Head to Head: Angel Reyes, Kyzer Campos vow to create inclusive, interconnected CLA

Being seasoned officers in CLA, Tapat’s Kyzer Campos and Santugon’s Angel Reyes acknowledge the gaps they would need to bridge in their college.

Having worked closely with their respective batch units and the Arts College Government (ACG), College of Liberal Arts (CLA) presidential candidates FAST2020 Batch President Angel Reyes of Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon (Santugon) and ACG Chief of Staff Kyzer Campos of Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista (Tapat) share a common goal: to provide Lasallian liberal arts students an equal opportunity for representation, foster connections in the second largest college in the University, and help bridge gaps between the college’s stakeholders 

The LaSallian: CLA is one of the biggest colleges in the University, housing several departments with unique problems and specific needs. How do you plan to represent and cater to all departments equally?

Angel Reyes (Santugon): We recognize [that] the CAP13 (College of Liberal Arts Professional Organizations) and the ACG are very vital parts of our CLA community. In a connected liberal arts experience, we aim to ensure that these departments are given a platform to express what they advocate for, as well as kung ano ba ‘yung mga naa-accomplish ng students in those fields. We have projects that cater to CLA-specific advocacies and allow students to co-create solutions. 

Kyzer Campos (Tapat): I plan to incorporate CAP13 orgs, ACG, and FAST for a more interconnected CLA. I envision proactively involving CLA, where all the stakeholders involved are able to express themselves properly. In my consultations with CAP13 organizations, na-address namin ang bawat problema of the CAP13 orgs. We also discussed each platform that we could give and aligned [our] projects for the coming term and academic year. Ang kulang talaga is representation, especially for the smaller CAP13 orgs and departments…Ang mandate natin is to represent every one of them and to bridge diversity within CLA.

The LaSallian: CLA has often been labeled ‘inferior’ to other colleges. As the college representative, how do you plan to remove the stigma and stereotypes surrounding the college?

Campos: There is no inferior college kasi bawat college ay diverse, unique, and we have our own strengths and weaknesses. For the CLA, marami tayong ginagawang advocacies, especially for human rights, representation, mental health, and so on. Hindi naa-appreciate [ang advocacies] kasi hindi nakikita. Through our projects, [we are] making sure that CAP13, ACG, and FAST are interconnected in promoting every department and course in CLA to bridge that diversity and to give a proper spotlight for each department and course.

Reyes: We want to highlight na ang bawat college in DLSU, they have their own special and unique experiences. We erase that stigma through genuine student representation. Representation for us is not just an outcome or an end-goal, it is a process of involving every student to ensure na lahat tayo ay napakikinggan [at] nabibigyan ng oportunidad at plataporma na maihayag ‘yung mga kakayahan natin bilang estudyante. We have very diverse departments in CLA and we want to ensure na ‘yung departments na ‘to, naha-highlight sila, nare-represent sila kasi marami tayong accomplishments. 

The LaSallian: You were both former batch presidents. What are the common problems that you have encountered in your respective batches, and how did you resolve them?

Reyes: ‘Yung mga pinakasimpleng problema [are] enlistment, preenlistment, [and] mga day-to-day concerns. As we progress as a college, nagbabago rin ‘yung concerns natin. Mayroon tayong concerns on financial [needs] and research. And when we face these problems, nakita ko na ang dami pa palang kailangang ayusin. However, I could only do it for the batch. How about the entire CLA? That’s why we created a vision that connects our liberal arts experiences to gain solutions and support through the hardships that we face as students.

Campos: Sa CLA 121, we were the biggest CLA batch for post-pandemic. One of the major problems that I wanted to highlight was the disconnect [of the students]. Kaya noong naging goal ko talaga no’n was to give that connection [and] involvement with every one of the courses. Gusto ko i-angat ‘yan ngayon as CP (college president) for a proactively involved CLA na involved lahat ng stakeholders and students in making decisions for the college and moving forward together.

The LaSallian: What specific issues would you like to address as CAP? Do you have any concrete plans in mind?

Campos: Once again, I would like to emphasize the fact that CLA is very diverse…[but] very disconnected from each other kaya I want to bring a proactively involved CLA kung saan connected ang students and student leaders, moving forward for progress that we all collectively defined.

Reyes: We have “ACG Assist,” which is an all-inclusive student support and assistance [desk]. It aims to provide a physical ACG student help desk kasi minsan, hindi laging alam ng students kung saan ba sila lalapit [at kung] sino ang pwede nilang lapitan. This is something that we can do as we create a liberal arts experience na lahat ng estudyante, napakikinggan at nabibigyan ng mga solusyon do’n sa diverse concerns na hinaharap nila everyday.

The LaSallian: How can you ensure the feasibility of your plans for the college, including the participation of the students, considering that the college has a huge population?

Reyes: It all boils down to our vision: a connected liberal arts experience that we create together. Inisip namin na hindi talaga lahat ng students, [may] liberal arts experience tulad natin. Kaming student leaders, mayroong mga sumasali sa [groups under the] SMO (Student Media Office), sumasali sa organizations. But, there are those students who just want to get by. Gusto lang pumasok tapos uuwi na. Maybe that’s their liberal arts experience already, and we want to empower that. We don’t want to force anyone because we want everybody to feel that their liberal arts experience is something that they are creating with us, not something that we are creating for them.

Campos: It boils down to our vision of a proactively involved CLA. Kasi napaka-importante that the students feel that they are involved in the decision-making processes for their benefit kasi ‘yung [mga] ginagawa naman namin as a student leader is for the students themselves. Kaya napaka-importante that we bridge CAP13, FAST, and ACG together kasi we represent CLA together for a collective CLA. We have to make sure that we enact depending on what we envision for them: lahat involved in the decision-making process of the college.

The LaSallian: How would you motivate CLA students that there are things that we can do to change the stigma of liberal students being ‘inferior’?

Campos: It goes back to my project in “One CLA,” especially the “Careers Fest” kasi doon, we are bringing [the] college of liberal arts ng iba’t ibang universities and hindi lang naman students ang [pagsasalitain] natin doon. Hindi lang natin iso-spotlight ‘yung experiences nila [kun’di] pati ‘yung alumni, professors and administrators because they are all part of CLA. 

Reyes: One of the thrusts we have in our college to achieve our vision is community-led collaborations. We empower the community about what we can do as a liberal arts community kasi hindi lang siya dito sa loob. Mayroon din sa labas na liberal arts students na nahihirapan kasi sinasabing “inferior” sila or hindi sila magaling or wala silang patutunguhan pero mayroon kasi at marami. Community-led collaborations will empower that hindi kayo nag-iisa when being able to take a step forward to the change that you want to see in your own college.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

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