Bio freshies brought to new heights

By Angelica Gabatino
Illustration by Bea Lipana
Published 27 September 2020

“The best way to study life is to live it.” 

This is what BOx founder and ADMU Biology Undergraduate Coordinator, Sir Ronald Cruz, highlighted in his presentation during the LaunchBOx 2020 last September 12 via a Zoom meeting with over 150 participants.

LaunchBOx is an annual welcome orientation and preparatory course for the BS Biology and BS Life Sciences Freshmen, which aims to introduce them to their department, programs, batchmates, and upperclassmen. 

This year’s event broke new grounds, being BOx’s first official online event this school year since the COVID-19 pandemic caused students to shift to distance learning. Its theme, Apex, was designed to put the freshies at the top and fill in the whole experience that they will be missing out on during their first year on campus. 

Hosted by Angela Ozatea and Kyle Guevarra, the program commenced with introductory remarks given by AVP of Member Welfare Glu Lanuza who greeted everyone for being present, ready to learn and appreciate life. This was followed by Sir Ron who spoke about the more technical aspects of the course curriculums and shared tips for surviving college. He advised the freshies to venture out of their academics into other areas such as sports and arts, in order to grow as holistic people and live life to the fullest. 

In addition to these talks, videos of intermission numbers by BOx’ official performing teams, BeatBOx, and VoiceBOx, were presented, highlighting the great diversity of the people in the field.

The freshmen were also given a virtual tour of the nine biology laboratory facilities waiting for them on campus. This was then followed by advice given by selected upperclassmen that could guide them in overcoming the increased challenges of their new learning setup, several of which emphasized the importance of collaborating with their peers and joining organizations that could help them in managing their studies and fueling their passions.  

Afterwards, BOx President Alyssa Tañas formally introduced BOx as the home organization for BS Bio/LfSci majors. She mentioned the other advocacy projects that BOx has in store for everyone, like the Marine Rehabilitation Program, the Philippine Biology Olympiad, and Ateneo Biology Cup, which promote BOx’s advocacies of biodiversity, bioeducation, and animal welfare. 

The freshies and their student facilitators split into their respective call rooms for the breakout session which consisted of fun and competitive activities such as 4 Pics 1 Word, Jigsaw Puzzles, Bio Quiz, and Group Discussions that encouraged everyone to get to know and bond with each other.The top 3 teams of LaunchBOx 2020, including Team Tina Rex, Team Bowser, and Team Kevin which garnered the highest number of points, were given certificates. 

Closing remarks were then delivered by the VP of Membership Affairs Stephanie Obias to thank the participants and the people behind LaunchBOx for a fruitful event despite having a few technical difficulties. Finally, she reminded the freshmen that they always have their upperclassmen and BOx as a supportive community for them to lean on, especially during these trying times.

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