by Marciano Paroy Jr.
That’s a complete statement there – minus the period.
This observation has recently been bugging me – and I remember a student of mine whom I once advised to convene her fellows within a group that they were planning to put up at KASC. There was a directive from the Director of Students Services and Admission (DSSA) – Dr. Adoracion Taguba – that newly organized groups must submit their constitution and by-laws prior to their being accredited by her office (in the past, organizations were simply formed, with the list of members submitted to her office). A good directive, considering that some organizations and clubs are non-performing.
So I instructed the student to call for a meeting and set as one of the agenda the formulation of the group’s CBL – the composition of those who shall hammer out the provisions to be contained within the CBL, the subsequent presentation to the whole body, the eventual ratification, and the holding of election of officers.
Much to my surprise, the student – after just a day – came to see me and dropped the CBL on my table, with a self-satisfied air. I asked how her group could have made such an output in record time. She said, again with that smugness that reminded me of both Didi and Dexter (of the TV show “Dexter’s Laboratory”), “I did it alone.”
I nearly fell off my chair. A convolution of emotions almost knocked me out: crestfallen, perplexed, disappointed, amused, slightly angered, and some other feelings I could not put a name to. I then pulled the student aside and gave her a lecture on proper behavior and decorum that must be observed if one is to be a part of an organization.
Power-playing. That is what my student applied. She took it upon herself to single-handedly formulate the CBL without recognizing the fact that there are other thinkers within their proposed organization. Even assuming that she was the most intellectually gifted among her peers, it was still wrong for her to presuppose that what she had in mind will be approved anyway by the larger group. Even if the output would, in due course, be given the necessary votes by her fellows, it is completely unethical to put others in the sideline and work alone – then later show them the finished product.
Let us assume that the finished product is perfect in itself. There is nothing wrong with it, right? It cuts time that would otherwise be spent on a lot of jabs and freewheeling discussion. But these are incidents that can be avoided. That is why we have the terms discussion, argument, debate, and dialogue – all designed to summon the best thoughts out of the mental recesses of other people involved. If such opportunity of sitting down as a group is disregarded, then the rule of consensus is ignored – and remember that consensus is a highly priced commodity in an organization.
The student’s action, furthermore, speaks a lot about her. First, she exposed her authoritative stance and her lack of belief on her peers. Second, she already gave a preview of what she might be capable of doing once she will be given the reigns to lead her group.
Nevertheless, the proposed CBL was presented to the prospective members of the organization. During the meeting, there was an immediate backlash. All hell broke loose. From my corner in the room, I sat engrossed at the ability of students to verbally and noisily express themselves – an automatic phenomenon that is displayed by students whenever they perceive that their rights are sidestepped. And believe me, we have so many incidents of this sort at KASC.
The student who had the nerve to railroad the entire procedure to her advantage found herself at the receiving end of a hostile verbal assault. Her intent was questioned, her personality was thrashed, and her product was claimed to be filled with holes – though I saw not a single hole. This went on for the rest of the hour, until it became evident to me that we were driving nowhere – all because one person thought she had the best interest of the organization at heart and single-handedly come up with an output that would totally be credited back to her. All because of her thirst for prestige – but appreciation or approval from other people is not earned that way.
End of story? The organization was never formed.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
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