Catholic Student Movement examines itself

Catholic Standard, Guyana 6th November 2015

The Catholic Students’ Movement (CSM) of the University of the West Indies, under-took a critical review of operations, struc-ture and functioning at its 25th Regional Meeting held September 25–27 at Mt St Benedict, Tunapuna.

It was attended by the CSM Presidents from the Cave Hill, Mona and St Augustine campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology of Jamaica, the Vice-President of the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s Valsayn campus, and the Co-Coordinator of the Catholic Students’ Organisation at St George’s University in Grenada. It was also attended by the Chaplains from UWI Mona and St Augustine campuses, UTT Valsayn, St George’s University and, for the first time, from the Community Colleges of Barbados and St Vincent.

The review was intended to position the CSM to effectively fulfil its mandate in the socio-cultural context of a new generation of students, and to ensure that the potential for meaningful and substantive engagement among the diverse group of participants is optimised at future meetings. In this regard, participants agreed to propose to the Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) that annual regional meetings be reformatted in keeping with the model of an Annual General Meeting.

It was also proposed that meetings take place at the end of May instead of at the end of September and that a Manual on the revised operation, structure and functioning of CSM be prepared. The proposed new date for the regional gathering will allow for increased harmonisation of CSM activities across the various regional institutions, greater consistency in reporting on the challenges and accomplishments of the past academic year, and accountability.

The meeting also undertook to encourage, through the AEC Bishops, the commencement of campus ministry at other tertiary education institutions in the region, with a view to the eventual establishment of a CSM presence.

CSM’s aim is to help students live out their faith by establishing a vibrant faith community at each tertiary education institution, which enables them to articulate the Catholic heritage, especially the Social Teachings of the Church, and support evan-gelisation on campus. CSM also encourages students to make a meaningful contribution to the Church and society upon graduation, and assists in promoting dialogue between Catholics and students of other religious denominations.