What do you think is the main problem that the law school community is facing now and how would you address it?
We are about to enter a year full of new implementations – the great shift, the tracking system, the November bar exams. All these, although long and well-planned by the administration, would still undergo trial and error in which all of us will be greatly affected.
Tracking System: Issues as to the tracking system will best be addressed by the “old school” but highly effective primer implementation. Students need to be constantly informed of changes and additions to the program since this will affect their decisions in the coming months, years of their stay in the law school. However, the council’s role is to negotiate and agree with the administration as to a “deadline” in which all new implementations would be finalized so that the student body will not be burdened of changing plans and decisions to make.
Academic Shift: The great academic shift to August will entail the collective effort of the Student Council as well as the organization heads to plan ahead and calendar the events in such a way that it would still be parallel to what the students have gotten used to over the years. Organization heads are called to implement projects which consider quality and efficiency over quantity. Coordination is the key which would ideally be addressed by having a joint-planning semester and team building activity of the org heads and the council in order for ALL projects for the year to be properly calendared and no org project will conflict with another.
November Bar: November might coincide with final exams preparations and this is a big problem in terms of mobilizing volunteers to help out. As much as we would ideally want to have the whole Ateneo volunteer in order to promote “paying it forward”, in reality, majority of the students who have not actually experienced bar operations will prioritize passing their subjects than helping out our barristers. Let’s address this by formally proposing that the incoming freshmen be required to be part of the bar operations and such requirement is a grade component in one of their first year subjects. Incentives would be pretty but it does not give us an assurance as to a solid pool of volunteers that we can mobilize during the four weekends of the bar exams.
Essentially, it would work like: In your freshman year, you were required to volunteer, and you volunteered, you have experienced the priceless feeling of serving your barristers, the next years, you may or may not be incentivized but while you progress, you won’t care much about the incentives but the priceless feeling of accomplishment of having been part of something bigger than any grade additions.
What is one idea that you would like the student council to implement next year?
I would like to introduce a number of new ideas but I’ll leave the introduction as to those in my room-to-room campaigns. But, as part of the endeavor of the student council to expose the student body to social issues, I would like to take advantage of the 2016 National Elections season to organize a year-long and heavy information campaign concerning candidates, their platforms, their accomplishments and what have they done to actually solve many of the country’s problems of today. Forums will definitely be organized in which willing candidates can have the avenue to present their plans and win our votes. However, this does not in anyway strive to create an “Ateneo Vote” but is actually a chance for us to educate ourselves for as students of the law, we must not only be learned of the law but we must be keen and vigilant in choosing our leaders.
How will your projects adjust to next school year’s calendar shift?
What’s actually great about the President’s projects is that it is the most flexible of all projects in terms of calendaring and implementation. Intensive planning and coordination is the key and the long summer break is actually a great opportunity to plan the projects ahead.
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