Former CSC officers vie for highest post

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Former CSC public relations officer Francis Santos and Civil Law sophomore Karizza Kamille Cruz are both eyeing the council’s top post. Photos by Maria Charisse Ann G. Refuerzo and Michael Angelo M. Reyes

Ex-CSC secretary guns for presidency

AIMING to pass the Students’ Code within 10 months, Faculty of Civil Law sophomore Karizza Kamille Cruz eyes the highest council post in her return into the Central Student Council (CSC) elections since her stint as CSC secretary six academic years ago.

Cruz, a 26-year-old tourism alumna, believes that winning the presidency would give her the best opportunity to pass the code, which has been undergoing revisions since its proposal in 2004.

“I would like to make sure that [before] I leave the University, all the Thomasian students’ rights will be safeguarded and protected,” Cruz told the Varsitarian.

With her “knowledge of the law and experience as a student leader,” Cruz intends to fulfill finish the campaign, which has been under revisions since that began in 2004, within 10 months or less.

“It is time to implement the Students’ Code and make the enforcements of students rights the topmost priority of the CSC,” Cruz said. “We have been fragmented and divided by many political issues since last year and it is time to come to a common ground with various sectors in UST and lay out a common vision for UST.”

Cruz has been active in both local and university-wide student councils in UST. She recently served as the Civil Law Student Council secretary, she and led the first formal leadership seminar series for the student leaders of the UST Faculty of Civil Law.

Her goal is to establish a “unified CSC composed of student leaders who are willing to set aside their differences for a better service to the Thomasian studentry.”

“You can expect a CSC that is more policy-oriented, student-rights-driven, and will apply the full extent of the law against injustices, discrimination, and other infringements to on students’ rights and welfare,” she said.

Platforms

Aside from her dedication to passing the Students’ Code, Cruz also aims to implement a “participative-transformational leadership” by encouraging all Thomasians to voice out opinions on different policies in and out of UST through her upcoming projects.

“I am presenting myself as an option to the students [who] seek justice for those whose rights are violated and at the same time, unite the Thomasians under one common goal and vision for the University,” she said.

In her term as CSC secretary in 2011, Cruz implemented the environmental “Styro-free-UST” campaign, which banned the use of styrofoam in the University.

She plans to expand this environmental campaign to establishments around UST, which would include 52 barangays or villages, by coordinating with the local councils to propose an ordinance prohibiting the use of styrofoam.

She also plans to coordinate with the In-House Security of UST and the Philippine National Police station in on España Street to ensure that there are security personnel who do “round the clock monitoring and surveillance of the borders of the campus” for the safety and security of students.

Although Cruz believes that “no experience is enough for any position,” she upholds her overall experience as a student leader, her length of stay in the University and her knowledge of the law as her advantages in the presidential bid.

During her stint as CSC Secretary, Cruz received the St. Dominic Award for Outstanding Teamwork and the Outstanding Leadership Award conferred by the Office of Student Affairs.

It was also under her term when the transparency project “UST CSC Newsletter: Reporting Actions with Resiliency” was implemented. It was a communications campaign to ensure that CSC projects and activities are being fulfilled by the student leaders.

CSC PRO eyes presidency to continue CSC legacy

DEDICATED to continuing his practices and programs as Central Student Council (CSC) public relations officer (PRO), political science junior Francis “Kiko” Santos is ready to take on a bigger responsibility as he runs for re-election for the presidency.

“`Yong pagkandidato ko ngayon is about continuity and improvement. Maganda na ‘yong nasimulan ng council this year at ayaw ko nang baguhin at alisin `‘yon,” Santos told the Varsitarian. “[I want to] continue the good practices and programs that haves been done by the council and improve wherever it is needed.”

Santos is one of the two elected officers in the CSC executive board this academic year. With four positions vacant, he had to handle duties beyond the responsibilities of a PRO.

“I had the grasp of the knowledge of the treasurer’s job, the auditor’s job and the vice
president’s job,” Santos said.

This experience, Santos said, armed him enough to lead UST’s 40,000-strong student population.

“Kung pagbabasehan natin ‘yong mga naranasan ko sa loob ng council, handa na ako para maging pangulo at handa pa akong matuto para mas maging mabuting pangulo para sa mga Tomasino,” he said.

After the unexpected twist in the elections last year, Santos believes the Thomasians would be more critical in choosing their next set of leaders.

“Sa palagay ko mas magfo-focus ang mga Tomasino sa mga ipinaglalaban ng mga leader nila. Hindi na ‘yon sa itsura o sa kasikatan kung hindi nandoon na `‘yon sa prinsipyo, sa paninindigan at sa mga ideolohiya ng mga kandidato,” Santos said.

Platforms

Santos vows to raise the socio-political awareness of Thomasians and to fight for the
students’ rights, which include the passing of the Student’s Code.

The mandate of the CSC, Santos said, is to represent the students in the decisionmaking bodies within the University. In his leadership, he would “strive to make the CSC a better and stronger representation of students.”

“Isa tayo sa major stakeholders so marapat lamang na mayroon tayong pagkakataon na makausap ang administrasyon at maging bahagi sa mga pagdedesisyon ng mga polisiyang maaari tayong ma-apektuhan directly or indirectly,” Santos said.

Santos’ platforms include the “Students’ Rights and Welfare (StrawTRAW) Coalition,”, a local version of the national coalition and lobbying for the STRAW Bill, “Kasangga 2.0,”, an extension and improvement on of the current CSC grievance system, and “Kabalikat,”, a platform that aims to represent the students in the decision-making bodies in of the University.

Santos is also proposing a voter education series for Thomasians to educate the students on their right to suffrage and the importance of their vote this coming 2019 elections.

During his stint as CSC PRO, Santos led the “Kasangga Grievance System” which provided students a centralized and transparent grievance system.

He also headed the Martial Law Commemoration Week, a week-long event which that included an exhibit, a forum and a dialogue with Martial Law survivors to raise awareness and to sharpen students’ critical thinking skills regarding the Martial Law era.

Santos was also at the helm of the “Pulso ng Tomasino” project which was a university-wide survey conducted to know the stand of Thomasians on issues both on the university
and national levels.

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