Back when I was a college freshman, I was excited with what was going to happen in the coming four years. Sadly, the University life that I expected was met with a lot of disappointments, especially with how the administration handled the students’ issues. I remember how I always compared DLSU-D to my friends’ schools in Manila whenever I saw something wrong with the University I come from. One friend who goes to De La Salle University in Manila always asks me “Wala bang student government sainyo?” He always pointed out that it’s the student government’s job to be the voice of the students. But from my personal experience, the student government hasn’t been much of a voice to anyone in the University.
The political parties that dominate this school all promise support for our needs and most of their campaigns revolve around the students’ interest. With endless cliché one-liners but with no clear vision, every student election I’ve gone through mostly had students that voted because “Tropa namin si…” and “Pinapa-supportsa’min eh.” After each election, I hoped that the overall government would talk about the real issues in the University, but instead, the four years that I’ve stayed here mostly revolved around cheesy hugot concerts and events that didn’t even remotely address students’ concerns (not that I’m against these things, but I feel that there needs to be more).
What I also notice is despite the constant emphasis on the candidates’ names with all the loud jingles, room to room campaigns, and catchy phrases, the candidates rarely talk about a sound solution to specific problems in the University, with majority of their platforms focusing on “common” problems that aren’t even problems in my opinion. Combine that with the passivity of the student body. Every term is like a silent guessing game with each council missing out on the “student engagement” they all strive to achieve, making it seem like each term is a game of Marco Polo between the students and the council. Because of this, it makes me think that the student elections aren’t even worthy at all. A student government in my opinion should be able to engage the students in a discussion and get them to talk. Being a student leader entails a certain responsibility for the student body’s interest, and I think that future student councils should be able to protect that, and not be held back.
I sometimes wish I could’ve done better as part of the student body, but hope is not lost; to the future and current batch of DLSU-D students, do not be afraid to talk about the sensitive stuff in your college. Stand up for what you really think is right. Vote wisely, and take time to get to know your candidates. For the candidates, be the real voice of the students, address their personal concerns, and fight for their rights. Give them a boost, encourage their development, and push them to their limits.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions of student contributors for Witbread does not represent the views of The HERALDO FILIPINO.