The Supreme Student Government did not disappoint in delivering holistic activities for students last semester. Not only was it able to meaningfully engage its constituents, it was able to contribute to the growth of the community as well. Unfortunately, the Hibalag Booth Festival during the Founders Week celebration is proving to be a major setback in the SUSG’s performance this semester.
SUSG was able to spend more than half of its total budget just for that one activity. Though grand and naturally costly, Hibalag should not have been a reason for the student council to patch up the deficit using funds for this semester. The manner in which they paid for whatever they spent is done regardless of the consequences it has on students enrolled this semester. This means we might not get anything for what we paid. Then again, who could blame them? SUSG acted according to what it thought was right. It chose to remedy something that could render it completely paralyzed if left unaddressed.
This leads us to a bigger question:
how did the SUSG’s bill for a week’s electric consumption, setting up for lighting and fencing, janitorial services and various labor costs amount to around P274,000?
The SUSG did not see this coming as it expected to pay much lesser, considering that services they used included rentals and not purchases.
According to the Buildings and Grounds Office, the large amount is due to the increase in prices of the materials being used and the salary of contractual workers.
The SUSG and other concerned sectors of the SU community wish to know in full detail about their bill for the Hibalag booth festival and if there could be anything done to dampen its blow.
With the amount of money that has been spent and the amount of time left for this semester, the SUSG, the Buildings and Grounds
office and the SU admin must discuss and come up with a solution to this problem as soon as possible for the welfare of students.
Time and opportunities lost by the SUSG may not be regained.
Nonetheless, this should teach the right lessons to all parties involved:
the admin, to consider options of giving the SUSG the freedom to utilize resources outside the university if it means lessening expenditures; the SUSG, to set the necessary parameters in terms of budget spending; the Buildings and Grounds office, to effectively communicate with their clients before, during and after any transaction; and for future SUSG leaders to do everything they can to avoid this kind of complication.
The Weekly Sillimanian believes that it does not take Herculean strength to resolve this but rather, the undivided attention and cooperation of everyone involved.