say that Jesus has been with me all the way in this challenging but rewarding duty. 
Last but not the least, as a committee member you will walk a journey that will change your life! You don’t need to be perfect to be in the committee! The first time I came to COSDU I can say that I know about God, but I was not sure if I actually KNOW him and if He knows me. But with His amazing Love and with this family to multiply that Love, I came to slowly know Him and to Love Him. During last year’s AGM I felt closer, but definitely not ready! God does not want us to be PERFECT and READY. He just wants our YES. Like Mary. Like the apostles. Like the saints. The grace and gifts that He has given me back are immeasurable! (Even the amazing girl there, who I invited to give a talk). 
So take this opportunity! Listen to the divine call God and let him change your life! And change the lives of the people around you!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Secretary - Tara Anne De Mel & Cecilia Liando

Hi, name is Tara and I'm the secretary for COSDU 2015. 

Being a part of COSDU has been the highlight of my university life and joining the committee was the most rewarding. The friendships you make, the fellowship you receive and the opportunity to be in this wonderful ministry is a blessing. COSDU is the only catholic society on campus to date and that COSDU has been around for almost 30 years I feel speaks for itself. For me being called to this position has a very different story than most. When the former secretary, Cecilia had to step down form her position I was asked to fill the position. It was very unexpected and sudden and it also being the last year in my degree made the timing very hard to manage. But after much discerning the decision was simple, when God calls -you don't say no. Because HE knows you're ready even before YOU do. So I said yes, and here I am! It has been an amazing journey and a privilege to work on the schematics of COSDU and I loved every moment. But as the leadership of the 2014-2015 committee comes to an end it is time for COSDUans  to step up. So this is a shout-out to all who are interested in carrying on the baton and leading the next generation of COSDUans.

I'd like to start by saying that being the secretary isn't as daunting and scary as it sounds. The technical bits I agree sounds like a lot of work but that's only because you use fancy terms to define it. So to encourage everyone interested in the this role I am going to simplify it the best I can. 
Being the secretary for me has been like a black shirt in a theatre production. You have a defined set of activities you have to accomplish but really it goes above and beyond. The bulk of your job will be administrative work but I believe your main task is to support the committee. To remind everyone of upcoming events, due dates for grants and important documents and just help out whenever possible.  So here is a breakdown of the main responsibilities you will have to do, in no particular order.

  • Making announcement slides and presenting them each week at sessions. This is where you get to compile the upcoming weeks events and present them to COSDU. If it seems scary to present in front of people and you don't want this role simply because of it, think again. I'm sure your committee will be flexible about it and work with you. In addition you'll be "presenting" to a bunch of your close friends so it really isn't that bad. Making announcement will include working with the sessions coordinator and other committee members on upcoming event that COSDU would like to publicize. 
  • You will be in charge of the membership list and the COSDU constitution making sure it is up to date and is reflective of COSDU's changing needs respectively. Also getting everyone to sign the attendance sheets when required is part and parcel of the job.
  • You will need to attend training sessions that are held by UMSU, like secretary training and AGM training. These will really help you in the managing of day to day activities of COSDU.
  • You will need to liaise with UMSU and UMSUint (Previously called MUOSS) regarding grants, events, and general affiliation. Honestly Liaise is just a fancy word to say you are the person that needs to make sure we get the paperwork and what not done and done right. You're like the J.A.R.V.I.S to COSDU and the rest of university.
  • You will take meeting minutes at each committee meeting. The template and writing style is quite straight forward so it very simple. The only catch is that you must pay attention at all times AND will need to be able to determine the important points from the multitude of chatter that may happen :) . Other than that things like needing to be a fast and  accurate typist didn't stop me from getting the job done.
  • You will be in charge of the COSDU email account. It will be your responsibility to reply to emails and filter out the unnecessary ones and and informing the committee about said emails, especially the important ones eg. UMSU. Simply it will be your job to maintain the email account.
  • It will be mostly your responsibility to maintain the Google drive account. Uploading and organising document according to week and event is important. 

Finally I would like to say that COSDU committee is not like a regular comm. we are like a family, and family has got your back. Ask any of the current comm. members and they will tell you that everything was made so much easier because we did it as a team and helped each other out.  So if being integrated into COSDU's running or wanting to help out more is your calling, consider this position. Discern about it and May the Lord guild you! God Bless!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

President - Christabelle Caroline Cheah

Hey there! Being President doesn’t mean that you have to do great things or be a superman/superwoman. All it really requires is for you to be willing to be the hands and feet for God and to help COSDU flourish into what God is calling YOU and this wonderful community that you are in to become. So…  You may be wondering what being the President of COSDU would entail of you. You’ll need to:

-            Take care of each ministry in COSDU
-             Oversee and ensure the overall smooth running of COSDU
-            Keep the Spiritual Directors informed of COSDU’s wellbeing
-            Supervise and delegate tasks to committee members
-            Chair and prepare AGM
-            Call and chair committee meetings
-             Liaise with The Archdiocese
-            Attend AGM and other necessary training conducted by UMSU

If you feel that you have ideas for COSDU, you want to help it grow, you want to show people and let them experience for themselves the love that God has through COSDU and you want to be there to provide a family for people to come and share fellowship together, this role may be for you! As President, you may think that it is a very daunting task but it really isn’t as long as you keep steadfast in prayer, lean and trust in God. Always remember that God blesses you with more strength and graces to do all things than you can ever imagine yourself to have!

