“I am a Lasallian, and I am damn proud of it,” says a student leader who knows that his education is a privilege.
“I will miss you Kuya and Ate,” says a student, informed about the security agency change in DLSU.
And, “I attended your CEO’s talk,” says a responsible and competent student to a human resource manager of a multibillion-dollar company on his job interview.
Are these students Lasallians? Yes.
In my four years in DLSU, I haVE struggled to find an answer to the question: What are Lasallians? Well, for more than obvious reasons, Lasallians have studied, or are studying, in a La Salle school.
But surely there is more to being a Lasallian than graduating or studying in a green-blooded school. Surely, Lasallians have many common qualities and traits that are causal to the environment in a La Salle school.
Moreover, there must be a reason for this University’s pride; it must at least have something to be proud of, right?
And after countless exams, midterms and presentations, I had found the answer a month ago. As one of my professors pointed out, Lasallians are Christian/ Lasallian Achievers for God and Country; well, at least for DLSU, as I have never been to another La Salle school.
I could not believe it. The answer to my question has been in front of me all along.
According to the statement, and, well, based on my interpretation, Lasallians should champion religion, morals and culture. Moreover, they are achievers; more specifically, industry leaders, who have, will and continue to be productive members of society.
Our graduates and leaders are businessmen and professionals who are model Christians, knowing that not everything in life can be bought. These businessmen and professionals keep and develop their moral integrity in their quest to conquer the world.
But have we done so? Have we produced, and are we producing the best minds and hearts in the Philippines? Let’s see.
In the realm of sports, we have PBA players who have kept their feet on the ground, despite receiving fame and fortune. In the world of business, we have John Gokongwei, Chairman of JG Summit Holdings, and in politics, we have Leila De Lima, the secretary of the Department of Justice.
The answer to the question is pretty obvious. Yes, we are producing men and women who the country is and will continue to be proud of.
But when the guards, who have been replaced, were leaving the school, I wondered if they were Lasallians as well. Many of them were kind, respectful and were even of more help than many other students and administrators who we consider as Lasallians, at least by their description of having “good” morals in the University.
Moreover, we often refer to the secretaries and the janitors as part of the La Salle community, which should mean that they, along with the guards, are Lasallians.
Then why are we replacing the guards if they are Lasallians?
And why do the secretaries have to be changed before they become fully-fledged employees and members of the De La Salle Community?
Tackling this issue though will bring us nowhere as well. The guards have already left, and the technicality of the issue may just be too hard to comprehend.
But perhaps this issue puts a hole in the clear definition of a Lasallian, as it raises more questions than answers.
What if one has a different religion, but has the integrity of St. La Salle? Will he be considered a Lasallian?
What if someone has pioneered many activities in the University, but has destroyed lives outside the University? And what if someone has stellar grades and credentials but refuses to teach others?
Are these supposed leaders more important than the average student who does not excel as much, but has a bit more kindness and compassion? In other words, is competence more important than compassion?
I know. It is not fair. My argument does not make any sense at all because these few people do not generalize a Lasallian.
We are still producing excellent agents of transformation.
The solution to the problem is really simple. If we want to know the right definition or our ideal Lasallian, we just have to ask: what kind of people is the University recognizing?
And though we probably have our own opinions on the matter, consider the situation above with a couple of added details.
“I am a Lasallian, and I am damn proud of it,” says a student leader who knows that his education is a privilege as he bullies an individual.
“I will miss you Kuya and Ate,” says a student, informed about the security agency change in DLSU, when all this time, the student did not care about the guards.
And, “I attended your CEO’s talk,” says a responsible and competent student to a human resource manager of a multibillion-dollar company on his job interview when he knows nothing as he was completing his resume during the CEO’s talk.
Apparently, I still do not have the answer, but if these are our role models…
Let us just agree to disagree.