Make-Up Elections University

Head On: VPIA aspirant Janine Siy plans to enhance dated University systems

New enlistment avenues and an improved COVID-19 response are just some of the key proposals of Vice President for Internal Affairs (VPIA) candidate Janine Siy. A three-time BLAZE2022 Applied Corporate Management course representative, the Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista VPIA bet criticizes some of the University systems—mainly the processes of enlistment and the Office of the Vice President for Internal Affairs (OVPIA) survey implementations—and bares her plans to improve on them.

The LaSallian: What student-related issue do you think has not been emphasized by the previous University Student Government (USG) electeds? What are your plans for that as VPIA?

Janine Siy: It’s more on pre-enlistment. Other than pre-enlistment, raising concerns on finances and the glitches when it comes to the Animo.sys. With regards to that, we plan to have an on-site enlistment booth in the Henry Grounds so that whenever we relay our concerns to the administration, it’s [easier] to solve these problems within the day and on the spot. 

And other than that, for pre-enlistment, since we upload [a screenshot to prove that] we have really pre-enlisted, we aim to lobby for an automatically generated receipt when we have already pre-enlisted.

The LaSallian: How would you differentiate your term as VPIA from Britney Paderes’?

Siy: What will differentiate me is…my [numerous experiences] as well as [being] a course representative for my batch…It’s more of listening [to] those who really represent the student body at firsthand, which are the course representatives. We will create an avenue for our course representatives—other than the Student Services—where they will really be heard by the OVPIA.

The LaSallian: You’ve had a number of leadership experiences—one being your batch’s course representative. What other factors do you think will lend you credibility as a VPIA candidate?

Siy: [Being a] former vice president for alliance and external linkages in ENGLICOM, and [being] immersed in eight internships in total…that really helped me become systematic and become more communicative when it comes to working with different people. But then, on top of that, being able to immerse [myself] in different kinds of environment [really] helped me get different kinds of [points of view] from different students.

The LaSallian: Online and blended learning continue to be criticized by the student body for its ineffectiveness. What do you think needs to be improved about the hybrid learning experience and how might your office address this?

Siy: There is a lack of strict protocol and guidelines when it comes to guiding the students [in] hybrid learning, so I guess it’s really more of imposing strong and definitive guidelines for our students, and [making] sure that, going back to school, we are more prepared than ever.

The LaSallian: Past USG officers tend to fail in delivering some of their promises at the beginning of their term. Why do you think this happens and how will you avoid this in your term?

Siy: I really want to assume that this [is because of] the lack of communication with our administration. Since communication is more of relating and relaying the students’ concerns to the administration, if they won’t be able to relate our struggles, then how will they be able to feel our sentiments as students?

The LaSallian: The OVPIA’s duty is to come up with pro-student programs and improve overall student-welfare. How do you plan on determining which projects and activities are deemed appropriate for the current student body?

Siy: With regards to the projects that we should be implementing, I will take note of three factors: first is if it is relevant to the student body, since we are for a pro-student project; and then, second is the impact to the student and Lasallian community; and last, but not least, is the feasibility of the project given the timeline that was provided.

The LaSallian: What metrics will your office use to measure the success of your programs?

Siy: First and foremost, we should look into the qualitative data from the students, so we should be able to hear from them if the specific project was really relevant to them and if they really needed this initiative. Other than that, on the quantitative side, it’s more of not just counting how many students were able to feel the project, but it’s more on leaning [toward] the quality of the project that was impacted on the students.

The LaSallian: How can you ensure that your team will improve student engagement when student apathy continues to be a growing concern amid low voter turnouts and lack of survey participation?

Siy: You mentioned two things, so I would focus first on the voter turnout. Times are constantly changing in DLSU, which means kung ano ‘yung hindi pa nakakasanayan ay nagpapatuloy pa rin, so there should be a change, and we should increase the knowledge that we have when it comes to voting by integrating it into our curriculum. 

Now, when it comes to the number of surveys, since OVPIA really releases a lot of surveys recently, to lessen those surveys, we want to reutilize the student census at every start of the academic year. With that census, we aim to gather all necessary information and socioeconomic details and other personal details of the student that can help USG derive data in lobbying for pro-student policies. With that, we will be able to lessen the number of surveys that we will be releasing to the student body.

The LaSallian: The current state of enlistment continues to be a mixed bag for most students, despite past OVPIA programs. How would you do things differently to ensure that no student is left behind during the enlistment week?

Siy: For enlistment week, I really want to focus and expound on [my plans for] the on-site enlistment booth. We will be having the [Information Technology Services] Office, [Office of the University Registrar], and the Finance [and Accounting] Office in one place so that when a student comes and, for example, they have an issue when it comes to accessing Animo.sys or [My.LaSalle]…it is in that specific booth [where students can inquire], so [respective offices] will be able to solve that specific problem and [students do] not [have to] wait for numerous days for the office or for the admin to reply through email.

The LaSallian: What is the first thing you hope to implement when you are in office? Why do you want to give emphasis on that initiative?

Siy: It would really be implementing a proactive COVID-19 response knowing that a lot of students were COVID positive inside campus, and they weren’t really guided on what to do and how to really prevent spreading the virus within campus facilities. I will really want to prioritize that. 

Other than that, since enrollment ang unang bubungad [when the term begins], it would really be the on-site enlistment booth that we really want to implement as soon as possible [to] help a lot of students. Now that there are a lot of frosh who are just recently experiencing face-to-face struggles, it’s really more of being able to guide them physically and not virtually anymore.

Enrico Sebastian Salazar

By Enrico Sebastian Salazar

Contributor of University and Vanguard since TLS 58. Internal Development Manager in TLS 59. Currently designing the new website.

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