AIMING to redefine Thomasians’ perspective towards student governance by pursuing a policy-driven and “student-representing” leadership, incumbent Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets) Student Council vice president-external Ierathel Tabuno is running unopposed for the presidency in this year’s student polls.

“We will push for a Central Student Council (CSC) that is brave enough to follow through despite the hardships of the status quo and open enough to be transparent in its processes,” Tabuno told the Varsitarian.

Tabuno, a Legal Management junior, said that the University needs a council that will address the concerns of Thomasians and one that “will go beyond organizing events,” which she believes is possible by amending the 2003 CSC Constitution.

“Ultimately, should I be granted the opportunity, we will have a council that shall remain focused and expeditious in revising the Central Student Council Constitution in line with achieving its legitimacy,” Tabuno said.

The independent candidate saw the need to change the University’s system and traditions after CSC auditor Dale Morallano relinquished his post due to a “restrictive system” that made him unable to render his vision on policy-making and advocacy for student welfare.

May nakikita po tayong problema [sa] kung paano nakikita ang Sentral na Konseho […] ano ang tingin ng administrasyon sa ating Sentral na Konseho,” Tabuno said. “It’s time na rin for our Central Student Council to truly abide by their mandate to be inclusive and policy-driven.”

Among the revisions she offers include the establishment of the Central Student Legislative Assembly (CSLA), a legislative and policy-making body within the CSC, and the Recognition Commission for Student Groups and Organizations (RCSGO), whose sole purpose is to process the recognition of university- and college-wide organizations.

“There are groups in UST that may not be as big a number or as capable of being recognized as a student organization, but this does not mean na hindi sila dapat represented or heard,” Tabuno said.

“We do already have representation for women scholars and athletes, [but] we still need to provide an avenue for other sectors like working students, persons with disabilities, indigenous groups and others.”

When it comes to the return of face-to-face classes, Tabuno said that aside from supporting the Covid-19 health protocols implemented in UST, a policy allowing the CSC to recommend the leniency of deadlines or academic breaks should be added among the provisions in the charter.

“Should local student councils deem to push for on-site classes that is more fit sa timeline ng kanilang curriculum, the Central Student Council will fully support that na lang po and offer aid in whatever [way] we can,” she said.

Tabuno said that should she be granted the opportunity, the Council shall remain focused and expeditious in revising the Constitution: “We must go beyond the expectations na gumagawa lang po ito ng events. Ang mandato po ng council is to truly be policy-driven and to truly air your concerns, kailangan ‘yun po ang focus, ‘yun ang number one.”


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