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Hannah Tan: A Concrete Leader

Article by: Frances Qarl M. Tolosa, Ysa Andre A. Mendoza, and Crismhil S. Anselmo

Graphics by: Andreah Faye G. Lapinid and Crismhil S. Anselmo

This academic year, the three factions of the University Student Government (USG) are headed by women. Empowered and emboldened to take the lead, this tenure’s heads are halfway through their terms but still marking their way in service to the student body.

One branch of the USG is the Council of Organizations (COO), which fosters harmony among the organizations within the Mapúan community. They monitor the events and initiatives of recognized student organizations.

Hailing from the School of Civil, Environmental, and Geological Engineering, this year’s COO President is Hannah Danielle E. Tan, who is currently taking up a double-degree program — Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Sanitary Engineering. In an exclusive interview with The New Builder, Ms. Tan dived deep into the calls for leadership and the plans for her tenure.

Foundation of leadership

The executive positions for the COO are elected from the pool of organization representatives at Mapúa University (MU). Tan, aside from being the COO head, is also the current president of the Philippine Society of Sanity Engineers – Mapúa University Student Chapter for the second year in a row. Testament to her remarkable leadership, she was awarded the Most Active Organization President - Intramuros award at the Organizations’ Night of Excellence on May 27, 2023.

While she has previously held an executive position before, the COO head responsibilities still proved challenging for Tan. “Despite having the knowledge and background, there is a need to continuously seek knowledge and skills and to never settle on our performances,” the student leader recounted.

For Tan, being the COO president is “honorable but critical,” citing that it led to much introspection, particularly in ensuring that other voices are heard, especially in decision-making. But despite the challenges that come with the position, she still sees it as a source of growth. Additionally, she is thankful for the faith in her and the opportunity of being able to initiate a change and leave a positive impact on the student body.

Pillars of change

For her tenure, Tan aspires for organizations to be united and to perform better, led and guided by the COO. “As the current president, I would like to be the source of change, and be the voice of the organizations’ concerns. I would like to strengthen the connection between the council and the organization by removing the hidden barrier,” the COO president remarked.

Building upon the standards of inclusion, integrity, and service set by the previous tenure, Tan envisions improving the aspects in four points: firstly, equality concerning the removal of biases; discipline when it comes to organization credits and penalties; essence when it comes to creating impactful events; and lastly, productivity in helping inspire organizations to improve and collaborate.

Halfway through her tenure, Tan has seen one of her election promises come to fruition. Last January 14, the COO introduced selected delegates of MU to the G17 University Ambassadors Consortium – Philippines, fulfilling their initiative to create an impact within and outside the institution.

Moreover, Tan also aims to uplift and facilitate stronger connections to all recognized organizations through the improvement of accreditation statuses and obtaining tambayan spots at the Makati campus. Programs such as COOllaborate dashboard, COOnsultation, and COO Feedback System are also being targeted to make the COO more accessible and involved with all organizations.

Additionally, the COO seeks to revive the Teknorampa fashion show and pageant this coming University Week, following its hiatus since the pandemic.

Formworks of greatness

A remarkable woman in her own right, Tan said she feels empowered to step out of her comfort zone and face the challenge that comes with the COO presidency. “Part of our leadership style is to strive for excellence with the heart of a strong-willed woman,” she remarked.

As one of the heads of the USG trifecta, Tan believes that all three branches are more efficient when they work hand-in-hand. Seeing as they are the backbone of the community, their unity toward the goal of improvement is a systematic approach as the MU enters its centennial year.

Being the president of the COO, Tan promises to utilize her advantage in having the position to amplify the grievances of the organizations, councils, and students. Later, Tan imparted, “l believe that legacy could not be planned, it is naturally marked by the community you foster along with respect.

With the weight of her current position, Tan promises that through the COO, this tenure’s set of officers will prove that the council is in continuous growth for the service towards the betterment of the Mapúan community.

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