Head On: LA Chief of Operations Aisha Khan to bring ‘policy-based’ leadership for OSEC

Aisha Khan aims to apply what she learned in the LA for a policy-grounded OSEC.

Aisha Khan brings her experience as the chief of operations for the Legislative Assembly (LA) with her as she eyes a seat in the Executive Board. The Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon (Santugon) bet bares her initiatives for streamlined systems and better information dissemination within and outside the Office of the Executive Secretary (OSEC) of the University Student Government (USG), an office that often escapes the attention of the Lasallian community.

The LaSallian: How have your past leadership experiences prepared you for the role of executive secretary?

Aisha Khan (Santugon): I’ve been a USG officer since my frosh year. I have worked both in the judiciary and the legislative. When I was in the [USG] Judiciary, I was a student adviser and was working hand-in-hand with the judiciary in handling grievance cases…assisting students in their grievance cases. I’m currently the chief of operations for the Legislative Assembly (LA) under the Office of the Chief Legislator. While working there, I really understood the inner workings of the USG, especially the operations. That’s a very important facet of the executive secretary because we are the chief administrative officer of USG. It’s very important how we handle everything in the USG, given that [our work is] very meticulous. We need to be meticulous on the documentation on the internal operations, as well as the organization of the EB offices, to make sure that we’re able to better execute these initiatives and plans for the student body

The LaSallian: How can you better inform the Lasallian community about your position and why it matters to them?

Khan: I have a specific plan of action called the “Integrated Information Space” because one of the pressing issues that I can see right now would be the lack of optimization for streamlined information. Nakikita natin that there’s so many different platforms to find information—on Canvas, on MLS, on our emails, in Facebook group chats, in Telegram group chats. There’s an influx of information. Ang kulang na lang is how we streamline that information to make sure it’s readable, digestible, and accessible to the student body. With this, my project…has three phases. First is the redevelopment of the USG website. This will contain all relevant and pertinent information to campus life, including an integrated academic calendar…Phase two would be an integrated learning space reservation system…Finally, phase three is the revamping of the USG button on canvas.

The LaSallian: What are your long term goals for OSEC and how do you plan to achieve these goals?

Khan: Most of our projects are actually policy-based and seeing as three out of five of our executive board have legislative background, we really believe that policies are very important to make things sustainable in the long run, which is why the USG website, that’s phase one of the Integrated Information Space, is actually backed up by an LA bill. I will make sure to adhere to those policies to make sure that this information that we’re giving to the students and these protocols and systems, hindi lang siya pang-ngayon. It is for the benefit of the student body in the many, many years to come. 

The LaSallian: What are your plans to improve the USG’s information dissemination systems?

Khan: As I mentioned earlier, the Integrated Information Space. One point that I can add here is that I recognize that information is really fragmented and siloed across colleges, across batches. You have different information that you need. For example, if you’re from COB (College of Business), we have different procedures when it comes to, for example, internal processes of shifting, of talking to the associate dean. In the integrated information space, particularly the USG website, we will be having college-specific tabs, as well as different tabs for different features that you will need. Whether that’s information about the USG, the  admin, internal processes, [or] anything that you may need. It is going to be organized, but at the same time, easily digestible and accessible.

The LaSallian: Aside from releasing open book reports, how do you plan on making USG records more transparent?

Khan: I do think that the open books are really effective, especially since it is easily digestible to the students, and we get to have that every term. What I…can propose is that we have more transparency reports on the performance management or the performance assessment of your USG officers. Especially speaking as the executive secretary, I handle the HR (human resources) of the USG office. I also have a specific plan of action when it comes to the representation and the transparency of the student body when it comes to HR. I plan to implement the Human Resources Council within the USG [to] promote transparency within the USG, especially when it comes to your USG officers. This also includes their performance management, resolving of internal conflict, and training and development, skills building. I’m really hoping that with this, especially with the key concept of transparency with the USG office in itself, we’ll be able to better cater quality products, quality projects, and initiatives to the student body.

The LaSallian: How do you intend to strengthen the USG’s internal partnerships with other organizations and sectors within the University?

Khan: My executive board…we’re in very close consultation with the different offices of the administration. We consulted also with SLIFE (Office of Student Leadership Involvement, Formation and Empowerment)…We wanted to emphasize on action-driven representation that includes multi-sectoral collaborations because we believe that you could only get results that we want through tangible and sustainable means. We also closely coordinated with the Council of Student Organizations (CSO). We wanted to make sure that we have a collaboration with them, especially this year. We actually have this partnership with them in order to better promote the information dissemination that I was talking about, and so we would recognize that as two separate bodies in serving the student community and serving the Lasallian community, we will be also able to work together towards streamlining information and making sure that all this information about the CSO and the USG reaches the student body as a whole.

The LaSallian: What issues have you noticed within the OSEC and how do you plan to address them?

Khan: Speaking as an officer of the USG currently, I would say what could be improved on in the Office of the Executive Secretary would be how we go about the training and development of the USG officers. The Legislative Assembly passed a bill with regard to amending the Commission on Officer Development [and] as of right now, it is not fully functional or operational. This is because we cannot find the officers yet for it. However, when it comes to my term, I will make sure to fully implement the Commission on Officer Development [and] make sure that it is fully operational and functional. We will be able to find your USG representatives…to fill in those seats so that we may be able to go into the skills building, training, and development of your USG leaders.

The LaSallian: What can you say about the current OSEC record keeping management system? How will you improve this as executive secretary?

Khan: With the current system of the OSEC, I think that they have done their part in maintaining the books and organization of the EB offices. What I can do during my time is to improve on that and make sure that everything is actually accessible to the USG officers…We need to make sure that we are aligned and in that sense, organized as one University Student Government.

Bea Francine Isuga

By Bea Francine Isuga

JJ Mercado

By JJ Mercado

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