Incumbent CATCH 2T23 Batch President Bea Berenguer bares her plans as the sole candidate for the top seat in the College of Computer Studies (CCS). Speaking with The LaSallian, the Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon (Santugon) flag-bearer dives into her current tenure as batch president and puts into light her initiatives and vision for the college.
On their background
The LaSallian: How has your past leadership background and experience convinced you that you are ready for this new role?
Bea Berenguer: I’ve been the batch president of our ID 119 batch in CCS since my frosh year, and I’ve gotten to see a lot of how the CCS students have grown na since my frosh year; with my batchmates pa lang, and getting to know the frosh batches and the upper batches. And seeing that, I really see the potential of the CCS students and I want to bring the service that I can bring to a college level so I can reach a wider audience as well.
The LaSallian: How will your past experience as CATCH2T23 batch president help you get elected? Do you think that those experiences qualify you to become the next college president?
Berenguer: I believe that being the batch president for the past few years [has] exposed me to how the college president position also works, and siyempre, I’ve also worked with our current college president right now and in the past year. And seeing what they do as well, I believe that I am really capable of the position, given that being a batch president is technically a “lower” kind of level of a college president, and from being a batch president to a college president, it’s like I just brought my position to a wider level. So my experiences in being batch president I believe would hold when I become college president.
On the status quo
The LaSallian: What are your thoughts on the ONE CCS information hub established by the CSG last year? Do you believe that the website has addressed the issue of making enlistment and student services much more accessible for CCS students?
Berenguer: For the ONE CCS website, I guess it serves different purposes na from being accessible to the other organizations and for the enlistment purposes. For me, in terms of enlistment, as a person who’s been like, inside the process of enlistment doon when it comes to raising concerns and everything, it did help the enlistment processes in the college, especially from when I compared it to my frosh year. As a frosh na wala talaga akong alam sa enlistment noon, diba siyempre it was hard for me to lead my batchmates din during enlistment. And with this new process, it has helped in raising concerns and a more systematic way of consolidating [these] processes and everything between batches and between the students. With the ONE CCS website kasi, the students were also brought into the process of how we raise issues to the admin, and I think that when the students are really involved in the process, doon talaga yung mas nakakakuha yung idea at mas nagkakasundo yung [mga] students and the University, and the admin, eventually.
The LaSallian: What do you think is the biggest issue in the college and how do you plan on addressing this problem?
Berenguer: Currently in CCS, I really noticed din as a student in CCS na parang yung academics talaga parang, syempre, sobrang hirap na, and it’s very demotivating to actually keep being active pa in college when the academics itself is really hard na. And I’ve seen it a lot in our students in the college na even if they want to be active in orgs or explore new opportunities, it’s very demotivating na since we’ve been stuck in an online setup in almost two years, and for me that’s really the most pressing issue in our college right now…That’s why our vision as a college in the Santugon team is really to strengthen how we are more flexible in how we respond to the needs of the students and really assessing on…the different priorities that students have right now. And we want to create a comfortable environment of growth for all these students where they are most comfortable and hindi namimilit ng mga big events, if hindi naman like, beneficial sa mga students natin.
On their plans and priorities
The LaSallian: What kind of plans do you intend to prioritize once you win the elections? Did you have any personal experiences that may have led you to consider these ideas?
Berenguer (Santugon): Our specific plans of action in the Computer Studies Government is actually based on three thrusts that our vision encompasses which is accessible support, strengthened relationships, and going beyond. So these three thrusts actually rely on the idea that we want to be more inclusive of how we respond to the students so that’s actually what we want to focus on accessible mental, academic, and financial support. And being able to create an environment in the college where we can have the willingness to actually help each other…More than anything else naman college is about preparing for the real life…In terms of my experience naman in the past siguro what led me to actually focus on these points is being a student lang din in the college like not looking at these as a leader na parang as a student, these are the things that I would actually need, not as a leader but as a student who is trying to get through college lang din.
The LaSallian: Are there any projects you implemented as batch president that you want to apply to the whole college? What are these?
Bea Berenguer (Santugon): As the batch president…during our frosh year we implemented something called…it was like a chat bot in Messenger that actually…provides student services related processes. This is something I want to bring in a college level since this chat bot kasi is like an accessible platform for student services related processes wherein there are stuff about enrollment and then tuition fee modes of payment, your flowchart, and through an easy click di ba and chatting through Messenger, you are able to access these information.
The LaSallian: Seeing as the 2022 elections are nearing, do you have any plans in making a more socially-conscious CCS?
Bea Berenguer (Santugon): Our running Vice President for External Affairs she actually, Lara Jomalesa, actually has a lot of plans in making the USG more informed and involved in national level issues and including of course the voter…being informed as a voter in the 2022 elections…As college president, I plan to really involve the students of College of Computer Studies in this process so they also can be more informed.
The LaSallian: Do you have…any specific thrusts within your college that are separate from Lara’s [plans in terms of national-related issues]?
Berenguer: Actually it’s not part of our thrusts…to be more socially conscious. I think this is something that we can insert in our plans next year, but it’s not part of our thrust for right now since we really look at the situation right now of students …we want to be supportive of their student life muna before we go outside the University.