The University Student Government held its third and last Convention of Leaders (COLE) for the academic year last May 27 at the Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium. Different student leaders were invited to attend the COLE, which was conducted to present the USG’s achievements for the past term, as well as its upcoming initiatives for term 3.
Present in the event were USG President Pram Menghrajani, Vice President for Internal Affairs Micah Fernando, Office of the University Treasurer (OTREAS) Chief of Staff Mark Tionson, and USG Secretary Kitkat Cuenca. University President Br. Ray Suplido FSC and Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Campus Development Josemari Calleja were also present.
Accomplishments and plans of the USG
Menghrajani discussed several activities done over the past term directed at improving USG relationship with students and other La Salle schools. She also discussed consecutive multi-sectoral committee meetings on the allocation of budget across colleges and on the tuition fee increase. Moreover, Menghrajani reported the success of the Grievance Awareness booths, an initiative of the USG which aims to be an avenue for the students to express their complaints about the academic community. She also talked about election-related programs, namely, Boto Lasalyano, Sulong Pilipino which is the University’s official election education and volunteering arm, and the volunteering opportunity for the National Citizen’s Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).
Meanwhile, Tionson announced numerous achievements and approved policies for the past term, including a 4.8 percent tuition fee increase for next academic year approved by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), 19 scholarships awarded by the Office of the Treasurer along with the Parents of University Students Organization (PUSO), and a recovered 260,000 deficit of the Student Government Assistance Fund, which was regained from successful Valentines and Christmas bazaars organized by the office. He also reported various policies that the USG is striving to implement, which include the Achiever Scholar Program, the Lasallian Scholar Program, and a policy that would allow Deans Listers to overload.
On the other hand, Fernando reported that student services like locker rentals, Pahiram Libro, and Pahiram Payong were also successfully conducted in the past term. He also detailed the numerous planned activities for the University Week 2016, including carnival games, a Mystery-Manila-esque activity, and a haunted hall attraction for the event.
USG Secretary Kitkat Cuenca reported several accomplishments for the University, including a better attendance system for the offices. She also highlighted the USG’s goals of transparency, efficiency, and accountability. Cuenca reported that there exists an official USG ask.fm page for all the concerns that students may face. Also, an improved USG website will be fully functional this term and a new system of attendance for USG officers will also be implemented, reported Cuenca. OSEC will also be introducing two training sessions for USG officers, one targeting elected officers, and another for appointed officers.
Changes to Mission Vision, development plans for DLSU revealed
Br. Suplido FSC gave a keynote message regarding the revision of the University’s Vision Mission statement. The phrase “… attuned to a sustainable earth” was added to the statement as a call to aid in the effort to save our planet. Br. Suplido also gave attention to a phrase, “together by association,” used by St. John Baptist De La Salle himself.
“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” Br. Suplido said. “What you are doing should not be independent or away from or even contrary from that the other group in the community is doing,” he continued. He called for Lasallians to work together in saving “our one home” planet Earth.
Meanwhile, Calleja, AVC for Campus Development, also gave a speech, reporting the development goals related to the University’s buildings and properties. He said that the Campus Development Office is currently in charge of a development plan that aims to improve the 5-hectare DLSU campus.