Being President has taught me to pray always, and trust wholeheartedly. Do not be afraid for God will never abandon you and trust me when I say this because you literally have 9 wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who will be walking you through this journey. I have never felt so close to 9 people at any one time and I’ve never felt God working through me in such a tangible manner that being in my role has shown me. You will learn so much, grow so much, cry and laugh so much. You will make the closest friends in your term and you will realize that God is truly in every person that you meet. I promise you, it’s an experience you WILL want to experience. If you feel called in the slightest way possible, I invite you to pray about it because I will be praying for you
J God Bless!

Belle J

Vice President - Calista Adabelle

What I’ve come to observe is that being a Vice-President, as with Any Other role, is daunting, because COSDU is not just another club, but a society that builds character and a lifestyle of its members. While it is important to take one’s role in God’s ministry seriously, the key is to remember that you are not expected to do it alone. You will have past committee members, your own committee members, the chaplains and most importantly, God, to provide you counsel, guidance and strength. That is the one thing, that anybody confused about whether to run for any position, should bear in mind as they discern about what the next step is.
Also, I have shared this very long ago for those who are concerned with how much time they may have on their hands to help out, but I thought it bears reminding : 

“Busyness becomes dangerous only if your activities replace real accomplishment or if you are neglecting God or the people in your care. The key to overcoming empty busyness is… by understanding His call and purpose for your life and prioritising your activities around them.” 

Indeed, it will not always be easy to juggle your newfound responsibilities amidst your other ones, but if God calls you to it and you accept and approach with an openness to be touched by the Lord, you will find joy in your busyness.

To those who question how ready and able you are specifically for this role, I have two things to run through with you, the first being the responsibilities this position entails :
1) Assisting the President, where possible, to ensure President is not overloaded
2) Administrative registrations for Orientation
3) Organising the Welcome BBQ in Week 3 each semester
4) Liasing with UMSU International
5) Organising Festival of Nations and Night Market
6) Keeping an Assets List and keeping track of the inventory
7) Checking the Assets List with UMSU once a year

The additional roles of VP are not completely specific, as any other responsibilities may be rotated, shared or added on based on the committee you’re working with – that is, the flexibility of the role allows for you to do more things than those listed above. For example, it could be looking out for the committee members who seem to be struggling, reminding them of possible deadlines and of things like the next committee meetings.

Secondly, if you think this is something you are passionate in, do not be afraid, for God does not call the ready – He makes the chosen ready. As long as you are open to His gentle prodding and guidance, you will be in for a roller coaster ride’s worth of growth that will change your life in a way you won’t regret. J

As I sign off, I’d just like to leave you with one crucial point : every committee member is as important as the other. Working as a VP to my committee has been a fascinating journey of learning to step up and yet learning your limits. It is a great role that helps you to grow in confidence, yet learn to be humble, as you will be in a position of great awareness of how much you will need the support of other people.

If anyone is interested at all in this role, don’t hesitate to come talk to me about it or ask me questions as you discern about how you may best grow with your fellow cosduans!

Treasurer - Christine Tee

Treasurer Role Description

The job description of the treasurer pretty much covers all money-related aspects!

1) Keeping track of COSDU’s accounts
· Noting down cash inflows and outflows
· In a book or excel spreadsheet, whichever suits you best. 
2) Applying for grants
· Grants can be applied for functions and asset purchasing from UMSU
· The treasurer will need to ensure grant applications, application of payments and other necessary documents are submitted on time. 
3) Reimbursements
· Reimbursing those who have spent on behalf of COSDU, once they’ve handed you the receipt.
· Can be done easily now with online bank transfers!
4) Collection of money
· Collect money whenever necessary e.g. at eat-in dinners, mass donations, o-week booth
5) Attend training by UMSU
· Attend short training sessions by UMSU in which they inform you about how to be the best treasurer for your club!
6) Budgeting
· Coming up with budgets for future events with the committee
7) Prepare Treasurer’s Report
· This is the last thing the treasurer would need to do at AGM!

On a side note, having good time-management and being meticulous about money matters would definitely be a plus point but frankly, the most important thing is to have the heart to serve God and desire to see COSDU continue to grow and flourish in the direction of God’s will! YOU can do it God bless, all!

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