In retrospect: Looking into CSC’s accomplishments

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Therese Gorospe (left) and Francis "Kiko" Santos (right) were elected as secretary and public relations officer, respectively, in the 2017 Central Student Council elections, leaving four other posts vacant after Thomasians rejected the candidates and opted to abstain.

DESPITE having only two out of six positions occupied in this year’s Central Student Council (CSC) Executive Board, the outgoing administration managed to accomplish 19 out of 23 projects listed in its year-long general plan of action (GPOA).

CSC Secretary Therese Gorospe, who is also the council’s acting president, said the council being a two-man team is a double-edged sword.

“‘Yong pagiging dalawa namin [sa council], feeling ko strength and weakness siya at the same time. Pressure sa ‘ming dalawa kasi kami ang inaasahan ng lahat. Strength siya kasi feeling namin tinulungan kami ng administrators sa CSC,” Gorospe told the Varsitarian.

Outgoing CSC Public Relations Officer Francis Santos, who is also running for president, said the council’s shortcomings stemmed from the lack of time and the lack of officers in the CSC Executive Board.

“We had to take on the shoes of other officers na wala so we really have to compensate,” Santos said.

Gorospe stood as the acting president of the council as stated in Article 6, Section 4 of the 2003 CSC Constitution that should the offices of the president and vice president be vacant, “the secretary shall act as president.”

Gorospe said the one-month moratorium on University events, which prohibited organizations from holding activities and events during examination period, delayed implementation of some of their plans.

Dumadating sa time na sa isang month ang dami naming gustong gawin na projects kaya nga lang may moratorium,” Gorospe said.

The council’s “Connect, Solidify and Construct” GPOA has a five-key agenda which focuses on student grievance and welfare, socio-political involvement, responsible and inclusive governance, Thomasian identity and sustainable community development.

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Accomplished projects

Gorospe said this year’s CSC prioritized the raising of student awareness on socio-political issues.

Malaking pagbabago [‘yung pag-raise ng awareness] kasi ‘yung mga issues dati na [isinasa]walang-bahala lang, [binigyang pansin na]. This year naging priority ng CSC na maging socially relevant,” Gorospe said.

Gorospe said socially-relevant projects include the “Martial Law Caravan,” a commemoration week of the dark ages of the Marcos era, and the Anti-Stigma campaign which aimed to break the stigma on several public health issues like mental health and HIV/AIDS.

Gorospe headed “Project Idea”, an umbrella project that focused on social issues concerning animal welfare, mental health, and persons-with-disability inclusivity.

Gorospe also led the “Network of Opportunities” project, a series of monthly calendar guides for upcoming activities, conferences, and available scholarships and internship programs both local and international.

To tick off the last item on Gorospe’s platforms, she organized the “League of Community Development Officers,” a coalition of community development officers from local colleges to better organize activities.

Santos led “Pulso ng Tomasino,” a survey conducted in recognizing the stand of Thomasian community on national issues.

He also spearheaded “Kasangga Project Pitching Platform,” a forum where Thomasians presented their ideas and projects that will further develop the Student Rights and Welfare.

In line with this, he also spearheaded “Kasangga Grievance System,” an assistance in resolving grievances within the community.

Santos also launched CSC’s official website which contained CSC’s tracker, news and updates and calendar of activities.

Santos pinoeered the “Martial Law Caravan” which showcased exhibits and a forum held last September.

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Aside from accomplishing their platforms, Gorospe and Santos said the council was able to accomplish projects that their constituents proposed.

Binigyan namin sila ng liberty to spearhead projects that are close to their hearts or what they really want to do for the Thomasian community,” Santos said.

This includes “TEDxUST”, an independently organized event which aimed to spread ideas and encourage relevant conversation last March 10. The event was headed by Krianne Pineda, who is also vying for PRO position in this year’s elections.

The council also organized the Media Literacy Summit held last Feb. 24, a seminar that shed light on the role of media in society

Under the supervision of Santos, Kate Roldan, Enrico Escano, Ronette Miclat and Akira Yukui continued “Veritas,” a monthly financial report on the CSC Facebook page and website.

“Diamonds,” an annual symposium officers from local student councils and student organizations was also materialized last Sept. 2.

Other projects were the “University Expo,” “Boses Tomasino,” “Straw” and “CSC Leadership Training Summit 2017.”

CSC promised to accomplish their pending projects such as “Humans of UST,” “KuwenTomasino” and “Palarong Pinoy” before their term ends.

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