Paralleled to a voyage on boat, Alyansang Atenista (AA) campaigns to “Bugsay” – to row – against the currents of Senior High School (SHS) for and with the students. AA thus calls on every student to join them in moving through the issues and high waves the pioneering batch is currently sailing through.

Lead rowers

Getting past their differences as former party-list rivals in Junior High School, Presidential Candidate Angelika Mari Gultia and Vice Presidential Candidate Matt Anderson Ondap have formed allegiance under Alyansang Atenista for the SHS Elections.

Matt Ondap, the vice presidential candidate of Alyansang Atenista wraps up their points at the XU Gymnasium on September 28. Photo by Coleen Vitor

Matt Ondap, the vice presidential candidate of Alyansang Atenista wraps up their points at the XU Gymnasium on September 28. Photo by Coleen Vitor

Carrying years’ worth of leadership experience, Gultia and Ondap root their decisions to run on the prospect of potentially leading the students on building the SHS identity and bringing relief from the burdens of Senior High School. “I’m a student, and as a student, why can’t I do something about it?” Gultia clarifies, “We’re running not for the position, but because we’re up for the responsibility.”

Spurring change

Aiming to emphasize the principle Makaestudyante (Pro-Student), Alyansa presented its platform BUGSAY which stands for “Biyaheng Miyerkules, Unta Inani, Galaw Senior High, Sturya ta Bay, Atung Handumanan, and Y Lisuday”.

Providing solutions to the Wednesdays students perceive as dull, under “Biyaheng Miyerkules” are projects that encourage student involvement. These activities include Strand Assemblies, the implementation of the supported platforms, and the mandatory activities set by the administration. Aware of the increased academic demands when the examination week draws near, Wednesdays during the week before midterms and finals were proposed to be utilized as study holidays. “

Unta Inani”, named after an expression often heard from the students, intends to adjust the 7:10 AM Monday morning assembly and the Wednesday PE classes scheduled by the University. As a proposed solution to the significant number of latecomers during the morning assembly, the formalities – Panatang Makabayan, National Anthem, and the Xavier Hymn – are suggested to be conducted via speaker inside the respective SHS classrooms on a 7:30 AM time slot. The assembly, itself, shall then be moved to Wednesday, before Homeroom period, to ensure full information dissemination amongst the batch.

Gultia also emphasizes the need to move PE classes that six of the 34 sections are having on a Wednesday. “Even if they’re the minority, they also serve the same importance as the majority,” she expresses. This is with the goal of reducing conflicts in the schedule of these classes and the activities normally catered during what is considered as activity day.

Sturya ta Bay” aims to fulfill a government’s need for transparency. Planned under this platform are, first, the State of the Student Government Address which is an avenue for the students to be informed of the student government’s standing. Second, the opening of the directorate to the student body, wherein students can pass resolutions to pressing issues directly to the SHSG. Third, the creation of Hotline Bling, the official SHSG hotline where students can immediately report concerns or suggest resolutions.

Legacies

Galaw Senior High” is proposed to be a one day event that will highlight the creativity of the SHS students through an exhibit while also promoting the quality education XUSHS offers. Emphasizing “galaw” (move), a celebration – which, at the same time, is a fund-raising activity – will follow the evening after the event.

Atung Handumanan” (Our legacy) is a project that would literally mark the legacy of the first XUSHS batch in the Philippines, and, at the same time, advocate for the preservation of the environment by having tree planting activities. “Y Lisuday” is a platform which targets to lessen the hassle of the students by providing strand related materials such as journal worksheets at a cheaper price, and offering free printing and photocopying services during the week before exams. Easier access to photocopying services for students having classes at the SBM Building is also being proposed.

The candidates from each party present their platforms and projects to the XUSHS student body on September 28, 2016 at the XU Gymnasium. Photo by Coleen Vitor

The candidates from each party present their platforms and projects to the XUSHS student body on September 28, 2016 at the XU Gymnasium. Photo by Coleen Vitor

“One thing I am confident about is that we are offering the best to the student body, and it’s up to them if they accept what we are ready to give for them,” expresses Ondap. Gultia and Ondap believe these platforms can be successfully executed if and only if the students accept and take action together and with the voice they choose to represent XU Senior High School. He assures, “If they bugsay (row) with us, that’s our fuel. If they bugsay with us, then why would we stop?”