Ushering the Future Generation through Determination and Passion with SC President Alyssa Margaux Oruga

by Tram Panaligan and Aiko Iwata

Alyssa Margaux R. Oruga, more commonly known as Margaux Oruga in SISFU, is a woman who has been an active supporter of student engagement and an upholder of school tradition to preserve the ‘SISFU Experience’ we have all come to treasure and love. Currently she is the President for the SISFU Student Council. Prior to this, she was the SISFU Student Council Vice President for Administration during AY 2020-2021 and the Student Assistant for the Student Affairs Office from 2019 to 2020.

Even before SISFU, Margaux has always been fond of extracurricular activities during her high school years. For her, school life isn’t school life without extracurricular activities. She has always been involved in different clubs and activities, with the belief that there is more to being a student than sitting through hours of lessons and passing classes—it’s also about creating change and having fun. The factor or charisma that extracurricular activities portray is that it has this exciting factor for her that allows her to be challenged and to see her visions become reality—that thrilling experience that she can’t get enough of. As she describes it: “It’s as if the stars start to align and you’re there to witness and be part of it all.”

“Leadership is being both the guide and inspiration of your team.”

As the top student leader, we asked her about her personal definition of leadership and her vision on achieving both efficiency and effectiveness in everything she does. Margaux personally believes that leadership is about guiding one’s teammates through every challenge, being there, and encouraging them to create and execute the decisions they made on their own—all the while inspiring them to achieve greater things. For at the end of the day, the leader’s role is not just to simply lead and inspire them to work, but to also pass on the torch as they become the next generation of leaders.

Already not being new to the game of leadership and managing a student organisation, we asked her what kind of leader she aspires to be during this time of uncertainty. To her response she mentioned that she wanted to be the kind of leader that people look up to. Someone who is reliable and approachable; somewhat like an older sister. For Margaux, her parents were the first people who influenced her to stand up for herself but soon enough, she saw the kind of leader that she wanted to be that figure that stands as one’s mentor and friend.

With regards to her upcoming plans this year she shared with us that with the pandemic in play, it's pretty difficult to compare the amazing plans and projects of the previous presidents to her upcoming term—except of course for the term of her predecessor: Former President Josef Hojas. For Margaux, she plans on creating an environment where students are free to express themselves and have a platform to do so. Her plan is to create an avenue for students to be open about their opinions and suggestions to the student council. Thus, the project entitled “Hey SC!” came into fruition. This programme allows students to ask questions and advice with regards to their academics or even with regards to holistically improving one’s life.

“I am a student first, a leader second.”

Margaux revealed to us that what has driven her, to pursue a higher office, was that she continually has that passion to serve that is lit into her and how it drives her into taking opportunities and challenges with all her heart and soul. Albeit being aware that graduating students often no longer take leadership positions—especially on the Executive Committee of the Student Council—she believes that it's time for her to step up to continue the legacy of the current Student Council. Through this organisation she can continue being a listening ear and be able to connect—and reconnect—with each and every Paladin, especially during these uncertain times. During her previous term, she has always, time and time again, reminded herself that she is a university student first and that her academics should be her top priority. One of her key projects during her term as second-in-command was that she was able to provide students with a healthy leave programme as an opportunity for them to regroup themselves, focus on their academics, or address their personal affairs. She wishes to continue this programme—not only to the Student Council, but to all student organisations as well.

As we wrapped up the interview, we asked Margaux a couple of thought-provoking questions to see her take on a few queries about her SISFU Experience.

1. Knowing you have a wealth of experience as a SISFU Student and a Student Leader, you have experienced multiple ups and downs along the way.
In retrospect, if you had the chance to do a do-over in your stay in SISFU what would you change and why?

“That’s a good question, but believe it or not, I wouldn’t change anything significant. I would probably go to classes a bit more early or pass a paper five minutes before… but other than that, nothing else! Because everything that happened to me for the past two years, led me to this moment. Every mistake I’ve learned from every other lesson that was thrown at me, every challenge I’ve conquered—they’ve all led me to become your Student Council President. Who is here to serve all of you this school year. I’m so excited!”

2. As a graduating senior, what tips can you share with our fellow Paladins in order for them to rise to the challenge and make the best out of their time in SISFU?

“The tips that I can share with my fellow Paladins and fellow batchmates is that don’t be afraid to try new things. Yes, I get it, we have been here for like almost [2] years… so like don’t put yourself in a box. Try to find new things, ‘cause that’s the thing. You’re here, you’re in college, you’re here to find yourself; to find passion; to find new hobbies; new skills; to achieve new things; to make mistakes, to learn from them; and I believe that’s the best way to make the best out of your time in SISFU. Because SISFU is an open community. We all accept each other, we’re all here for you. We’re all here [to support] you. So, why not try?; why not try joining orgs?; not become a board member in an organisation?; why not volunteer in activities?...’cause at the end of the day, you will learn something and you will find passion in things you never thought you’d be passionate about.”

3. What is your message to the SISFU student body, for those who have voted for you and to those who did not, for the coming academic year?

“I want to say thank you for trusting me to lead you for the upcoming school year. Some of you may have doubts and I completely understand that as I too was unsure of running for this position when the opportunity came. Nonetheless, we all took a leap of faith and here we are. I cannot wait to spend my last year in SISFU with all of you. I hope you all find this upcoming school year memorable and exciting. As I’ve promised for the past two years, I will always strive to be a leader who takes their time to talk to you and keep you company. I hope to see you all soon.”

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