Incumbent chairperson of the University Student Government Legislative Assembly (LA) Commission on Student’s Rights and Welfare Tracy Perez, from Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista, is no stranger to serving the whole DLSU student body. Now, he vies for presidency in his local Science College Government (SCG) to serve a rapidly growing College of Science (COS).
The LaSallian: What urged you to run for college assembly president?
Tracy Perez: I know that it’s a big shift from the legislative branch to the executive side, but it’s something that I want given that I want to serve my people nang firsthand talaga, ‘yung makikita ko sila, me being able to implement the things that I create [and] not just working behind the scenes.
The LaSallian: What experiences, credentials, and characteristics make you a capable candidate for college assembly president?
Perez: Aside from [being the current FOCUS2020 Batch Legislator (BL)], I actually hold a chairperson role sa Student’s Rights and Welfare Committee ng LA. I’m also the chairperson of the COS College Legislative Board and I was a former student services executive ng batch unit ko. [I can say that] the experience, the knowledge that I have as a legislator, and also ‘yung experience ko [in] handling the executive side ng pagiging BL under my batch unit [will] allow me to be a very effective college president for COS.
The LaSallian: How would you describe the current situation of COS students?
Perez: Currently, maraming COS students ang ngayon palang nahahasa sa face-to-face [laboratory classes], given na all of [ID] 120 and 121 [had theirs online]. And ‘yung mahirap pa doon is we have students na [pure online] and hybrid learners na hindi gaano kaganda ‘yung learning curve kasi they can’t fully immerse themselves in a comprehensive learning environment unlike the face-to-face learners. What we can do to address that issue…is [to coordinate] with the admin for a gradual return for full face-to-face classes.
The LaSallian: What is your assessment on the performance of the current SCG, and what aspects do you wish to improve?
Perez: Well, the current SCG is actually doing a really great job in terms of handling the bureaucracies and the students in terms of [student services] concerns. One thing…we can improve on is basically looking for more blind spots na hindi pa nakita…ng mga predecessor ko as college presidents and working on those, [to] give…COS students [a] better and much more holistic [student life] compared to [those given by] past batches of SCG presidents.
The LaSallian: What do you think is the biggest problem that the college is facing? What are your plans to address this?
Perez: [One of the two] biggest problems sa COS [is] being branded as being politically unaware. [There’s] a common misconception…na…COS students are apolitical given that we mostly care about [our academics] lang. I want to [clear] that notion [and show] na hindi kami apolitical, hindi kami robot. Actually, a lot of COS students are politically inclined, politically active. Takot lang talaga kami mag-voice out due to certain reasons [such as] red-tagging. So, ang pwede naming gawin is with the use of my platforms for the SCG na “Science and the Government” [and] “Science in Politics”, I can use the voice of professionals as beacons for social and societal change ng COS students natin.
‘Yung isa naman is ‘yung [pure online] and hybrid learners. Ang hirap kasi maging online student given na hindi mo masyadong mafi-feel ‘yung nasa school ka talaga [since] you’re just trapped in the four [corners] ng kwarto mo. To address that, we will lobby for a gradual resumption ng full face-to-face [classes] by coordinating with the admin.
The LaSallian: Can you give us more details on how your administration will destigmatize the notion that COS students are apolitical?
Perez: [We will do that] with the use of my platform “Science in Politics”, a webinar event [that] will [feature] science professionals. We can invite them sa mga webinar natin na iho-hold ng SCG to give talks using their knowledge as scientific practitioners sa related topics ng administrasyon natin, like doctors giving a talk on public health…These practitioners, being [highly regarded] sa society natin [and in] COS [since] gusto [rin] namin maging katulad nila, can trailblaze a new set of students [and] citizens of the Philippines na mas magiging politically aware and much more proactive sa pagsasalita sa national affair-related topics.
The LaSallian: With most classes being face-to-face starting Term 2, how will the SCG ease the transition in learning modality for its constituents?
Perez: ‘Yung nakikita kong problem diyan is classrooms being very packed with students and kahit sabihin natin that the possibility of [Saint Joseph (SJ) Hall] being completed [by] Term 2, COS is now considered a major college given [its increased] student populace…One thing we can do to address that is communicating with the [DLSU administration to allow] the transformation of certain rooms in both SJ Hall and the Science and Technology Research Center…for laboratory classes, given that super important ang lab classes and given the situation na hindi pa rin enough [‘yung] classrooms that we have to cater to the [number] of students that COS has. We can utilize din naman the Laguna campus by providing a free shuttle service sa mga estudyante ng COS.
The LaSallian: The SCG website was expected to serve as a “one-stop shop” for COS information. However, some of its web pages have not been updated since AY 2020-2021. What do you plan to do on the SCG website, and what other plans do you have in making sure that your constituents have easy access to COS announcements and resources?
Perez: I plan to create it as a domain and not a Google Sites website…Doing that will further cement it in the annals of SCG history. Also…we can resolve [the problem on lack of updating] by…making a certain committee, it can be the Operations and Logistics Committee ng SCG, na tumutok doon sa SCG website para naman mas maging comprehensive siya at mapatuloy ‘yung “one-stop shop” na ginugusto ng college president sa SCG website…I wish to [include] din sana the [non-graduate] FOCUS (batch) units sa SCG website. And also if permitted, I would like to integrate the [Alliance of Student Organizations] doon sa SCG website given that they are also heavy proponents [ng] COS.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.