What does it mean to be a student leader? How can our experiences build up to something great?
The Governor and Vice Governor for STELA’s Kasama-SSC this short term, Darwin Pastor and Joey Lartec respectively, revealed their own answers to this question in an interview with Stellaris. Let us read on and reflect on what goes on behind the scenes, as well as how our own experiences can mold us into becoming the best we can be.
- How and why were you elected into your new position?
Darwin: Governor Fermin was assigned to endorse three officers from the assembly subject for an interview with the Congress of Louisians. So first, he made an endorsement letter stating that Joey, Charles [Calma], and I are qualified for an interview with the Congress of Louisians. Second is the interview proper with the Congress of Louisians.
2. What was the interview proper like?
Darwin: There are questions related to the Kasama-SSC, functions of the Governor and Vice Governor, and of course some personal questions to test our creative skills as well as our abilities to lead and serve. There were also some tricky questions as well as questions focusing more on application and situational analysis.
Joey: We also submitted our curriculum vitae since it contains our achievements in leadership and our academic awards—basically, it proves that we are competent enough for the position.
3. Why do you think those kinds of questions were asked?
Joey: Subjectively speaking, I think those questions aren’t supposed to be logical and answered objectively…It’s actually more of an assessment of your logical reasoning as a leader since as a leader, you need to think straight. You need to be aligned with whatever goal your assembly has or what your group wants to achieve.
4. What prior experiences or duties do you have that can aid you in your new positions?
Joey: I remember when we were still in the Navy Base Campus we were both part of the student publication, so we became immersed in the issues regarding the whole student body. When we were in second year, we both ran. That experience raised our awareness of the concerns of the students as well as the enclosure of the school. We were also able to immerse ourselves in issues regarding society…issues outside the school. Aside from that, we also became officers of organizations besides the Kasama-SSC. I had been part of Gray Matter for two years, as well as its secretary from 2015-2017. We also became secretaries for the assembly which, I believe, is the reason for running for Mayor during the last election. I wanted to connect my duties in my organization with my work in the assembly.
Darwin: Ever since first year I was already part of the Kasama-SSC, so I saw that the functions of the Governor and Vice Governor of the assembly were. Then in second year, I was elected as the First to Second-Year Representative of STE, so I learned more about certain things such as how the Congress of Louisians functions. Then I applied as a treasurer because I felt that even if I would lose, I didn’t want to stop there. I felt that if you were to serve talaga…once a leader, always a leader.
5. What aims or objectives do you have for this short term? How do you wish to accomplish them?
Darwin: We aligned our plans for the short term with the goals that should be accomplished this short term because of how they weren’t achieved during the regular semester, such as the Vox Sapientiae. The Dean’s Office has really been aiming for it this short term since it’s an awards ceremony for deserving students who have brought recognition to our school. We also aimed to continue Litmus this short term since it serves as the identity of the first STELA Assembly which conducted it during the regular semester.
6. What limitations do you expect in the implementation of your aims or objectives? How do you plan to work around them?
Darwin: I guess conflicts with the officers’ schedules, then the availability of the faculty of the different offices since obviously, they have their own responsibilities to attend to. There’s also time since the short term only lasts for six weeks, and working with the Congress of Louisians and administration since…well, we’re all aware of how strict SLU is with the processing of papers so there are a lot of steps to take in processing requests and paperwork. We all submitted our schedules to Joey so he could plan and plot whoever is available at this time to process papers so everyone could work together.
Joey: Aside from that would be the availability of venues since most of the venues here in SLU are fully packed. There are a lot of requests for venues since STELA isn’t the only department holding activities…so we need to think and consult them ahead of time regarding the activities we want to hold.
6. If you had the chance to run as (Governor/ Vice Governor) next semester, would you go through with it? How and why?
Darwin: Honestly…I would like to thank the Congress of Louisians and my Kasama-SSC for giving the trust and support for my being governor this short term. I have plans already, though these do not include running for the Kasama-SSC because, in my three years of running for office, I think I’ve run enough. I think it’s time for me to give myself time and there are other opportunities available. We’ll also become observers next semester since we have a lot of things to do in Teacher Education.
Joey: It’s also the same for me. I want to thank the Assembly for the opportunity to actively participate in promoting student leadership. But as for my plans next semester, I don’t have any plans to run for the Kasama-SSC. Although as Darwin had stated, it won’t stop me from aiding my fellow students. If they need help, I can be there to support them. If they need manpower, I guess I can do that. But with regards to acquiring a position, that’s a whole different story. It’s also time to open the position to other passionate leaders since we’ve been here long enough. You need to clear your mind and focus on the path you want to take so I think whoever would step up would still be there to support them if they would be needing help. I also think I would focus on the revival of Gray Matter since they’ve been with me for the past two years.
Though the road to becoming a student leader might not be all that smooth and easy to traverse, it does offer lots of adventure and valuable lessons for the future. It also offers many opportunities to make your talents and capabilities known by others who can help pave the way to you maximizing your true potential. Even the small step of registering and joining a school organization can open doors that could lead to wide possibilities and brand new experiences.
The journeys that Governor Darwin Pastor and Vice Governor Joey Lartec have gone through indeed serve as examples of how we can all take the small step to becoming leaders and innovators in our own little ways. Through their experiences in working with others and immersing themselves in the lives of their fellow students, they were able to mold their character into that of an involved, active, and responsible steward of the student body. Their unity with their fellow leaders and allies also prove that though we may oftentimes feel alone or vulnerable, there are indeed those who can help us stand on our feet and fight against adversity.
As the short term ends and their projects slowly come to fruition, we hope for their success in continuing to strengthen and maintain the spirit of unity and excellence among the students of STELA.
Darwin J. Pastor is currently taking up his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, Major in Special Education. Joey B. Lartec is also an Education Major, taking up his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education, Major in Biological Sciences.
The interview and article were both done by Xanthea Yori L. Sagsago