May 18, 2022

Candidates for De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) Student Government (SG) elections shared their plans on how to manage grievances and tuition matters in “Tapatan 2022,” led by the DLSL Committee on Elections (Comelec) and SG via Facebook live stream, April 27.

Candidates enlivened the Tapatan by delivering their opening statements. (Screenshot from SG Tapatan 2022 debate via Zoom)

For the opening statement, the Alliance of Lasallian Youth (ALAY) Leaders and Voices for Advocacy, Movement, and Service (VAMOS) party-lists were given 30 minutes to introduce their candidates and the platforms to be implemented next academic year should they secure the positions.

A panel comprising representatives from the LAVOXA Group of Publications, Council of Student Organizations (CSO), Comelec, Lasallian Alliance of Youth Advocates for Equality (LAYA), College Discipline Office, and College Guidance Office gave questions beforehand for the candidates to answer.

Likewise, the incumbent SG executive council and college governors also gave questions for the candidates in the open forum.

On handling grievances and student participation

To ensure effective and efficient performance, Glark Farol, the only executive president candidate from ALAY Leaders, said that he would improve the strategies for handling student concerns and grievances if elected.

Farol emphasized a proactive approach in handling student concerns. (Screenshot from SG Tapatan 2022 debate via Zoom)

He stated that he would continue the proactive approach in responding to student concerns since it is the strength of the incumbent council.

“[Pagkakaroon ng proactive approach] talaga para sa akin ang pinaka-magandang part na i-continue namin. Kasi ‘di ba ang SG ay parang ang magli-lead sa student governance. Sila din ang talagang in-charge sa concerns,” said Farol.

Meanwhile, Gian Carlo Agapito,  running for CBEAM vice governor from ALAY Leaders, intends to determine the students’ interests to ensure high student engagement and participation.

“Kapag nakakapag-create ng connection ang topic or ang activities ay students na mismo ang mag-e-engage sa sarili nila towards the activity itself,” said Agapito.

On addressing tuition increase in setup transition

With DLSL’s gradual reopening of limited face-to-face classes, Dale Fernan Castillo, incumbent SG executive president, questioned the plans of the aspiring CBEAM governors if the institution imposes higher tuition caused by this setup.

Current SG executive council and college governors asked the candidates about their stand on pressing issues concerning the Lasallian community. (Screenshot from SG Tapatan 2022 debate via Zoom)

Both Joyce Hernandez of VAMOS and Jan Elaine Baliwag of ALAY Leaders said they would demand a breakdown of the fees to determine which aspects contribute to the increase and if it is necessary. 

“Makikipag-communicate tayo sa concerned office para malaman if justified ba ‘yung pag-increase ng tuition sa certain area na pinupuntahan ng ating tuition fee,” said Baliwag.

Likewise, Karl Adrian Tolentino, CIHTM governor, asked his sole aspiring successor, June Rheiben Lanting of VAMOS, how he can ensure unity between the students and administration when such an increase transpires. 

Lanting responded by saying, “We need to acknowledge why [the students] would want to sustain or lower the tuition […] at the same time, we should also consider the grievances coming from the faculty, why they should ask for more funding.”

Lanting pointed out the importance of acknowledging the students’ grievances on tuition increases. (Screenshot from SG Tapatan 2022 debate via Zoom)

On being SOGIESC responsive and promoting freedom of speech

Other concerns raised in the online Tapatan revolved around the promotion of students’ sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), in which the candidates guaranteed to continue SG’s policy advocacy project with LAYA. 

Hannah Quisha Mosca, the only candidate for the executive vice president position, mentioned formulating strategic policies that would fight gender discrimination and promote gender equality.

Mosca assured the college community of them continuing SG’s policy advocacy project with LAYA. (Screenshot from SG Tapatan 2022 debate via Zoom)

‘’Through the help of communication with LAYA, […] ma-o-open ang minds [ng mga estudyante] na na-create itong policy because it is [for] the good of all. […] Through that policy, we will know na we would respect all genders na mayro’n tayo [sa college community],” said Mosca.

On the issue of championing students’ freedom of speech and expression, Farol highlighted implementing an online “SG Dropbox” that would allow Lasallians to express their school concerns anonymously.

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The three-day voting begins today, May 2, and will end on May 4. The link to the online ballot is available on DLSL Comelec and SG’s Facebook page.

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