Friday, June 14, 2024

Sillimanians: What makes a student leader? 

By Kristia Niña Daymiel | May 10, 2024

As the end of the semester draws closer, the dawn of a new batch of student leaders rises to banner the next administration. 

Before the final exams trigger a bustle along the halls of Silliman University (SU), a swarm of artsy placards, room-to-room speeches, and online campaigns first fill the campus as the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) electoral bets rally for their respective positions. For Sillimanians, however—at least to those who are critical enough—they could be looking for more than just platforms in the leaders they deem worthy of voting for. 

Here are some of the qualities Sillimanians think a student leader should have.

Jasper Despi, SHS

“I believe that what makes a student leader is that they should have love and compassion, and they should have a sense of servitude over other people. 

When you have the capability to love, you love because you have the capability. You do it for the people because you find the purpose in it. And in loving people, you don’t lose yourself. Instead, you find yourself. And that means that you don’t do it too much to the point that you get stressed. 

You don’t do it because you think you need to, but because you genuinely can and want to help these people and you want to raise their voices. And when you’re a student leader, I believe that because you have the capability to speak for others, you don’t speak over them, but rather you speak for them.

So, you become the representation that the people need, especially the people who are of the minority, and especially people who really need your help. And I believe that, if you’re a student leader, that also means that you genuinely care for the people and you’re not just doing this for credentials or to make a big name… You do these things because you want to be the voice of the people.”

Samantha Nicole Villegas, COE

“I will not say who, but there are some student leaders who cannot take criticisms or cannot take other judgments from other people. If you want to be a good student leader, you have to accept comments from other people, whether they’re just basic or normal students. 

If you’re a student leader, they think of you as someone highly. So, of course, you have this pride in yourself that ‘Oh, a lot of people think of me, I’m a leader,’ right? But if something happens that is out of your control or is not something that you hoped the outcome would be, maguba imohang pride  (your pride gets damaged), and of course, your ego.

I experienced it. So, yeah, I think that’s one thing. Because even if you’re a leader, even if you’re someone highly—a lot of people look up to—you can still make mistakes. 

To the future SUSG and all future student leaders here, just do your job and, of course, always think of others. Always listen to others before you decide. You may think it is good for some students, but actually, a lot of people are secretly not okay with it.”

Mark Caong, CAS

“There are a couple of things that I would like to mention kay murag (maybe it’s) important nga ang (that a) student leader must have conviction and charisma. If you don’t have conviction, what’s the point of being a leader? 

Do you even know why you are a leader? Ganon (Like that). And then charisma, of course. If you’re a student leader and you do not have charisma, then you’re not able to lead properly. 

So those two things are very, very important. If you do not have conviction and charisma, don’t bother trying to become a student leader.”

Candace Felize Barba, SHS

“I think student leaders should always take into account what other students feel about something and not just students from a specific group. Sometimes, I feel like student leaders only take the opinions of a certain group of people, for example their friends (from their own organization). 

They should consider everybody because, from what I’ve seen, sometimes they (student leaders) turn a blind eye, especially if it’s one of their friends who did something bad. Sometimes, student leaders are only in that position because they want to add it to their college profile or portfolio. 

So they can say like, ‘Oh, I was the governor…Oh, I was the PRO,’ and sometimes they’re not doing it for the students, they’re just doing it for themselves. They should also make sure that they’re also taking care of the students. They’re putting the students’ needs above their own. 

A student leader should be impartial, they should also be compassionate, they should be understanding, and they should know how to put themselves in others’ shoes.”

Maurice Cimini, IRS

“A student leader should be an individual who wants to share their personal experiences, insights, and challenges with their peers. 

They inspire others by leading through example, encouraging participation, and fostering a sense of community. A student leader not only communicates effectively but also listens attentively, ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard. Their goal must be to empower fellow students, promote collaboration, and drive positive change within the student body.”

John Kyle Buenavista, ICLS
“I think what makes a good student leader is someone who can help. For example, for me, [who is] new to the environment sa Silliman, a good student leader is someone knowledgeable, familiar sa environment and that they can guide people like us nga dili familiar diri, naa silay sense of empathy, and like approachable sila (A good student leader is someone knowledgeable, familiar with the environment, that can guide people like us who are not familiar here, those who have a sense of empathy, and who are approachable).”

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