Who will make up the new CSC Executive Board?

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Secretary

Arnet Paguirigan

JOURNALISM junior Arnet Paguirigan vows to bridge the gap between the student body and the administration as she guns for the position of secretary.

According to Paguirigan, she chose to join this year’s elections because she saw how crucial student representation is.

“More than ever, we need to address the important issues that we have about distance learning and amplify the concerns of the student body,” Paguirigan told the Varsitarian.

Kung bibigyan tayo ng pagkakataon na maupo sa konseho, tayo ang mga magiging isa sa magiging frontliner para maitaas ang concerns ng student body sa administrasyon.” Paguirigan said.

Paguirigan has two campaign platforms: “YOUth Decides” and the “Safe Space Policy.”

YOUth Decides is Paguirigan’s take on voter education. She said she wants to urge Thomasians to register for and participate in the 2022 national elections.

Nakatuon [i]to para sa education and information ng ating student body regarding the process of voter’s registration and at the same time para ma-inform sila regarding sa mga kandidato na tatakbo para sa darating na 2022 elections,” she said.

The Safe Space Agenda, meanwhile, aims to implement a safe space policy in the University and conduct discussions to educate Thomasians and prevent gender-based discrimination.

Despite being the sole candidate for the secretarial position, Paguirigan urged Thomasians to be critical and thorough in choosing the next student leaders.

“It is important that we vote for leaders who promote inclusiveness and instill accountability in one’s action,” she said.

PRO

Gabriele de Lara

De Lara

ADVOCATING for a progressive pro-choice leadership management style and a mental health-friendly workload for the Thomasian community is College of Education junior Gabriele de Lara.

Running as an independent candidate, the former CSC executive coordinator to the secretary hopes to revive the CSC website and use it as a database for grievance, evaluations and other student concerns.

His “Project: INITIATE” also aims to integrate project trackers, donation drive requests and event calendars into the CSC website.

Unahin natin ‘yung pagkinig sa [kung] ano ‘yung mga concerns [ng mga Tomasino].” He said. “We need to acknowledge their voices and validate them.”

De Lara’s platforms, Project: INITIATE and Validate: The Wellness Focus, both intend to enhance information dissemination for Thomasians and to raise the University’s mental health consciousness for both students and faculty members.

His second platform, “Validate: The Wellness Focus,” aims to pursue a student and teacher-friendly academic calendar that would help address the “increasing health concerns” among members of the Thomasian community.

De Lara is confident that he can deliver quality service and assures that he will be able to view things in a greater perspective should he be voted into office.

“I can promise them that I will always do everything to the best of my abilities and potential, especially when it comes to welcoming and having their voices heard and validated in every dialogue,” he said.

Jerome Seth Espinas 

Espinas

HIS EXPERIENCES and skills as a student leader, together with his values and plans of action, are what the third-year marketing management major Jerome Seth Espinas can offer to the Thomasian community as he runs for the position of PRO.

The independent candidate said that he would dedicate himself to serving the Thomasian community by campaigning for pro-student causes, listening to students’ concerns and amplifying their voices. 

“I want to help out my fellow students by bridging the gaps between the student body, the CSC and the admin so that there would be a healthy dialogue and I believe that serving through the CSC would be the perfect avenue for that,” Espinas told the Varsitarian.

Espinas plans to establish “LINK: The Thomasian Learning Community,” a Facebook group open to all Thomasians, University administrators and alumni.

Espinas also wants to break the stigma surrounding mental health by encouraging Thomasians to avail themselves of online psychosocial support services.

“I want to use my voice and platform to fight against the stigma, raise awareness and foster mental wellness. I believe that our small efforts and actions regarding this advocacy would remove barriers to achieving positive mental health outcomes,” he said.

Espinas also plans to spearhead a project that will feature and showcase inspirational stories of Thomasian artists, “ARTISTomasino” and create an informative podcast show with “PodcUST.”

“This podcast series is designed to help students unwind and relax as this project would be informative, educational and at the same time, entertaining,” he said.

Jeric Mataga

Mataga

INFORMATION technology junior Jeric Mataga wants to protect student activists, being one himself.

“Student activists clearly fight for the improvement of the lives of their fellow students and fellow Filipinos, so it makes me wonder why the government or even school administrations go after these people. It’s quite unchristian, morally evil and legally incorrect to go after these activists,” he told the Varsitarian.

Mataga wants to ease the academic workload of students by doing away with “output-based education.”

“Mas mainam na mag-pokus tayo sa [asynchronous] learning para makapag-aral din ’yung mga mababagal ‘yung computer or internet,” he said.

He also wants to ensure the safe resumption of face-to-face classes in UST, noting that some courses require immersive laboratory classes.

“Ultimately, maipaglalaban namin ito through the students and the admin. Kailangan namin ang opinion at boses ng mga estudyante, at kailangan din natin yung policy changes and support ng admin,” he said.

His platform, “Estudyante ng Bayan,” seeks the creation of a forum where students can air their grievances and vote in polls.

Isa ito sa mga paraan para makuha natin yung tugon ng mga estudyante at makapagsimula ng mga diskusyon at usapan, at para ma-transform ang opinyon ng mga estudyante papunta sa konkretong aksyon, papasok tayo sa policy-making kasama ang admin,” Mataga said.

He aims to create a Discord server to boost the “morale and social activity of Thomasians.”

Kung merong suporta ng admin at ng mga estudyante, kaya rin natin i-challenge ang mga mali sa current educational system natin sa bansa,” he added.

Mataga’s third platform promotes social activity in the Thomasian community through the use of the instant messaging platform, Discord.

“With moderators, bots, and thorough guidelines, masisigurado natin ang safety ng lahat sa server na ito.” Mataga explained.

Mataga also aims to advocate for professional help to aid Thomasians care for their mental health and to host community events and tournaments with online games, such as Valorant, Mobile Legends and Call of Duty, to boost morale.

Should he be given a seat in the council, Mataga vowed to fight for the needs and demands of the students in accessing their rights to a quality education. 

Ayaw kong maging event-organizing candidate lang. Gusto kong gumanda yung kalagayan ng bawat estudyante habang naka-upo ako sa Central Student Council at umaasa rin ako na may magpapatuloy ng adbokasiya kong ipaglaban ang mga estudyante sa mga susunod na Central Student Councils,” he said.

“I truly believe that the CSC can lead the Thomasian community to make powerful changes in our society.”

The Central Student Council Elections will be held online this coming May 10 to 15, 2021. Jade Veronique V. Yap

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