By MARIA CECILIA O. PAGDANGANAN
GONE are the days when the public relations officer (PRO) was relegated to merely creating posters and social media content. In an effort to cope with the changing times, the candidates for PRO seek not only to disseminate accurate information but also to address the grievances of Artlets.
Running under Grand Alliance for Progress (GAP), legal management freshman Rosario Raña believes her major has prepared her for the role of PRO.
“As an LM student, I always think on my feet,” she says. “Lalo na kapag ‘yung mga [recitation], kailangan fast ka na mag-answer. Siyempre it’s important as a PRO kasi I disseminate information.”
“I learned to be very detail-oriented. I should not miss facts or principles, lalo na when it comes to reading cases. And I can apply that to being a PRO […] kailangan hindi lang nag-se-settle for mediocrity,” she adds.
Raña’s proposed platforms are her way of giving back to the Artlet community.
“I actually believe more on being a servant leader,” she says, “ito sini-serve mo ‘yung people. Hindi kayong nag-di-dicate lang na ‘Ito gagawin mo, ito gagawin mo.’ It’s being one with them and one of them.”
Being one with Artlets
What makes a good Artlet student leader? For independent candidate Eadric Espiritu, it’s PATE: principles, accountability, transparency, and effectivity. This is what Espiritu seeks to achieve if elected as the next PRO.
The political science freshman’s previous experiences as a student leader range from being class president in grade school to acting as the executive associate to the vice president of the Central Student Council. He says such credentials have helped him cultivate his own unique leadership style: one that unites him with his fellow students.
Espiritu rejects the notion that student leaders should be detached from their fellow students.
“Hindi ako nag–fo-focus [sa] kung paano iangat ang sarili ko. Pero, mas fino-focus ko kung paano ko kayo iangat. […] That’s why by being one with you, I can boost your morale,” he says.
Although Espiritu admits that leaders are not perfect, he stresses that he is willing to stand by his principles, take accountability for his mistakes, and be transparent with the inner workings of the council.
The call for collective action
Armed with the passion to lead and the desire to serve, independent candidate Trisha Ifurung is ready to revolutionize what it means to be PRO.
Ifurung’s background as a political science freshman has taught her the importance of political theories and how to apply them in her work as a student leader. She has also gained the communication skills needed to interact with students, fellow leaders, and administrators.
Her passion for leadership, however, is not only limited to the walls of the classroom. In September 2018, Ifurung acted as the alliance and network community head for the second Lumad Bakwit School in UST; here, she was able to campaign for the Lumad children’s right to education and oppose martial law in Mindanao.
Her dedication to fighting for the rights of the minority led her to choose social awareness as one of her main platforms. She says she wants to open Artlets’ eyes to the pressing issues around them.
“Ang kailangan natin ay avenues para mai-express ‘yung kanilang mga paninindigan o panawagan,” she says.
The PRO candidate is currently advocating against the increase of tuition and other fees and is fighting for quality and accessible education for all.
“Itong collective action na binabanggit natin ay ‘yung sama-sama sa pagkikilos ng mga kabataan tutol do’n sa pagtaas ng matrikula,” she explains. “Tayo lang student council, hindi siya Messiah. […] Tayong student council [ay] magiging tulay lamang.” F
WATCH: Get to know candidates for public relations officer Rosario Raña (GAP), Trisha Ifurung (IND), and Eadric Espiritu (IND) through the Flame’s video series for AB Halalan 2019.