We are almost heading to the last page of the school year, and a new set of student leaders will soon take their seats. As part of the students' annual activity at Visayas State University (VSU), students practice their right to suffrage by electing leaders to take charge of the University Supreme Student Council (USSC).

They serve as the student governing body at VSU and aim tocontinue bringing up the voices of the students to fight for and protect their rights and welfare.

Yet, it is always in doubt if those in positions are fulfilling their obligations as the student governing body. Amaranth asks Viscans whether the current USSC officers are able to attain their responsibilities. Let us take a look back at their leadership and the endeavors they undertake for a year by heeding the students' voices.

Al Janly Arpilleda, a fourth-year Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering student, contrasted the leadership of the current USSC officers to the old ones since he was not able to feel their presence, unlike before.

“Like what I've said, wala kaayo ko nag hatag og pake karon sa USSC officers or maybe because sugod palang wala na nako sila nafeel unlike sa akong 1st year here in VISCA (VSU) nga you can really tell that there's an USSC around the campus and functioning—I meant their presence in many ways not just in handling big events.” 

(Like what I’ve said, I don’t pay any attention to the current USSC officers or maybe, even at the beginning, I never even noticed them unlike the ones during my freshman (1st Year) in VSU where you can tell that there are USSC officers around the campus who are doing their jobs.)

A second-year Bachelor in Secondary Education student, Michael Garcia viewed the current USSC officers as leaders who only cared for their personal prestige and not good governance.

“Some existing USSC officers need more leadership training and a better understanding of how to deal with people. All they seem to care about is personal prestige, not good governance. I can always notice all of them introduced at almost every major event and even at student meetings, which is unnecessary if done regularly. For me, real visible action is the greatest prestige.”

An anonymous student shared similar sentiments to Garcia, saying that the current USSC officers take their seats not because of their willingness to serve but because of their biases. Yet they were still able to carry out their responsibilities.                                 

“Most of the officers in the USSC are there because of friendship biases, not because of their willingness to serve. This statement doesn't necessarily mean that they are incompetent because they have been delivering their jobs decently. It is just that biases occur when problems within their council arise.”

A third-year BS in Marine Biology student, Krissa Trabajo, said that some of the USSC officers were able to meet her expectations. She also suggested a few things to improve, such as communication.

“In terms of my expectations for the USSC officers, I think they have met some of them but not all. For example, I appreciate the efforts they have made to create a more inclusive campus environment, but I feel that more could be done to address certain issues affecting students. One aspect of the USSC officers' role that I think needs improvement is communication with the student body. There have been times when important information or decisions were not communicated clearly or in a timely manner. Additionally, I think more could be done to solicit feedback and input from students on issues that directly affect them.”

Francis Earl Tezon, an AB in Philosophy freshman, shared that the USSC officers were able to perform their duties well but needed improvement in terms of information dissemination.

“From what I have observed, they lack efficiency in terms of disseminating important updates. I believe that this factor should be enhanced. Even though they lack in considering and taking actions towards numerous predicaments that the university and the students face currently, they still have performed well, and yes, they have reached my expectations.”

Maureen Santiago, a first-year Bachelor of Science in Development Communication student, viewed the current USSC officers as the voices of the Viscan community amidst leadership lapses.

“As I observed and somehow experienced their administration, I felt that they had quite contributed to the welfare of the students. They have somewhat manifested themselves to become one of the voices of the Viscan community. Although there are lapses, or should I say they could have done better projects and policies concerning the students' queries and necessities.”

A third-year AB English student, Zyrhyll Vincent Yosores, complimented the strategy of the USSC officers in terms of balancing their responsibilities as student leaders with their academic requirements.

“The current USSC officers are good people trying their hardest to adjust from online classes. Balancing both officerial duties and academic requirements isn't as easy as one might think.”

Dorothy Joy Dacka, a third-year Bachelor of Science in Agriculture student, commended the leadership of the USSC officers, as they are doing their best to carry out their responsibilities as student leaders.

“Ang ahong makita sa ilang pamaagi is like they are doing their best, dli man tuod nila ma fulfill ang mga needs or mga suggestions or any queries sa mga students, pero ila gihapon gi do ilang mga best sa kung unsa gani ilang pagtuo na mahimo nila.”

(All I can see in the officers’ responsibilities is that they are doing their best, although they cannot fulfill all of the needs, or suggestions, or queries of the students, but they are still doing their best in whatever they think they can still do.)

Indeed, in every administration, there are varied impacts on the student body—positive or negative—that will serve as our grounds for choosing the next student leaders. But we should still commend the time and effort that they have put into this school year. 

This is also a reminder to all Viscans that it is within our own hands to choose quality leaders who have values that align with and manifest the university’s core values—relevance, integrity, truth, and excellence. We need student leaders who will collaborate to improve the university and represent the student population.

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