From November 28 to December 11 last year, the Monitoring Council of the University Student Government (USG) Office of the President (OPRES) conducted an online evaluation survey in order for students to assess the performance of the different USG units. Among those assessed include the Executive Board (EB), college governments, and batch governments.
With a total mean of 4.29 for the different colleges, the students surveyed believe that the existence of the USG is still relevant for the student body. It can be noted that for the past few years, the relevance of the USG had gradually declined in the eyes of the students, considering past events such as the failed plebiscite in 2014, low turnout in the 2015 USG General Elections, and various cases filed in the Judiciary last 2016, among others.
Since then, there have been numerous efforts by the USG to regain the students’ trust. Evidently, the survey indicates that there is a gradual and positive increase with regard to the students’ perception of the USG.
Behind the survey
The survey was purely quantitative and had a total of 627 respondents from the different colleges, including students from the DLSU Science and Technology Complex (DLSU-STC). Most of the respondents were from the Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business (RVR-COB), totaling 190 respondents. The least number of respondents were from DLSU-STC, with only nine respondents.
The survey included questions regarding the students’ perception on the relevance of the USG, students’ awareness of the USG members, efficiency of USG in disseminating information, ability of the USG to address the immediate concerns of students, fulfillment of the USG’s promises, ability of the USG to encourage the students’ participation in projects, efforts of the USG on student representation, and proficiency of the USG in helping solve issues in the University.
The questions were rated using a scale of one to five with 3.5 being the passing mark (70 percent of five).
On the EB’s performance
With a total mean of 3.78, the students have a general awareness of who the members are in the EB. However, students from the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), Gokongwei College of Engineering (GCOE), and RVR-COB, with failing marks averaging 3.42, 3.27, and 3.47, respectively, appear to have a lack of awareness on the EB members.
For student representation, the USG was rated an average of 3.60, close to the passing mark. Students from CLA, GCOE, and RVR-COB gave failing marks of 3.20, 3.42, and 3.45, respectively. Lastly, the USG’s ability to address problems in the University was rated 3.65. Students from CCS and CLA gave failing marks of 3.48 and 3.19, respectively.
Overall, despite several shortcomings as shown by the failing marks, the USG and its EB are rated relatively well by the students. The highest rated of which is the students’ perception of the relevance of the USG. Moreover, given that the students’ trust on the USG is gradually increasing, the USG in general may consider further intensifying its efforts to establish a better relationship with the students.
“Evaluations are always about improving. From basic services to innovative projects, and with the pulse of our fellow Lasallians in this effort of my committee (OPRES), I am sure that the USG has a direction as to where it will go for the next two terms of our administration,” says USG President Zed Laqui (V, AE-APC).
Laqui claims that the primary vision of the USG is to promote a student-centered University, citing that “there is always more to be done.” To accomplish this, among the objectives this year were ensuring student representation is evident, bringing back the trust of the students, and re-establishing the relevance of the USG to the Lasallian community.
“One of the insight that we got was communicating the USG’s achievements from the previous term. We already started in trying to solve this problem so that the students would be aware of the relevance of the USG to their student life,” he adds.
With regard to encouraging more participation from the students, Laqui says that their efforts have always been two-way. “The USG has heard, consulted and will be bringing in various opportunities in partnership and working with different internal or external organizations or offices for the students to take. We’ve always believed that a unified University will be providing better services to the student body,” Laqui concludes.