‘To be able to listen to the concerns and struggles of students’: Javier on her bid for the public relations officer seat
By Katrin Bolos and Kaela Gabriel
DISCLAIMER: TomasinoWeb remains to be a non-partisan media organization that does not campaign for any candidate.
A day before the official campaign period resumed, TomasinoWeb talked with advertising arts major Maxine Javier through email.
Maxine or “Max” to her peers, is known for being a soft type of leader, which she used to think was a bad characteristic of hers. She admittedly said she is not outspoken or bold, unlike the typical student leader.
“I don’t reprimand people, I always do what I’m told. […] During conversations, I’d opt to be the careful listener,” she told TomasinoWeb.
However, for Javier, being soft is something that she will carry proudly on her shoulders and a trait that can serve as her strength in helping the Central Student Council (CSC) and the student body.
“As a leader, that’s the aspect I believe to showcase the most. To be able to listen to the concerns and struggles of students I serve and the people I work with,” she said.
Javier, the incumbent Executive Associate to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the CSC, is gunning for the PRO position as an independent candidate in this year’s election.
Stepping up to serve
Cheerleading and running for batch representative were the only closest ventures regarding leadership Javier had. But despite her lack of leadership experience during high school, she mustered up all the courage to join organizations and become a leader in college.
Initially, she did not want to run for the position because she believed other people were more suitable. But, she decided to take a different course and took a leap of faith in service to the Thomasian student body.
“Because […] there are people who believe and support me and my capabilities as a leader. Gaining self-confidence, trust, and support from others is the first step to being a leader,” Javier said, when asked why she still vied for the position despite her doubts.
Javier has been with the CSC since 2021, where she started as a staff under team PRO. This eventually evolved to her current position of executive associate in the media coverage committee.
The advertising arts major shared that her stay with the council and the committee has been fruitful, which ultimately urged her to run for the PRO position.
“It makes the most sense to me that if I want to continue serving the Thomasian body, as I have always intended to, then it is only appropriate that I run for PRO to maximize that,” she said.
A platform overview
Two of Javier’s platforms include an information campaign on the changes of the UST CSC Constitution to gain the support of the Thomasian community for the Constitution Revision.
“As the potential next Public Relations Officer, I would like to uphold the duty to keep the Thomasians officially informed on the Constitution Revision, its progress, updates, and how it will help solve various problems within the University,” Javier said.
According to Javier, this information campaign is inclusive of transparency and policy changes sought by the CSC, which will also keep Thomasians informed of their democratic rights.
She is also batting for the establishment of a financial assistance program for the University’s non-UAAP competing student organizations such as the E-sports athletes and debating clubs with the help of the UST Alumni Association.
Javier said that under this program, the CSC will only serve as a bridge between the UST Alumni Association and student organizations. She clarified that the central council will neither collect nor release any fund coming from the council itself or the student body.
“I believe that our student dancers, debaters, e-sports athletes, and many other passionate Thomasians have the capabilities to bring the name of UST to the podium, just like our UAAP athletes,” Javier added.
She also shared that she wants to conduct more publicity initiatives within the campus such as interactive billboards, physical posters, and flyers rather than doing information drives purely online, in light of the gradual return of the face-to-face learning modality.
Javier said that this can help the CSC build a stronger presence within the campus.
“If it will be more tedious or costly, then I don’t mind going through this process since there are ways to make sure these traditional campaigns are efficient and successful,” Javier said.
Conquering the hurdles
After almost three years of online classes due to the pandemic, Javier observed that a “slight” gap has developed between the CSC and the student body.
The PRO aspirant noted that most of the programs conducted by the previous CSC terms revolved around webinars and online events due to the restrictions imposed by the online set-up.
“I’d like to improve that, especially [now that there are] opportunities to have on-site projects because of the hybrid set-up […] I’d want to reassure the students that your Central Student Council is here to serve you, through traditional and interactive campaigns,” Javier said.
Javier also vowed to challenge the “restrictive” system of the University following the resignation of UST CSC former Auditor Dale Marollano.
“I don’t think it’s going to discourage me from continuing to serve the Thomasian community […] I’d like to continue Dale’s fight […] Seeking for change is a long and tenacious battle, but it’s not impossible to achieve,” Javier said.