Menagerie #ForYouPage: DLSU-SHS unveils social media influencers track
Menagerie #ForYouPage: DLSU-SHS unveils social media influencers track
#ForYouPage: DLSU-SHS unveils social media influencers track

DLSU renews its commitment to upholding global excellence with its newest senior high school track–Influencing and Content Creation (ICC). With more and more Filipino influencers dominating the internet, it seemed like a no-brainer for the University to take it one step further by crafting the ultimate course on the prestigious vocation of being an online influencer.

“Even I found myself dancing to 34+35 from time to time. I’m tired of feeling ashamed,” says  Chancellor Br. Bernard S. Oca, “I want to encourage the kind of campus culture that will empower every Lasallian to be who they truly are in a safe space. It’s time to integrate this in formal education and show them how it’s properly done.”

Stringent standards

However, not everyone has what it takes to become an influencer, and the ICC track only gets the cream of the crop. Vice Chancellor for Academics Dr. Roberto C. Roleda explains, “It’s a very competitive strand to get into. In fact, I believe this is more difficult than taking the UPCAT. Only the most creative and influential aspirants can get in.” 

The first requirement is to post a five-minute creative video introduction on their respective social media profiles, which must have at least 1000 followers in order to be eligible. The video, examiners say, will allow them to get a better grasp of the applicant’s personality and skills in communication and media arts. 

The second step is an entrance exam that covers topics like the evolution of memes, Twitter bardagulans, and correct product placement. Said to be more difficult than the DSHAPE exam taken by applicants of other tracks, this phase determines the ICC applicant’s proficiency in online trends–an important asset in an influencer’s career in order to cater to the evolving audience. 

Lastly, applicants must undergo an audition in front of a panel composed of some ICC faculty members and TikTok star Br. Martin Sellner FSC. The panel’s criteria include knowledge and performance of at least five TikTok dances, exemplary ability to take Instagram-worthy photographs, and above-average acting skills as applicants are asked to film apology videos on the spot. 

“All the Old Masters had to go through immense pain and suffering in order to produce great art,” reasons Roleda, “So why not our students too?”

Taught by the best

The track requires no less than the very best maestros the world wide web can offer. A rigorous selection process means that students can look forward to being taught by only the most qualified online stars, such as voice-over artist Inka Magnaye, dancer Yanyan De Jesus, and comedy personality Sassa Gurl.

The star-studded line up, with a collective 17.2 million followers on social media platform Tiktok, couldn’t be more excited. “It’s so nakaka-excite, knowing na we’re inspiring the next generation of TikTokers,” remarks De Jesus, who shares that he already prepared the syllabus for his Trending Choreography class, which includes throwback dances such as Renegade and more recent hits like Heartbreak Anniversary”.

Magnaye, who gained her sizeable following through her remarkable voice-over talent, shares that, as someone so influential, she feels it’s her responsibility to pass on the talent to the younger generation. “While my strengths lie particularly in voice acting, I can’t deny that I’ve more or less mastered the art of the influencer,” she explains. With her eloquent demeanor and commanding presence, her only challenge with her golden voice would be keeping her students from falling asleep—and falling in love.

For Sassa Gurl, her intentions with regards to teaching the course are twofold. “Basta alam ko andaming pogi sa La Salle,she shares, her cheeks painted their signature Tender Juicy Hotdog rouge. “Kaya ayon, go lang,” she maintains with vindication. Demonstrating the exact kind of confidence needed to make it big in the social media world, Sassa proved to be a natural fit for the role. 

(All I know is that there are a lot of handsome guys at La Salle. So yeah, why not.)

The professors have already started putting together lesson plans for various different topics, spanning all across the board. Classes such as Dealing with Haters and Cancel Culture, where students undergo stringent mental and emotional conditioning to prepare them for online bashing, and How to be Apolitical, where influencers learn how to cover their silence on important social issues with meaningless advocacies, are only the beginning of what is shaping up to be one of DLSU-SHS’ most promising and demanding tracks.

Stay tuned 

With the internet being a fast-paced, ever-evolving space, the ICC Department has ambitious plans to ensure ICC students can keep pace and stay relevant. One of their goals is to launch the world’s first TikTok Bootcamp, wherein ICC students undergo a grueling week of mastering TikTok choreographies, learning the latest slang, and creating viral-worthy duets. 

Also in the works are collaborations within the University to improve the track. The first planned collaboration with the Marketing and Advertising Department (MAD) aims to help future influencer leaders to know their worth–literally. Classes taught by select MAD faculty will teach ICC students how to negotiate contracts with brands and how much they can ask for based on their engagement rate and other metrics.

A collaboration further up the line with the College of Computer Studies will help ICC students track their engagement and other metrics per platform, helping them maximize their potential. The exclusive mobile app will also have a content calendar and a random challenge generator  feature to help ICC students plan their content.

Opinions and polls

As with any revolutionary idea, the lines are quite deeply drawn. A recent poll survey answered by 420 participants revealed that 53 percent support the new track, showing strong, mixed feelings from various netizens of different backgrounds. Tori Go (II, MEM-MR) comments, “Not me being blocked in the hallways by dancing TikTokers.” 

Mimi Yu, one of many parents against the influencer track, worriedly questions, “Will that be able to provide them with steady income? Paano na kung may brownout or walang internet? How will they earn?”

(What will happen if there’s no electricity or no internet?)

On the other hand, Luke Atmi (I, BS-MKT) is all for the new track. “I wish they had this back when I was in high school. Imagine making memes, dancing, and streaming for your grades.”

Whatever the case, it is blatantly obvious that this track is already making waves. Time will be its greatest test on whether it will be able to produce shining stars or wannabes who will fade into oblivion.