OpinionLetter to the Editor by Gregg Tolentino
Letter to the Editor by Gregg Tolentino
November 2, 2014
November 2, 2014

Letters to the Editor is a section where The LaSallian publishes sentiments and opinions by members of the community on matters concerning life in De La Salle University in any of its aspects. Should you wish to send a letter to the editor, kindly email your letter to [email protected], or send a message to our Facebook page.

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To the Editorial Board of The LaSallian,

Greetings!

Why do we have a University Student Government in DLSU? Why do we need (to exercise our right to) vote during the plebiscite (Nov. 3 to 7, 2014)? Allow me to share some of my thoughts in addressing these two questions.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a proponent of the Proposed Amendments to the USG Constitution, the 2014 USG Constitution, and not as the current President of a political party.

Participative democracy. This is what we aim to “simulate” or “practice” inside our training ground – De La Salle University – and we always hear, “You should be ready when you go out to the real world…”, right?

Let us look at the so-called “real world” (as if life as a college student makes it not real). When we finish our stay in DLSU, we choose our own paths. Corporate? Arts and entertainment? Medicine? Academia and research? Media? Government? Sports? Religious life? Others I cannot name as I write this? You name it. However, we should not forget that we are also members of our families and of our Church (or religious sectors), and citizens of our nation.

Now, let us look at our student life. Let us consider ourselves “trainees” of the four aspects I mentioned above. We get our training for our paths through our academic courses and involvement in organizations. We get our training for our family and Church membership through our responsibilities at home and with the Church. Lastly, and most importantly in this case, we get our training for our citizenship as members of the University Student Government [one by one please…University (the setting)! Student (our level)! Government (our system)!].

This is precisely why the USG exists. Our dear alma mater aims to offer a venue where we can have the most complete forms of training to prepare us for the “real world”. If we think that our national government is not doing its job according to the Constitution, what do we do? Or better yet, to keep things simpler, if our USG does not seem to do its job according to the Constitution, what do we do? Participative democracy. We need to maintain our ground that we are part of that system, and not mere recipients of what is thought of to be our needs and wants. We participate…unless we want to imply that having a dictator is better?

Participate in democracy (again). This is the answer to the first question posted above and this will remain to be the answer to the second. In the national elections, our one vote seems to be useless given the wide range of issues involved like “dagdag-bawas”. Again to keep things simpler for the meantime, during the USG elections, our one vote matters a lot since I doubt that cheating like in the national elections occurs in our context.

My dear fellow Lasallians, I invite you to take time to learn about the major proposed amendments to the Constitution, then to vote during the plebiscite. I will not even take advantage of this medium to campaign for voting YES since as a proponent, I might be biased in highlighting to you the numerous benefits the entire student body (especially “non-USG” sectors) will get from this 2014 USG Constitution. I simply invite you to take time to vote.

We cannot simply let this chance slip away and have a failed plebiscite. What will this imply about us Lasallians? Do we care for our system? Are we preparing to be mere free riders in our society in the “real world”? Because as we see it, not voting does not equate to you seeing that our proposed amendments will not improve the USG. Not voting may mean that we do not care about how student representation should be focused on, how other student sectors should be involved in our overall operations, and how important information should be communicated between the students and other sectors. Again, I invite you to take time to vote. Let us all make this successful!

Why do we have a University Student Government in DLSU? We have the opportunity to train ourselves in fulfilling bigger roles for ourselves, our families, our sectors, and our society.

Why do we need (to exercise our right to) vote during the plebiscite (Nov. 3-7, 2014)? This is one opportunity to show that we care for ourselves, the next generations of Lasallians, other key sectors, and our University.

I might have taken about 4 or 5 minutes of your time already. I know that this marks the start of the busier schedule we have for our other priorities. Thank you though for reading this and thank you because you are now likely contemplating whether you will take time to be informed and to vote.

In DLSU, it begins with you.

 

One with you in St. La Salle,

Gregg Louise C. Tolentino

A Lasallian