Current Laguna Campus Student Government (LCSG) Secretary Angel Lopez of Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista shares her motivations to run for campus president, and how her past experiences of being part of the LCSG equipped her with knowledge to “create platforms and a vision” to serve the Laguna campus students better.
The LaSallian: Given your past experience as a college representative and campus secretary, what other learned skills can you offer the Lasallian community as a candidate now for campus president?
Angel Lopez: These experiences have equipped me to create platforms and a vision that truly corresponds to what the student body needs right now. Right now, masasabi ko na I am more knowledgeable about the do’s and the don’ts, the no’s and the yes’s [because] I already experienced firsthand the problems internally. Now, my focus is more on giving solutions that are sustainable and [responsive] to the welfare of the Laguna campus students.
The LaSallian: What are your motivations to run for this year’s Make-Up Elections?
Lopez: The past years I’ve seen ‘yung lacking sa system mismo, especially the internal system in the LCSG and I know that I can provide more service with this lacking. I can provide more programs for the student body that prioritizes their welfare.
The LaSallian: What attribute or characteristic of yours do you think makes you the most qualified to become the campus president?
Lopez: I think it’s more on my determination because I would always want to empower the people who stand, fight, and lead right beside me. Naniniwala kasi ako sa relational leadership kasi in Laguna campus, we have a very small population compared to Manila. So, only [a] few students are very much willing to take a stand and be part of the student government. Bilang campus president, it would be best if marunong siyang kumilala ng mga iba pang student leaders. I want to see the [strengths] and weaknesses of each member [of] my team, and work to build on [those] strengths and improve those weaknesses. Hanggang sa pagiging leader dapat wala pa ring estudyanteng maiiwanan and dapat ‘yun ‘yung attribute na [mayroon] ang isang campus president.
The LaSallian: Do you think there is a need to improve how the LCSG aids the student body given that limited face-to-face classes are already in progress? If yes, what are your plans for this?
Lopez: For me, yes pero [sa amin], we are going to focus more on the system. Kasi yes, we have the different modes of learning right now pero I believe that [they are] not properly implemented and there are no specific guidelines for that. ‘Yun ‘yung pinaka nagiging reason why many students are having a hard time, especially sa mga [pure online] learners natin. Because before, I received so many issues and concerns regarding professors not allowing [pure online] learners so hindi sila naa-accomodate. With that, ang pinaka babaguhin talaga natin ay ‘yung sistema [by] giving more specific guidelines and protocols regarding this.
The LaSallian: With the recent cross-dressing issue in the Taft campus that prompted discussions on how effective the implementation of the Safe Spaces Act is within the University, how do you plan to strengthen such an initiative in the Laguna campus?
Lopez: First and foremost, ‘yung experience na ‘yun, talagang [nakadidismaya] siya and [nakababahala]. It’s one of the reasons why we really have to strengthen the policies that we have in our University such as the Safe [Spaces] Act. The very first one is we should focus more on the awareness of this policy, not only to students but also to other sectors in the Lasallian community. We have to know our rights as a student. Second would be the proper implementation of these acts sa school natin.
The LaSallian: What actions or measures do you plan to take to ensure that Laguna campus students are well-represented and are engaged in DLSU decisions and activities?
Lopez: The very first issue that we should focus on is the lack of direct communication with the administration. For the college, ‘yung administration, nanggagaling talaga siya sa Manila campus. So all of the information—’yung flow of communication, manggagaling pa sa USG tapos ipapasa pa sa’min, sa [campus] president, tsaka pa lang mapupunta sa iba’t ibang college [representatives]. So, ‘yung flow of communication, palaging [delayed] at maraming naiiwang impormasyon na hindi nasasabi sa amin. We need to strengthen that, that’s why we are going to bridge the academic sector to the Lasallian community especially in LCSG.
The LaSallian: You mentioned the concerns or issues that you will prioritize addressing once you get the position, can you further elaborate on this.
Lopez: We have been saying this a lot. Right now, the most important issue that we need to address is the lack of direct communication with the administration here in LCSG and the Manila-centric system in our campus. Kasi lahat naman tayo [ay] Lasalyano kaya it’s just right that both Laguna and Manila campus students would have equal opportunities inside our institution. With that, we want to establish a better student service council that will cater [to] all the needs and concerns of the Laguna campus students, and decentralize all the opportunities. Ibig sabihin, lahat ng [mayroon] ‘yung Manila, sisikapin naming madadala siya sa Laguna. Another issue that we need to focus on is the enrollment processes. Kasi in enrollment ‘di ba we have X sections that supposedly should lobby for Laguna campus students only pero last enrollment, maraming Laguna campus students ‘yung naubusan at napagiwanan. ‘Yun ‘yung mga concerns na we really need to address next term given the chance.
The LaSallian: Do you plan to continue or adapt some of the plans that the current LCSG has implemented? If yes, what are these and why?
Lopez: Among all platforms before in the past, ‘yung isa sa pinaka-ipagpapatuloy ko talaga would be the “Pahiram” program. ‘Yung “Pahiram” program is basically lobbying for students who lack technological assistance, so nagpapahiram sila ng mga laptops, devices, as well as WiFi routers. ‘Yung program na ‘yun, nakatutulong siya sa mga estudyante [para] hindi maiwanan. It strengthens our advocacy that no student should be left behind.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.