Seasoned members of the Engineering College Government (ECG) Roxy Lucena from Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista (Tapat) and independent candidate Rannah Sy from the Lasallian Engineers for Advocacy and Dynamic Service (LEAD) coalition weigh in on different issues concerning the Gokongwei College of Engineering (GCOE) as they vie for the role of college assembly president.
The LaSallian: How have your past leadership experiences prepared you for this role?
Rannah Sy (LEAD): I believe my previous experience in various student organizations, both in [Engineering Alliance Geared Towards Excellence (ENGAGE)] as well as the USG, have really exposed me to engineering life and the various ways that I can support our students as their college president. So, not only do I have experience, [I] have also witnessed how the USG works. I also have experience handling projects and events, and I also have extensive experience in project management, which I believe will help me in supporting our students in providing them with the service that they deserve.
Roxy Lucena (Tapat): My two academic years of service in [the] ECG and other USG units [have] given me the ability to gauge what works and what does not. So as the current vice director for student services (for DLSU ECG), I have come across a variety of issues and concerns, and [I] have always been available to address them and find long-term solutions. Despite these, being in the USG also made me realize that there is a lot [of work] to be done. So this is why I am stepping up to be able to reach more students and improve their student life, for them to have the best possible college experience.
The LaSallian: For Miss Sy, are you still affiliated with your previous party or did you quit before running independent?
Sy: Currently, I am no longer affiliated with my previous political party.
The LaSallian: On that, do you adhere to your former or current party’s political views, and core values?
Sy: For LEAD, yes we do have our own values but it’s not based on a solid foundation. We didn’t really discuss it and sit down to discuss it to create a general core value for our whole coalition. Moreso, we are independent candidates abiding by our own principles and values. So we each have our own brand of leadership. We each have our principles and values, but we have discussed [them] and it’s really a wonderful addition that we are aligned. But, aside from that, we bring our own individual strengths, [and] our own brands of leadership to the table.
The LaSallian: What steps will the ECG take under your administration to make student concerns heard, especially when those concerns are issues toward professors?
Lucena: We plan to have an Academic Concerns Form, wherein this will be a collaboration [between] the academic communities since ENGAGE [organizations lean] more on targeting the academic side of the engineering body. This is to ensure that all academic-related concerns are collated and will be properly communicated for easier relaying of concerns to the GCOE departments.
Sy: I believe [the] ECG may better address student concerns by really strengthening their collaborations with our batch units and the various ENGAGE [organizations] we have since our ENGAGE [organizations] are able to represent each engineering program and our batch units represent their own batches’ concerns. So with that, I believe that strengthening our partnerships with them and holding regular alignment meetings can really help us bridge the gap [between] the information that we have and the [concerns] that we receive to really address our students’ concerns as a whole.
The LaSallian: How will you help in smoothing the transition to full face-to-face classes?
Sy: For the transition to face-to-face classes next term, I believe one of our major concerns would be having to return to face-to-face laboratory classes [coming] from the online setup given that it’s a drastic transition, especially for our ID 121, 122, and 120 students who have never experienced face-to-face lab classes on campus. So, to assist them, I want to offer them the information on our laboratory classrooms and facilities for them to be familiar with [even] before going to campus and before attending their classes.
Aside from that, under the GCOE handbook, we also want to incorporate our [COVID-19] protocols So our students are safe on campus and guided, as well as [provide] them an ECG Student Services booth under my project [titled] “Supporting during Crucial Times” throughout the term. So, this may be during pre-enlistment, enlistment, or during the start of the term as we transition back to face-to-face classes.
Lucena: Okay, so we plan to propose having remedial programs so that this will address the learning gaps and students will be able to obtain [a] hands-on learning experience and develop technical knowledge. Also, together with our executive board, we will push for the removal of the No Fail Policy, and we will assist them in gathering data as to why this policy should be implemented again.
The LaSallian: May I confirm from this statement [whether] your administration will push for or against the reimplementation of the No Fail Policy?
Lucena: We will push for the reimplementation of the No Fail Policy.
The LaSallian: Past college governments 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?
Sy: As I am running as college president, I do recognize that I am serving a wider student body compared to my batch. This is almost triple [to] that of our batch’s population. So I do recognize that not only am I servicing a lot more students, but I’m also trying to deliver projects that cater to a wider audience across different batches and in varying stages of their engineering journey. In preparing my platforms, I did take into consideration my experience in executing projects [and] in ensuring that the platforms I am providing [and] that I am promising to the student body, I can deliver [and] execute…if fortunate enough to be elected.
Lucena: I guess this is rooted down to the feasibility of the projects as some projects might [not be] well-consulted with the concerned offices, which is why I ensured that all my platforms and the projects that I will lay out are well-consulted to the concerned offices.
The LaSallian: Do you believe that past administrations have been successful in delivering their promises?
Lucena: I believe the past administration has fulfilled its promises. But, there’s always room for improvement.
Sy: Just as Ms. Roxy said, I do agree that they were able to deliver on their promises, but much [more] can be done to better serve the student body moving forward.
The LaSallian: Since it has been mentioned that there are more things that can be done, do you plan to reform any programs from the current ECG? If so, what are these and how will you reform them?
Lucena: For student services, I plan to continue the ECG website and remodel it for the website to be easier to navigate, and we plan to retain the Telegram channel and all the other student services platforms.
Sy: My vision for the college centers around student services. So, I really want to expand the student services of the current ECG in their information dissemination and in providing our students with reminders throughout the term, the various [processes] that they should keep in mind, and the various changes in policies that would be helpful for them. Aside from that, I believe our previous ECG administrations delivered on projects that [cater] to engineering [students] in general, sustainability, and other related projects that are more on the technical side of the engineering life. Moving forward, I want to offer our students projects dedicated to holistic development and catering to their soft skills.
The LaSallian: Can we hear some more concrete examples of your platforms or your planned projects?
Sy: One of my projects would be the GCOE handbook, which I hope to be able to integrate across platforms. So this [will be] across ECGs social media platforms, the ECG website, [and] on campus, along our Velasco hallways. Aside from that, and other student services projects, I also want to focus on—as I previously mentioned—holistic development. And, another foundation that I want to focus on for our GCOE students is their laboratory classes. As engineering students, it’s very important that we foster our laboratory classes and our hands-on experience. So, I have a project titled “Reinforced ENGxperiments” for that wherein I want to support our students and provide them with the access to equipment that they may also borrow and the information to really maximize their laboratory classes and the facilities we have on campus.
Lucena: To expand the reach (of student services), we aim to…establish a terminals council, which will comprise the terminal students, since [terminal] students are sometimes uninformed when it comes to announcements. Also, as I mentioned earlier, we will remodel the ECG website for easier navigation. This will also include a condensed version of the student services manual. We will integrate the GCOE enlistment hub [and the] DLSU Care Desk.
We also plan to launch an email bulletin and a Facebook page help desk. For student welfare, we will [equip] GCOE with first responders, where the Student Welfare Committee of ECG will undergo a mental health services training program [from the Office of Counseling and Career Services]…For academics, we will revisit the Pahiram Equipment Act and modify it in accordance [with] the current learning setup. We also plan to open a donation drive for engineering materials as some are only being used for a term or two. Then, we also plan to propose to the GCOE departments to have remedial program programs for laboratory classes that were taken online so students will have hands-on learning experience and develop their technical knowledge.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.