Head On: ECG prexy bet Frankie Gamboa aims for a ‘vibrant community’ in GCOE

Santugon bet Frankie Gamboa seeks to liven up GCOE amid the many problems faced by its student-engineers.

Civil Engineering Student Services Representative Frankie Gamboa of Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon laid plans to alleviate student-engineer concerns and to achieve a future-ready Gokongwei College of Engineering (GCOE) as she seeks the presidency in the Engineering College Government (ECG).

The LaSallian: How would you assess the performance of this year’s ECG? And what aspects do you think could be improved on?

Frankie Gamboa: I believe naman that [the] ECG did its part because I was also part of the ECG as the civil engineering student services representative…But then, of course, there is no perfect administration…So, I believe that other than student services, I want to expand more of the platforms that I could give to the engineering students…Also, [being] engineering students, we all know that it (engineering) is a hard program. I [want to] personally highlight the importance of the struggles of the students…as an engineering student [and] not only as a student leader. I also relate to them. I know the struggles. So, I want to create a more vibrant community for them…using a participatory approach where they are part of the decision-making process. Our goal is to balance [their] academics because we all know there’s a very heavy workload in engineering.

The LaSallian: Any specific, concrete plans?

Gamboa: We have the “ENGRoute: The Roadmap to Profession”. It’s a series of webinars or talks [where] we [will] invite partner companies or organizations that aren’t yet in the database…Also, we have this project called “Innovating: Shaping Tomorrow, Transforming Today.” This project entails having a series of webinars, mentorships, [and] workshops where we want to tackle societal issues related to engineering because as engineering students, we do not only focus [in] construction. We have projects because we want to actualize solutions for societal problems related to engineering.

The LaSallian: How will you ensure a smooth transition of projects and systems from the previous ECG to your administration?

Gamboa: To have a smooth transition, it will be a gradual process. It’s step-by-step, from forming the actual ECG [to] being consultative with the students. Of course, to have a smooth…transition, we want to first ask the students what really are their struggles and we want to be responsive to them by means of having these specific plans of action that will really be actualized…It’s really a step-by-step [process] since kahit na‘yung transition to hybrid setup was already two years na ba or like more than a year,…evident pa rin ‘yung struggles of the [students], so ayaw nating biglain everything…We want to have a good timeline for all the projects that I want to actualize for ECG.

The LaSallian: GCOE is notorious for having extremely delayed students for various reasons. Do you have any plans to address this demographic? How do you plan to help academically challenged students?

Gamboa: [I will be] addressing this by consulting with the students, what their true struggles are. I can help…them…by putting their issues [and] concerns [together so] that we may actually curate or establish a project that could address these kinds of problems. 

The LaSallian: Just to be clear, currently, there are no specific projects to address or help academically challenged students or delayed students.

Gamboa: There’s a need to and a want to help the students by means of having focus group discussions, where engineering students help hand-in-hand with their academics, with how they study, their study practices, [and] study habits. And, we all know that other [organizations] like [DLSU] Syntax provide review materials for [engineering] students. With that, maybe it will be possible for ECG to partner with them…Siguro, it’s going to be better if we’re going to partner [and] collaborate with them so that engineering students will have more motivation to participate in these kinds of projects that we want to establish. 

The LaSallian: Issues of college assemblies appointing their friends for the sake of filling up appointed positions have been an issue in the USG. How will you prevent this from happening within the ECG and its batch units?

Gamboa: Of course, we don’t want any bias…If elected as college president…I want my fellow ECG members to be…the ones deserving for that position. Of course, it is usual naman for us to have these kinds of applications, interviews, [and] screenings. With that being said, ang mangyayari doon is that [there will be] no bias at all [when] appointing these officers for the batch units, college units, or even University-wide [positions] is based on their own capabilities, their own skills, how they actually lead, and their dedication and passion for service.

The LaSallian: How will you ensure that all the batches and departments of your college are well represented and catered to?

Gamboa: It’s really important for us to value the students’ voices and as college president, I want to be their voice [and] amplify their voices through the projects that I have mentioned that we will cater to them…We [also] want them to be part of the decision-making process or [them] being involved…to prioritize their concerns, give actual projects for [their] benefit, and enrich their student life.

The LaSallian: What projects and initiatives do you have in store for your college’s terminal batches? 

Gamboa: If I’m going to be honest, right now, I haven’t yet curated projects [for them].  But then, of course, it is my responsibility to consult with my constituents, to consult with the students for me to be able to immerse myself with their own experiences. [By] being consultative, I will work hand-in-hand with them…Since [they are] extending their stay in La Salle, or in engineering courses, we want them to maximize their opportunities while they’re still here. I also have this project called One GCOE [that highlights] what it truly means to be a Lasallian engineer…and what actually the future holds for us. 

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

JJ Mercado

By JJ Mercado

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