Visayas State University (VSU) is set to host the prestigious Regional State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA-8) once again, after six (6) years since its 2017. In this regard, all eyes are on the preparations of the university for the event and high expectations are starting to line up for VSU. However, it can be noted that during the recently concluded Salingkusog 2023, catastrophic events flooded the whole competition, leaving Viscans and stakeholders trapped in a web of confusion, disappointment, and queries. As the university bears one of the biggest sporting events of this year, we ask this question: "Is VSU ready to host SCUAA 2023?"
In the recent intramurals, participating teams have suffered multiple disqualifications because of the absence of medical certificates and sports clearances for the athletes. All of the involved parties like the University Services for Health Emergency and Rescue (USHER), Institute of Human Kinetics (IHK), and student representatives have shared their side regarding the issue; which boiled down to miscommunication.
This time, the university is expected to be stringent and clear with their rules, guidelines, and announcement to avoid the recurrence of the aforementioned conflicts. Because at the end of the day, if all goes down the drain, the majority will be quick to complain yet barely no one is willing to take accountability of the issue.
Moreover, out of all the heated issues during the event, the most-awaited Ginoong Malakas and Binibining Maganda pageant also basked in the heat of criticisms and scrutiny of the public, as the issue of Data Privacy of the candidates were prioritize, resulting to the unavailability of the long-standing tradition of live streaming, which was just also publicly announced hours before the pageant. This poses a challenge for the facilitators and organizers of the event that there is a need to improve the system specifically when it comes to announcements and fluid information dissemination.
The intramurals and SCUAA are mainly focused on the athletes and representatives, but it won't cut a limb to extend considerations to other constituents, or the most basic yet seems questionably difficult thing to do; inform constituents properly.
Facilities and Due Process
Here comes the biggest question: Are the university facilities ready to accommodate hundreds of students and host various sporting events?
Adequate accommodation facilities for athletes are vital for the week-long sporting event. The dormitories are set to be vacated a week prior to the event to accommodate participants in the university. As someone who has experienced living inside one of the dormitories, I can say that most dormitories in VSU need immediate renovation and improvements especially when it comes to safety, comfortability, and necessary resources.
Just a tip of the iceberg of the dormitory situations: dormitories have poor ventilation and have dysfunctional comfort rooms. Though, currently, there have been people building temporary bathing areas around the departments of DTE and DLABS, but other factors must also be addressed to ensure a safe and comfortable stay for the athletes and representatives from other schools and also of our own.
In relation to this, student occupants will be requested to temporarily move out from the dormitories and will be sent to their respective homes along with their belongings during the whole duration of SCUAA.
However, it can be remembered that there has been conflicts with the process of moving out by dormitory occupants the last time the SCUAA event was held in VSU in 2017 (Read here: https://amaranth.vsu.edu.ph/news/9-campus-news/173-usso-storms-students-dorms).
This time, the university and dormitory advisers should ensure that this conflict will not happen again. There should be proper communication to the occupants from advisers, as well as from the officer in charge in checking the dormitories. The welfare of the occupants should not be disadvantaged for the sake of welcoming visitors and vice-versa. In fact, no one should be disadvantaged for the benefit of others.
Moreover, the facilities and equipment for sporting events should also be quality and quantity checked. The university should ensure the safety and sufficiency of the facilities and equipment to be used by the athletes, to prevent accidents and inadequacy.
Amaranth, the official media organization of VSU has faced multiple challenges during the Salingkusog 2023 which affects the coverage of some events. The changing of game schedules, securing of score sheets, coordination with the officiating officials and secretariats are only a few of those challenges, something that the media organization continues to endure in every sporting event. This opens up a need for partnership between the Amaranth the organizers and facilitators to easily gather data scores, to be updated with the game schedules, and coordinate with them if certain conflicts arise, to ensure a seamless coverage.
With the event drawing closer, VSU must act swiftly to prepare. Cramming the necessary documents only a few days before the event will not be effective, as shown by what happened in Salingkusog 2023.
A dedicated committee, composed of logistics experts, medical professionals, and sports coordinators, should be established to oversee preparations and address any unforeseen challenges.
It is important to note that, when one aspect of an event fails to properly be executed and the parties involved fail to play their part efficiently, this affects the entirety of the whole event; it's a domino effect.
This serves as a reminder that the objective here is not merely to host an event but to create an environment where participants, athletes, and visitors can truly experience the essence of SCUAA—camaraderie, competition, and values that extend beyond the playing field.