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.
Letter to the Editor of The LaSallian
Allow me to share with you a short anecdote of mine. Last General Elections 2014, I ran for a batch-level position under the banner of Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista. During one of my slate’s room-to-room campaign, a student raised an intriguing question. “Do you agree that the University Student Government (USG) is a microcosm of the Philippine Government, not just in structure but also in culture?”. The observation of most students is that the problems we face in the national setting are the same problems we face inside the University. Others say that the attitude of the political parties during elections are the same as the attitude of the politicians during national elections. They use negative campaigning against each other. Their candidates say promises during campaign and immediately forget them upon winning the elections. The crooked system we have in the national setting is the same crooked system we have here in the University. And because of this, many students already lost their faith in the USG just as how many Filipinos lost their faith in our government.
At some point, I actually agree to these sentiments. However, I firmly believe that the elected officers and the candidates are not the only ones responsible for this government. We must keep in mind that as students of this University, as citizens of this country, we are part of this government, this system, and we are all responsible for what this system had become and what it will be in the future. Losing hope in this system equates to losing hope in ourselves for in this democratic system, it is us who hold the power to mold it.
Before I continue, I would like to emphasize that I am not writing this letter as a member of Alysansang Tapat sa Lasallista, nor as a proponent of the new USG constitution. I am writing this as a concerned student who wants to inspire my fellow Lasallians to act for the betterment of our University.
This week, November 3 – 7, the plebiscite for the new constitution of the USG is to be conducted. Through this, we are asked to express our stand on the changing of the structures in our USG, the changes in the powers, duties and responsibilities of the officers, and the changes as to how the USG shall operate as the sole, unified, autonomous and democratic representative body of the students. This plebiscite is an avenue for us students to explicitly use our power to mold this government into one that is really for the students. Let us take time see and experience the strengths and weaknesses of our present USG, and educate ourselves with the proposed changes of the new USG constitution. Let us reflect, and analyze these systems to know which of them will allow the USG to fulfill its role more efficiently and more effectively. And let us also commit ourselves and make an action to fulfill our role in this government by voting in this plebiscite.
I would like to end this letter by sharing to you a quote shared to me by my mentor, Mr. Mito Dizon. “It only takes one generation, hopefully our generation, to stand firm in changing the system – One generation not to succumb to the system – One generation that will further progressively define the Nation.” The reason why we have this crooked system in our government is not just because of the culture of our politicians but also because of the culture of the voters. Many of our fellow Filipinos fail to educate themselves well about the platform and the character of the candidates before voting for them. Some do not even vote for they already lost hope in our government. Others do not vote for they simply do not care. These are the people who have already succumbed to the system.
This poses a challenge to our generation. Instead of allowing our USG to have the culture of our national government, let us strive to make it a good example to our fellow countrymen outside the University. Let us be the generation to stand firm in changing the system, the generation not to succumb to the system, the generation that will further progressively define this nation.
The response to this challenge starts inside the University. It starts with us voting.
In St. La Salle,
Tristan Gabriel D. Felipe