Expectations for the SALEM PresidentPosted: August 23, 2016
The President of the Society of Ateneo Literature and English Majors (SALEM), student literary org of the Ateneo de Davao University, has a colourful history.
The club was revived from a defunct course club in 2010, and has since become one of Mindanao’s most prominent student literary organizations. Since re-founding, it has had five presidents.
Over the years, certain expectations of the student occupying the post have become conventions, many of them solidifying as responsibilities and qualifications. As the second to hold the office, I think I can say that the SALEM President is expected to:
- Begin his/her term by helping out with the Ateneo de Davao Summer Writers Workshop
- Be one of the leading – if not the leading student literary writer in Ateneo
- Be published, at least once, at least on the local level (meaning at least the Davao Writer’s Guild’s Dagmay), with a literary work, preferably before taking office
- Be a voracious reader, who can namedrop at least three Filipino writers he/she has read, and talk about at least three literary theories in informal conversation (the numbers are arbitrary but you get the point)
- Be well versed in Ateneo de Davao’s own literary tradition
- Be an intellectual with a chagrin for any proud display of ignorance, but must never be a grammar prescriptivist
- Actively, audaciously, and prolifically conceptualize and initiate activities that will lead to the growth and development of the school’s aspiring writers – ‘Keep the AdDU Writers awake,’ as the battle cry from Ricky de Ungria puts it
- Connect Ateneo students to the greater literary community in Davao, in the Philippines, and if possible in the world
- Have the wide network of literary contacts necessary for the above two
- Inform, involve, and exploit SALEM’s large and moneyed pool of alumni about in and for club activities
- Regularly represent SALEM and AdDU in all literary gatherings and events in Davao
- Help outside parties who want to bring literary events to AdDU
- Bring outside parties into AdDU to have literary events
- Actively cooperate with other club presidents in Ateneo (SALEM pioneered collaboration between clubs)
- Be inclusive and accessible to students, specially members, and be contagiously passionate about literature
- Nurture and take special care of the new members,making them feel the love of the club through the President
- Groom, as early as possible, the next President who meets, or who has the potential to meet, the above qualifications.