STRAW continues caravan for student rights and concerns

The Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW) committee of the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) continues the “USpeak” project to listen to students’ concerns and inform them of their rights.

“University Speak” or USpeak is a caravan by the STRAW committee aimed to inform students of their rights, privileges, and benefits. Students can also raise their concerns in the caravan.

The first USpeak event for this semester will be on July 27 in the rooms 301-303of Mary Marquis Smith Hall. Nursing and physical therapy students are scheduled at 9 a.m., while business administration students are scheduled at 2 p.m.

“The STRAW committee decided to do the STRAW caravan again this year because we have observed that a number of students are uncertain about their rights, and whether or not they can raise their concerns,” said STRAW Committee Chairperson Mykaela Maxino.

Maxino added that the SUSG and representatives from offices in the university can reach out to students in the caravan.

“This year’s STRAW caravan has a new and improved program, which is divided into different sessions. These different sessions would be discussed by the representatives from the different offices in the university,” said Maxino.

College deans and the faculty of their respective colleges will be invited to address the questions and concerns of the students in USpeak.

Students can raise their questions through an open forum during the program. Grievance forms for students to write their questions and calling cards with numbers that students can contact in times of emergency will also be distributed.

USpeak will also provide a STRAW website where students can submit concerns anonymously.

Maxino stressed that it is the main purpose of the SUSG to improve the ways and systems of the university and to give the students a better school year.

“How can we improve the system if the students will not speak up?” Maxino said.

STRAW will send proposals to the administration as another way of delivering student concerns to the administration.

STRAW will update the students about their concerns through their Facebook page. But for bigger changes involving the administration’s system, they will ask the Weekly Sillimanian to inform students about it.

USpeak began two years ago when Ken Anthony Danlag, STRAW Chairperson of S.Y. 2013-2014, started the program along with the hashtag #BeSTRAWngMovement, which the current STRAW committee will also bring back this year.

“We hope that USpeak would enlighten these students by letting them know what rights they have and what they could do to help us give them a better college life,” Maxino said.

USpeak is the STRAW committee’s main event for the semester.

By Jann Viansee O. Cardenas and Jameela I. Mendoza

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