Friday, June 14, 2024

Ledesma, Burbano unveil advocacy-driven platforms

By Kean Andrei Bagaipo and Paul Ray Donaire | May 9, 2024

Frontrunners of the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) Elections revealed their platforms during the Veritas 2024: Student Body Conference held May 6 at the Silliman Hall.

The Concerted Action for the Upliftment of Students’ Endeavors (CAUSE) Party’s presidential and vice-presidential bets Sabrina Ysabelle Ledesma and Luke Timothy Burbano, respectively, disclosed their five advocacy-driven projects for volunteerism, environment, networking, advocacy building, and the welfare of the student community.

Ledesma said they seek to mobilize the students’ participation through the “Volunteers Network Program,” which aims to provide a directory of volunteering activities per month.

“To truly expand these opportunities to every spirited Sillimanian, this directory will be open to all,” she said.

For the environment, Ledesma and Burbano plan to reestablish the university’s Zero Waste Committee by proposing the “Sustainable Silliman Agenda.”

“[This committee consists] of representatives from each sector and office to discuss the waste issues and make certain that everyone plays their part in reducing the waste the campus [has] been generating and ascertain proper disposal of such,” she explained.

This school year, Ledesma is the chairperson of the SUSG Environment Committee and the incumbent Speaker Pro Tempore of the 33rd SUSG Student Assembly.

During the conference, both Ledesma and Burbano were asked about their plans for ensuring students’ safety following the increasing violence and theft cases in Dumaguete City.

Ledesma responded that they aim to set up “Kauban Sillimanian,” a platform that provides a support team working beyond legal action.

“[This is] made up of students and guidance counselors through the Guidance and Testing Division that offers aid to students who want to come forward and need emotional help as they get through traumatic experiences within and beyond the university,” she said.

Meanwhile, Burbano said they plan to create an advocacy campaign called “AdvocaSIYA” to guide students with strategic plans to mobilize their causes.

Under their administration, they would also improve the university’s career-related programs and ensure that “every student’s interests are considered through the Career Opportunities Network (CON) Tour.”

“We’re planning to consult with students and their college deans to create a better schedule for events, such as job fairs, and reach out to more businesses,” he said. “This way we can offer a wide range of options that best fit each student’s goals.”

Burbano is currently the co-chairperson of the SUSG Advocacy Committee.

Kaye Brier, a first-year law student and Philippine Daily Inquirer journalist, served as the moderator. SU Faculty Association (SUFA) President Jonathan Mark Te also attended the conference.

First tWS-led election conference

Organized by the Weekly Sillimanian (tWS), Veritas is a student-body conference that allows students to pose their questions directly to the standard bearers.

Contrary to the annual Election Forum and Miting de Advance, Rabaya said the event’s main objective is to know how the candidates’ responses can “correlate to the deeper issues that [are] really engraved in our society.”

Internal Co-chairperson Andrei Elizalde added that the questions also focused on “learning more about their plans” should they be elected.

On May 3, the SUSG Committee on Elections announced the official list of candidates for this year’s SUSG poll where 54 students are running under CAUSE Party while three students filed their independent bids for the next Student Assembly.

The elections will be held on May 15.

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