The 2013-2014 Student Council: A Look Back At The Year That Was

EVERY year, the Ateneo Law School Student Council (ALS-SC) launches and implements a number of projects that cater to the wants and needs of the ALS student body. These include a variety of services and a wide range of events that specifically outline the SC’s visions for the students’ well-being. This year’s SC not only revamped and successfully executed landmark projects, it also created several new developments and events that highlighted its competence and vision for the student population.

Administrative Needs
This began with the launching of the Online Student Grievance Box. This gave students a more accessible medium to air grievances and an opportunity to inform the SC of their most urgent needs. A Registration Help Desk was also established. This assisted students during registration by offering a registration primer that contained relevant FAQs, providing computers for the printing of assessment forms, and monitoring the timely release of grades. Primers for blocks and different class electives were also given to students. These allowed them to prepare for the coming semesters, through tips from upperclassmen on certain professors’ lecture, grading, and examination styles. The SC also began talks with the administration on the allocation and creation of a school clinic, new school organization rooms, and a fitness center. A new SC hotline was launched, and they can now be reached via mobile phone.

The SC has always been in charge of implementing the yearly Freshman Orientation Seminar (OrSem), with the recent theme being the “Hunger Games.” There were 25 sophomore volunteers who worked together to give the incoming freshmen an informative program and an entertaining time. The SC, likewise, spearheaded the annual Back-To-School Party. This gave students an opportunity to unwind and relax before the load of the semester got heavier. This year, the students also took part in the annual Sportsfest, which gave them a day to let loose and foster camaraderie among different blocks and batches. However, the Sportsfest, which is usually held in the first semester, was pushed back to the second semester due to conflicts in schedule. The Night of the Arts remained to be the perfect opportunity for ALS students to showcase their artistic talents and to relax and enjoy their fellow students’ company. Towards the end of the school year, the SC also organized a Career Fair, which opened up possible internship and employment opportunities to students, especially the graduating seniors.

Student Assistance
This year, various projects were implemented to assist the ALS student body. This includes the holding of the General Assembly for students. This allowed the Council not only to present its mission and vision for the school year, but also to solicit suggestions from organization heads and students on things to improve on. A new Online Samplex Database was also established, giving students free access to sample exams that were collected over the years. In addition, the SC continued its annual Book Allowance Grant and also subsidized 60 leaves of thesis paper for all fourth-year students.

Bar Operations
The Council helped the Central Bar Operations team by providing much-needed manpower, financial support and transportation. They also held the annual Salubong, a party for all Bar candidates who wanted to celebrate the end of the Bar Examinations and feel the support of their fellow Ateneans.

Inter-School Relations and Activities
The SC provided the necessary assistance and support to student athletes and representatives to the annual Conflicts of Law organized by the Association of Law Schools-NCR. This year also marked the first Ateneo Lex Law School field trip, where students of Loyola campus were given an opportunity to get a feel of the law school environment. They also conducted an orientation and school tour to De La Salle University students. In an effort to reach out and help our unfortunate countrymen, the SC also organized a Gawad Kalinga (GK) build and a medical mission at the GK Toyota Village at Santa Rosa, Laguna, which was in partnership with the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health and the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. The SC also held a blood drive, in partnership with the UP Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity, and spearheaded relief operations for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

Organization Assistance
The SC led the Recruitment Week for student organizations. To finance the implementation of their respective projects, the SC also provided student organizations with a PhP 5,000 budget grant.

A Final Assessment
While one may find several areas or projects for the SC to improve on in terms of execution, information dissemination and variety, it must also be said that the SC has done an outstanding job in making its presence felt during the past school year. The new services, which the SC offered to its constituents, showcased its intent to truly support the student body.

There is no such thing as a perfect student council. There are always new challenges every year. Each year, however, also creates fresh opportunities and allows novel ideas to be carried out. When all has been said and done, one thing is apparent and plain to see—the SC needs the student body’s support. The past year highlighted this in different ways, such as in the participation of students in the Council’s activities and their patronage of its services.

Looking back, the SC dealt with a number of challenges. These, however, were often—if not always—countered with creative and innovative solutions. By making its presence felt and doing its best to be the student council that the student body needs, the SC did its part and did it well.

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