Current students of DLSU’s Senior High School (SHS) are regarded as the pioneer batch of the University since the enactment of the K-12 program. The SHS program was meant to address the lean years wherein a drop in freshman enrollment is expected to occur.
The SHS program offers three academic strands for its students: Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM), Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS). Four months since its opening, the SHS program is still on its first year of operations. Student organizations have since been formed to provide an avenue for SHS students to participate in extra-curricular activities.
A joint effort
One of the major organizations that was formed is the SHS Student Council (SC), which initiates projects and initiatives tailor-made for SHS students.
Student leaders were elected last August to head the first batch of the SC. The complete roster of SC officers are as follows: President Paul Carlo Alibin, Vice President Ina Therese Ardan, Secretary Joshua Tindalo Arao, Treasurer Christian Paul Poyaoan, STEM Representative Lloyd Levi Cabacuñgan, ABM Representative Peach Ani Bagadion, and HUMSS Representative Aaron John Patubo.
The administration works closely with the SC in the collaboration and implementation of projects. Student Activities Coordinator for Senior High School STC and Manila Campus Ma. Lorena Mirasol Larano shares that the administration taps the SC if there are events or activities for the SHS students. The administration puts emphasis on the holistic development of SHS students when coming up with such projects and activities.
“They are the group of people who can actually take the lead. The collaboration is good,” she explains. “We hear them, we listen to them, we always put in mind the best things—the best projects, programs and activities that we can provide for our SHS.”
To foster room for collaboration, the SC discusses with Larano possible projects and activities before holding discussions. The final approval of projects is handled by Integrated School Principal Grace Cortez.
Larano believes that the projects of the SC have been successful so far. “From their (SC) end, they know their limitations as a council,” she shares, referring to the SC’s limitation of influencing administrative and general school policies.
Projects so far
There have been numerous projects that have been put into effect in the recent months. In terms of sports, the SC organized a basketball tournament, aimed at promoting sportsmanship and camaraderie among students.
To showcase students’ creativity, a “LiterARTura” project was also recently launched. Some activities of this project include impromptu speaking, spoken word poetry, and a typography contest which tied with the SC’s advocacy against bullying.
Aside from these activities that were organized with the help of the administration, the SC also offers the student body activities designated for the arts. Some of these activities includes film showings and music jam sessions.
SC’s role, challenges
According to SC Vice President Ardan, the role of the SC to the SHS student body is to offer various activities that are non-academic in nature. “We don’t want it to be all about academics when it comes to their (SHS) life in La Salle,” explains Ardan.
The sports fest held in the months of September and October is an example of the coordination of the SHS SC and the administration. In these events, the SC coordinates with the administration in spreading information to the student body. As of now, most of the coordination between the two are of non-academic aspects.
“The fact that we are the first student council of DLSU SHS Manila makes the job more challenging,” shares Ardan. It is a challenge to follow through their works with the administration, especially since it has yet to be established. Moreover, the administrators of the SHS manage both the Taft and STC campuses, causing a longer process of securing approval for most projects.
“Each one must responsibly do his or her job so as not to overwork the other,” Ardan admits, sharing that the SC has had issues and challenges just like any student government body. She further explains that the SC has also met with the University Student Government and reveals that both are now ongoing discussions with regard to planning the 2017 University Vision-Mission Week.
On the four months that the SC has been operational, Lance Yu (Grade 11, ABM) comments on their performance, stating, “As of now I think they’re doing a good job organizing the events,” referring to the chill sessions and sports activities.
On points for improvement, Yu suggests that the SC gather information from the students on what they truly need. He adds that the representatives should be utilized in a way that would better provide the students