USG President bares plans and progress, emphasizes transparency in first virtual address

Emphasizing the significance of transparency and accountability in governance, the University Student Government (USG) held its first-ever virtual State of the University Government Address (SUSGA) on November 19 via Facebook Live. Spearheaded by USG President Niña Ligan, the SUSGA 2021 aired the President’s 40-minute speech as she laid out the updates in her first few months in office, and bared her future plans as the chief executive.

Hurdles, accomplishments, and plans

Highlighting the need for transparency, Ligan shared that USG faced various circumstances in the early days of their transition, especially in completing their slate for the current academic year (AY). The president admitted that this eventually caused delays in passing resolutions and other mandated orders in the University. 

“I sincerely apologize for not introducing you to the new Chief Justice and Associate Justices for this academic year. We are working on it and rest assured that you will know the new officers,” Ligan said.

Underscoring the need to be transparent to the student body, Ligan also looked back on the orientation for the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the University’s academic model in September, which drew flak among students due to the gadget concerns raised in the IRR orientation. In response, the USG President announced that together with the help of the office of the Information and Communications Technology Center (ICTC) and the coordination of the Office of Vice-Chancellor of Academics and Research (OVCAR), they were able to provide six (6) sets of computers and another two (2) units of laptop to students in need thanks to an anonymous donor.

Aside from tackling issues in previous months, Ligan also addressed scholarship concerns for the current semester. To aid students in need, she shared that the USG Congress is already working on the implementation of the USG’s financial aid program, which aims to grant P10,000 cash assistance to 20 students. 

“We are hoping and praying na sana for the second semester, we could increase the number of grantees so we can help you,” Ligan added.

In addition to scholarship matters, the USG President also assured student-athletes that the USG is coordinating with their respective college student governments (CSGs) to assist them with their concerns. Student-athletes were one of those who bore the impact of the financial crisis brought by the pandemic, following the reduction of their scholarship benefits amid the absence of sports leagues during the health crisis.  

USG calls for transparency from DLSU-D admin

While the USG President was transparent in sharing their circumstances as well as their plans in the upcoming months, Ligan appealed to the DLSU-D administration to also exercise the same transparency towards the student body. The statement came after the administration’s directive to extend online classes for the second semester of AY 2021-2022, which prompted several concerns among students. 

“I am humbly asking for clarification. Please hear us out, hear our students,” said Ligan.  The chief executive outlined several reasons for the University to reconsider allowing onsite classes next semester, citing the appeals from students when the announcement was made. These include requests for onsite payments, internet connection issues, and calls to prioritize the graduating batch in gradually resuming in-campus classes.

“Most of the students are quite worried. Are they ready enough to take their own path after they graduate in our university? Baka po pwede kaming matulungan din ng alumni, how can we give our best and how can we help ourselves na maging ready po ba sa tatahakin namin pagkatapos mag-aral?” Ligan stated. 

In an interview with The HERALDO FILIPINO on November 19, Vice Chancellor for Academics for Research (VCAR) Dr. Marco Saez said they are eyeing to allow limited onsite activities and facility use next semester under the approval of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Meanwhile, the earliest target for the resumption of face-to-face classes remains to be in the academic year (AY) 2022-2023 to give parents and students an allowance for adjustment. 

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