By Janelle Reserva
YO U CANNOT JUST NOT READ THIS. Whether you’re someone who skates, someone who hates the escalating traffic in Dumaguete, someone who loves hanging out with friends, someone who gives life to coffee shops, or someone who is just waiting for life to slap you in the face, at some point in your life you will ask yourself why the system in the campus or the city isn’t coping with all its progress, or if there is, it isn’t enough or the change lets you distrust the system entirely causing indifference. And inside of you, you blame how inefficient this government is and you maintain a cynical view on its workers and officials.
But do you even know the system or the people running it? Even if we know that we are the power behind these powerful people, the problem starts when we don’t actually know them and what they are doing. When you don’t even know that there are vital concerns in the Miting de Avance that would put a huge effect of who you will become in the future and when you know more about the latest gossip but don’t take the time to learn about how your government actually works, you default on your ability to be a force of good in a big way.
So take time and read this and let’s see what the presidential candidates for the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) think about when asked these common questions when running for office:
Hanz Denzil Villahermosa under the banner of the Concerted Action for the Upliftment of Students’ Endeavors (CAUSE)
Jayson Capundag under the banner of Students’ Union for Reforms (SURE).
tWS: Where are you from?
Hanz (CAUSE): I’m from Amlan. My parents are both from Amlan.
Jayson (SURE): I’m from Siquijor.
tWS: What does your family think about you running?
Hanz: Well, my family has always been supportive. Although at first they were hesitant because they think it might compromise my studies. But I have always been busy on other stuff. I always tell them that whatever decisions I make and if I am passionate of that decision, I’d always make a way to balance my time.
Jayson: “Go for it,” they said. I grew up in a political family.
tWS: Have you ever run for office before?
Hanz: Yes, as the governor of the College of Education.
Jayson: Yes, president of the Silliman Junior Business Executives.
tWS: Do you know the entire population of Silliman?
Hanz: I’m not really sure. Maybe about 9,000.
Jayson: I have no idea how many we all are in Silliman. I’ll ask my friends.
tWS: Why did the members of your party vote for you to become the Standard Bearer of the party?
Hanz: One of the reasons is that I think they see me as someone who has balance in everything.
Jason: They have assessed and evaluated my achievements and involvements. They have also assessed who I am.
tWS: Out of all the involvements listed in your campaign leaflet, what is one specific thing that qualifies you to become the next SUSG president?
Hanz: Being a lead facilitator of the Gaba-an Youth Lead which is a community-based organization wherein we volunteer and give our services for free. This organization also coordinates with Gawad- Kalinga. And I learned here the value of service, a service above self. Our main purpose is to help the youth and to empower them.
Jayson: I would say being the president of the Siquijorians Students Association is my most treasured achievement because I revived that organizationin 2012. It was inactive 2003-2011. It was during my first year in Hibalag that I asked those from Siquijor why we didn’t have an organization, so I urged them and asked them for steps. I asked from the Registrar’s Office a copy of those who are from Siquijor and encouraged them and now we are ranked top 13 among 60+ organizations.
tWS: What will your first action be once elected?
Hanz: The first action once elected is to gather people who I trust, who are competent and capable and [then] we will discuss things and come up with a specific plan. The first thing that we will do is to gather information from students using a survey and plan an activity from their sentiments.
Jayson: My first step will be to go back to the colleges that I campaigned to and talk [about] their concerns. I want to be present in their first meeting within the college’s council because I want to give them the chance to raise concerns and for me to get a record to give equal chances and opportunity for every college and address it to the administration.
tWS: Do you have a specific big activity in mind for the school?
Hanz: I don’t have any activities yet. As I said, I will do the survey first.
Jayson: When I was in third year, we conducted a study of why the students don’t show their IDs to the guards and their behaviors regarding this. We also went to other schools to check if this was the same and we found out that they have this machine where they can swipe their IDs easily. [The presence of a] swipe machine is very important because it is security.
tWS: What is the most pressing problem that the University is facing now?
Hanz: Student apathy. Not just not being able to involve too much but also students not caring about everything that’s around them.
Jason: Safety with regards to traffic.
tWS: If there is a common opinion of your family, relatives or friends about you, what is a particular adjective or phrase that they will say?
Although these questions can be a reference of what they can do as your next SUSG President, this isn’t the end. This isn’t the only means to get to know them. Ask more. Know more. Respond more.Do not just rest on the opinions of others, strangers who form one general mob. Let’s do our part, start a discussion, and have a good conversation with them so that all of us can come up with better opinions and excellent alternatives and help the next SUSG president, whoever that might be.