by Frances Josephine Espeso and Beatriz Zamora
Various organizations, fraternities, and sororities of the University of the Philippines Diliman gathered in the College of Mass Communication Auditorium for an All Leaders’ Conference (ALC) held on June 22 by the University Student Council (USC).
In the ALC, the USC established points of unities and addressed concerns of the student body aside from presenting its vision, mission and goals (VMG) for this year.
“Historically speaking, organizations, fraternities, and sororities have been an integral part of the student movement,” said Alfrey Oria, USC councilor and head of the Committee on Organizations, Fraternities, and Sororities.
“As a University Student Council, we see that uniting these formations, while making them realize their true purpose through our campaigns, is definitely vital in the achievement of our vision, mission, and goals,” he added.
The overall theme of the current USC’s VMG is forwarding genuine change and people’s democratic rights through the unification of the UP Diliman studentry with sectors inside and outside the university.
USC Chairperson Bryle Leano explained that the council formulated this year’s VMG in light of multisectoral issues such as Lumad killings, tuition fee increase, and contractualization.
“We just don’t serve ourselves, the Iskolar ng Bayan, but we must also serve those who are not given the opportunity to enter the university,” Leano said.
Three USC committees–Basic Social Services, People’s Struggles and Gender–also gave updates on projects in line with the USC’s VMG.
These projects included GE demand surveys for the upcoming semester and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression training for students, among others.
USC Councilor Shari Oliquino, head of the committee on Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW), also acknowledged the collective power of organizations, fraternities, and sororities in forwarding campaigns in fighting for students’ rights.
She cited the call against commercialization of education and junking the Socialized Tuition System and other school fees as campaigns advanced by this year’s STRAW.
“Sa kasalukuyan, tatayo na bilang main convener ng Rise for Education Alliance ang USC 16-17,” Oliquino said.
The Rise for Education Alliance consists of university and high school student councils, organizations, publications, and individuals “calling for a quality education that is free and accessible to all.”
Oliquino also mentioned the forwarding of Diliman Demands by students and other sectors of the UP Diliman community and presenting them to the incoming national administration.
During the general consultation, the attending organizations, fraternities and sororities raised concerns regarding the safety of organization tambayans, mental health awareness in the university and the much-debated issue of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr’s burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani.
They also took the opportunity to request USC partnership and raise publicity for their wide-encompassing plans and projects.
No date has been set yet for following ALC’s.