For over four years, I’ve had my fair shares of appreciation and disappointments while I was both a participant and a spectator of the Sanggunian’s actions. There were also those expectations which became disillusionments when one can’t bring out the utopia out of the community. Our perception of reaching out to the people in our school can’t be perfected. There will always be that leak in that big blue submarine but this is not just a technically easy-to-repair submarine. It’s more than that.
Leading the school’s voice is not as easy as it sounds. One can’t assume that the people are consumers and are just waiting to be served. One also can’t simply reason out projects as ways of solving the invisible bigger problems in our community. If the student government can’t entice the students as being stakeholders of our school, just imagine how this would look like in our Philippine government.
Relating to the lessons learned from Development Economics, one can’t judge development in a country based on the GDP, the GNP, and those commonly used econometric data. Countries as well as communities can’t be judged like guinea pigs. As individuals, we partake in a dynamic society where by just rebooting the world won’t work. If the student government can’t offer the representation needed by the students based on their present projects, then there must be a problem bigger than the anomalies of the projects’ logistics, program execution, etc. Time immemorial, we try to minimize the errors in our projects as students, or organization members. If something goes wrong, we’d always find a way to end them with the best outcomes as much as possible.
Year by year, candidates tell us about their visions and missions. We’d see some of them running again the following year, promising us that they’d do better. Though each person holds a certain dogma or ideology in mind, frameworks based on our assumptions would not always necessary work. Structures were made for us to better understand how things work and how to make them better. They have their ups and downs depending on the different backgrounds of the test subjects. Looking again at one example in Development Economics, we don’t necessarily solve the problems of Russia by using the framework in China. We just simply can’t as based on further investigation. Numbers don’t tell us everything. All theories are not necessarily right. Using the same set of mechanisms on a different set of group won’t give the results we expect.
Then here, some of you tell us that your way of doing things would actually make small or big miracles for the Ateneo community. If one mechanism can’t work, it just simply can’t. Though my status as a graduating super senior student, I want to make sure that my vote counts for my last election here in the Ateneo. I want an assurance that the next President would not just leave another legacy as what previous Presidents had done but to also improve next year’s student government in terms of representation and relevance.
No matter how many positions one has taken under the government body be it a Central Body Representative or an Executive Officer, one should remember that being a student does not only entail partying, cramming, and such. The needs of the students are more than that (I hope). We are not part of a company or a factory. We are a dynamic community and need a better discourse of things.
Change isn’t just using the ideal framework you have in mind to shape up your community. It’s also finding the perfect way of improving the state of mind in your group.