by Rosiel Villareal
With the coming end of another meaningful year in service of our sectors, seven candidates have stepped up to the challenge of steering the organization closer to its vision amidst the changes that will be implemented. Deputy for Electoral Affairs Niels Nable led the Miting de Avance last March 24 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Kostka Hall 301 for Executive Board candidates.
On their Proposed Platforms
Social Adjustment Committee Head Niña Gochy directed her plans on the sectors of the organization. She wants to prepare members for changes in the Constitution and form them through mentoring and individual consultations and to improve the retention system.Moreover, she intends to continue the Constitutional Review and implement real changes next year. Through establishing a clearer vision of Ateneo Gabay, Gochy promises to ensure that projects will be assessed in terms of their impact and alignment with the organization’s advocacy, that scholars’ needs will be effectively addressed through services, and that members will see the value of the Erya Formation Program, and as a result, actively engage in it.
Spiritual Formation Committee Head Mhaey Contienda wishes to improve Gabay’s core competencies through creating more opportunities members can engage in and improving the organization’s external relations. First, through strategic member engagement and development, she shifts the focus on the growth of the members. Second, through engagement with external stakeholders, she emphasizes the need for consistent communication of the advocacy, marketing workshops for members, and an improved relationship with outside entities beyond the sponsor-beneficiary level. Third, through realignment of project goals and systems and continuation of the constitutional review, she pledges to lead the efforts in developing the organization with projects grounded on its advocacy.
Associate Secretary-General for Promotional Systems, Graphic Design, and Brand Fidelity Mich Malata suggests improving internal communication within the organization through transparency among Ateneo Gabay page handlers and beginning the Transit leadership development program at an earlier date and continuing its format this year, i.e., individual consultations.
Deputy for Constitutional Review Angel Aranas vows to spearhead the continuous evaluation of the current state of the organization, the analysis of its potentials, and the supervision of Gabayanos’ experiences. “Ang Gabayano ay ang Gabay”—he makes a bold statement and asserts that proper discourse with members is necessary to evaluate real issues of structures and systems of the organization. Furthermore, he mentions research on the scholars’ community’s needs and efforts to engage scholars as one of his thrusts. Lastly, he swears to oversee and ensure a meaningful experience for Gabayano’s alongside the changes that will be initiated based on research and recommendations of the constitutional review.
Associate Secretary-General for Membership Information and Involvement Lance Gamboa first compares Ateneo Gabay to a wheel that cannot turn towards the direction it envisions without the holistic formation of its members. He then introduces a framework called “strategic human resource management/formation (SHRMF/HRMF).” He stresses the importance of clarifying the advocacy of education so as to evaluate the nature of projects in light of the long-term vision/mission. He then breaks down a cohesive HRMF into concrete actions: clear communication of advocacy in the recruitment process and a year-long member socialization and formation program that integrates advocacy-oriented and member-oriented efforts.
Education Formation Committee Head Jeepee Sabio envisions a Gabay that is more grounded on its advocacy. He plans to realize it through focusing on three aspects—project sustainability and coherence, member formation and integration, and continuity in terms of organizational development. He intends to streamline projects by evaluating their nature in terms of their impact to our sectors and to create synergy within committees. He introduces a new effort called “Gabay Formation Sessions” that will facilitate a deeper understanding of the organization through context-builders and situationers. Lastly, he seeks to finalize the constitutional review, reassess fundraising efforts, and streamline information dissemination to further organizational development.
Third Year Batch Representative Zsazsa Duka summarizes her points in 3C’s: clarity, continuity, and creativity. She believes that the advocacy must be clarified and that projects must be reassessed in line with it. She adds that the organization’s structures and the sectors that we serve must be clearly defined through evaluation that has been started by the constitutional review. Finally, she talks about the need for innovative, externalization efforts and meaningful sponsorship that will provide academic services for Atenean scholars and scholarships for Erya kids.
On their Stances on Issues
A series of questions prepared by the Commission on Elections and the audience revealed the candidates’ competencies and perspectives on different issues in the organization. When asked about his vision for Gabay, Aranas replied, “Sustainable erya…mai-concretize ng Gabay kung ano ang pinaglalaban niya.”Gamboa echoed this opinion and said, “Malinawang pinaglalaban… [may] pagtuon sa matibay na komunidad ng mga iskolar sa Ateneo at pagbibigay ng sustainable scholarships sa mga mag-aaral ng pampublikong paaralan.” Others shared the same sentiment on the need to better communicate the organization’s advocacy to its members.
Overall, all the candidates acknowledged the significance of the constitutional review that the current Executive Board has initiated in weighing whether the vision/mission of Ateneo Gabay still reflects its current context and whether the current structures and projects are founded upon its advocacy—all while taking into consideration the changes that we will face.At the end, everyone desired one thing, that is, to bring the organization to unprecedented heights in terms of its impact to its members and the sectors that it serves.