Meet the Candidates: Charmaine Badon
Interview by Eliza Barredo
What is your idea of being a student council president?
A student council president is the leader of all leaders. He/she is someone who facilitates and foresees all activities affecting the students and serve as the main bridge between the school administration and the student body.
What made you decide to run as the SC President?
Since this is St. Luke’s College of Medicine, I expect that everyone is excellent. You see a lot of intelligent people, some of which are exceptionally good in studying and learning things. So I’ve asked myself, what is it that I have, which I can offer the school? And so I realize – my LEADERSHIP.
I’ve always loved serving other people and this has always been my passion. I chose to run as the SC president because I know I have the capacity to lead and the capacity to make a change not for my own self benefit, but for the student body in this case.
I won’t deny it, I had my fair share of times wherein I thought of not running and simply wanting to be an ordinary medical student who only focuses on academic works. But as the common saying goes, “Once it’s your calling, it will always be your calling.” Moreover, I know that God who instilled this desire in my heart and directed me to this path, so I would gladly and humbly obey to His call.
What are your past experiences, including being an officer in your batch, that can benefit the entire SLCM community?
I think I got the best leadership training in church. I grew up in a Christian family and I know it is the major factor which honed my personality. I work well with people and I think it’s important for you to be personal with the people you are serving. Being the batch president is an advantage because you get a first-hand experience on how the school administration works and how they run the school. You get to see what the actual problems of the students are and at the same time get to learn from them as well. More so, before entering Med school, I worked as a staff nurse at a provincial hospital and this made me more mature and widened my perspective and understanding of things.
If you are given a chance, what color do think best represents our school and why?
Royal Blue! The school’s present color, since it symbolizes superiority, wisdom, confidence, expertise, integrity, intelligence and power. All these virtually describe a Lukan.
What is your main platform for the next school year? Are there any ideas from last year that were shelved but you think is feasible this year?
“Servant Leadership: A Student Council FOR the students, BY the students and WITH the students.”
Vision: St. Luke’s College of Medicine-William H. Quasha Memorial Student Council (SLCM-WHQM SC) S.Y. 2017-2018 will be the principal student institution which will foster and maintain a closer liaison between the school administration and student body and promote over-all student growth and development.
Mission: SLCM-WHQM SC S.Y. 2017-2018 is committed to be an avenue of communication between the school administration and student body and create programs which are directed towards the promotion of over-all student growth and development.
With the given vision and mission, I planned to achieve these through:
Student HEALTH: H-armony
H-ealth and wellness
The main idea about the Online Grading System which was presented to us by the presidential candidate of last year’s SC Elections, Ms. Patpy Miranda, for me was a promising one. In Silliman University, we have personal student online accounts which we can access anytime and anywhere. Announcements regarding university events and all our grades are found in the online accounts. It provided ease and privacy among the students which I guess what we need in our school as well. ”
What are your planned projects for this year? What will you do in order to implement those?
Student HARMONY – [I plan to] assist students in communicating with the school administration in any academic and non-academic related matters through my programs:
- Transparency of Exam Results
- Re-evaluate and Amend the Student Primer if needed in order to protect the school and the students’ rights.
- Online Grading System or if not possible, a 1-page grade sheet/report card
- Student Loan Program/Financial Assistance
Student EXCELLENCE – [I plan to] promote student growth and development directed towards excellence in medical practice by:
- [making] Clerkship and Internship Programs available locally and internationally
- Hospital and Community Exposure Program
- Clinical Skills (Procedures) Workshop with Certificate Programs
Student AWARENESS – I want to develop among the students the initiative to learn and be aware of the current events in our country, especially those pertaining to health.
- Seminars or Talks on different National Issues with Key Note Speakers
- Online News Update
Student LEADERSHIP – create and develop student leaders and assist them in their future school endeavors. I plan to have the following programs:
- Leadership/Student Body Retreat and Planning
- Leadership/Student Recognition Program
And I plan to have a Non-SC member lead their own school project or event.
Student TEAMWORK – develop the spirit of camaraderie and unity among the student body and encourage student involvement and empowerment in various student-organized activities including the following:
- Sustain and Improve the Coalition of Representatives (CORE) Program by SLCM-WHQM Student Council SY 2016-2017
- Clerks and Interns Representative in the Student Council
- Strengthen our ties with the SLCM Alumni Association
- StuCo Suggestion Box and Activities Boards
Student HEALTH AND WELLNESS – promote overall student health and wellness by addressing the holistic needs of each: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social and environmental.
