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Dedicating Yourself in the Village, Sharpening Social Concern

In the past, the orientation period was considered a scourge for new students. How could it not, as student orientation is often colored by hazing efforts from individuals who consider themselves senior. The period which is supposed to be a place of adaptation for young academics will no longer invite sympathy and participation. The adaptation event was abandoned, distancing students from real problems in society.

In fact, students are expected to bring real change in life. Change can occur if students are able to place themselves under the conditions and meeting needs of the community. Orientation takes on an important role because it is during these early days that students experience a change in mindset and attitude toward being more critical and caring people. Therefore, the current orientation of higher education should be designed to hone these values.

Every college bears the responsibility to develop a complete human person, not only mature in his/her knowledge but also has good social quality. This is an important point in education that has been inculcated at Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar).

Since the first day students set foot in college, students are guided to display a high level of social care in accordance with Unpar Spirituality and Basic Values ​​(SINDU). The value of being a full student, love in truth, and living in diversity are studied and infused in the Unpar Initiation and Adaptation (SIAP) series of events and sessions.

Bakti Desa

To complete the learning process, students, faculties and study programs at Unpar organize social activities and field lectures. One of them is Bakti Desa or commonly called Bakdes. This activity was attended by Unpar students of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP) after a series of SIAP activities.

In this activity that lasted for three to four days, FISIP students felt the reality of the lives of rural people. Bakdes has been a flagship program in the Unpar FISIP environment since 2008 and continues to be tailored to the needs of students and the destination village.

This year, Bakdes activities were held in Samida Village, Selaawi, Garut, for three days, starting from 10 to 12 August 2018. This activity was attended by 450 student participants, the majority of whom were new students accompanied by the student committee and lecturers and education personnel from the faculty. The implementation of the Bakdes that intersects with the end of the student orientation period is a good opportunity for them to implement the values ​​of the university and faculty in a real rural environment.

Collaboration with citizens

Bakdes 2018’s success cannot be separated from the success of students to collaborate with village communities. Through proper coordination with citizens, FISIP students are able to identify problems in their village. Of the various problems that exist, students then work with citizens to create solutions to these problems. During this process, both students and citizens adapt one another’s differences.

In the implementation of Bakdes 2018, one of the services of students and citizens is to design and build a trash bin to preserve the environment in Samida Village. Other activities such as trekking and character development are complementary to the student learning process. The enthusiasm of students in learning new things in the village produces a distinct impression for both participants and the community. With new ideas brought by Unpar academics, Samida Village has made a positive contribution to the development of society in the future.

In accordance with Sesanti (motto) Unpar, Bakuning Hyang Mrih Guna Santyaya Bhakti, Unpar students are obliged to practise their knowledge for the common good. In dealing with a new environment, the spirit of togetherness and appreciation for diversity is very important. As shown through the Bakti Desa of FISIP Unpar, even new Unpar students can play a role in overcoming community problems. Positive contributions, both through thought and concrete actions, concrete initiatives of young academics to serve the community.

Source: Kompas Griya Ilmu (Tuesday, 21 August 2018)