- More healthy food options at the school canteen
- Batch Health and Wellness Retreat Seminar
- Guidance Counselor
These are all plans that I have. But then in order to materialize all these, proper consultation with the school administration and my co-student council members should be done in the start of our administration if ever I’ll be elected as the SC President.
Do you think the projects implemented last year were also applicable this year? What changes or improvements will you make to suit to this incoming year?
Practically saying, why will you remove a program or project which is efficient and effective? So for me, I’ll gladly continue what the previous student council implemented as long as it helps the student body.
For example, the formation of the Coalition of Representatives. I think it is a brilliant idea and it is still applicable for the next school year. This promotes collaboration among the student organizations which aid in solving problems faster. I planned to maximize the use of the bulletin boards of every batch as well, by creating a “SC Activities Section.” It will contain a Monthly Calendar of Activities of the Student Council, as well as of the different student organizations.
What do you think are the strengths of our school and how do you think we will maintain them? Include weakness and how to overcome them
Strengths: We have a great school administration and excellent professors. The school has provided us with free access to almost every study material which we need as students. Also, it is a plus that we are tied up to St. Luke’s Medical Center which gives us a first-hand experience of the world-class care that the institute provides to their patients.
Weaknesses: I guess the lack of school administration support to the student’s extracurricular activities like the Sportsfest and Palarong Medisina is one of the weakness in our school. Also, the slow internet connection that we have which covers only a limited area in our school results to hindrances in the process of learning of the students.
For both cases, I think constant communication is a must. We must be open and provide constructive criticism and hear the opinions of both the school administration and the student body.
As for the slow internet connection, I think this needs a huge amount of money so this will entail a lot of discussion with the administration.
What are some of your insights regarding the policies, facilities, implementations of our school and what is your stand on them? What is your biggest issue? Are there anything that you think needs improvement? If so, can you name of those problems and your plans for improvement.
I personally love our school. We have great indoor facilities like the library, auditorium, lecture and laboratory rooms. But I think we need to put improvements on the maintenance of the comfort rooms and maximizing the school canteen or the rooms beside it. If given the permission of the school administration, we can use these rooms as study areas and/or nap rooms. As for the implementation of the school policies, I think the school administration is doing a great job. They are constantly evaluate their programs and seek student feedbacks on various concerns.
Compared to others, our school’s population is relatively low. What do you think is our advantage because of this?
As an advantage, having a low population gave us the opportunity to get to know each student in a more personal level. Also, the provision of solutions to the needs of the students are faster and more direct.
We cannot avoid the fact that in any organizations, there are different personalities as well as ideas and with this, disagreements and conflicts may arise. As president, how can you overcome these things with the whole team?
The role of the president is very crucial in maintaining the peace and order of the group he/she handles. And this entails a lot of patient and understanding as well on the part of the president.
For me, constant communication is essential so as to avoid misunderstanding and conflicts within the group. When the integrity and solidarity of the group is tested, I should lead and remind the group on the sole purpose of why we are doing what we are doing.
Lastly, inculcating the tradition of showing appreciation and gratitude towards the members of the student council is a must for me. All these will ensure consistency and sustainability of the group.
What is the relationship of the student council that you would like to have towards the student body and the school administration?
An open, two-way healthy relationship, both towards the student and the school administration. I want to instill in us the value of being receptive.
As an ordinary medical student being asked to run for a position in the student council, we cannot avoid the matters on balancing council work and academics. Both are equally important. So for you, what are your ways to be able to balance these things?
PRIORITIZATION, PLANNING and FOCUS. I know that my main priority as a student is to study and perform well in order for me to achieve my goal of becoming the best Medical Doctor I could be. But I believe that learning isn’t just in the four corners of the classroom. That is why I choose to be active in school and be a leader. My priorities doesn’t just include my studies and extracurricular responsibilities but as well as my family and personal commitment to Christ.
Lastly, what kind of president would you like to be remembered after your term?
A president who “feels” for the students. I want them to remember me not just as their SC President but as their FRIEND. Someone who they could talk to; may it be a serious conversation or a simple “chikahan or kamustahan.” Most importantly, I want my journey as a leader to be a testimony of how amazing it is to be a humble servant of the SLCM Community and have Christ in the center of your life.