Outgoing Civil Law SC president guns for highest student office

Nathan Agustin

FOCUSING on policy-oriented governance while prioritizing the safe return to face-to-face classes, outgoing Civil Law Student Council president Nathan Agustin is running unopposed for the presidency in this year’s student polls.

“I believe that we have to evolve our current systems and structures in the [Central Student Council] and in student governance in general if we truly want to adapt to the times, and be fully able to lobby for the policies we have long fought for,” he told the Varsitarian.

Agustin said that he wants to reform the University’s student governance system, specifically, how the constitutional bodies—the CSC, the Students’ Organizations Coordinating Council, and the Commission on Elections—interact with one another.

“We need more interrelations, especially between councils and organizations, considering that the latter represents different interest groups in the University that needs representation in our student council structure,” he said.

As the top priority of his 10-point agenda, Agustin is pushing for the safe resumption of in-person classes, which includes the vaccination of students.

“All our students must be given equal opportunity to get vaccinated if we truly want to return to 100 percent face-to-face classes,” he said. “I hope we can tap the assistance of the University in also helping our students secure the requirements needed by law.”

Should he win, students can expect a more vocal student council regarding national and international issues while promising to relax policies on speech and expression for Thomasians.

“Many students are discouraged to speak up because they already assume that the University will not allow them or will also sanction them if they do proceed with it,” he said. 

“How can we then preach Veritas, or truth, and how can we exemplify the youthful charism that has also been characterized with the Dominicans and Thomasians if we cannot speak up?” he added.

Being a law student also has its advantages.

Agustin, who is a sophomore at the Faculty of Civil Law, said that he would urge the UST Legal Aid Clinic to provide students with free legal aid and consultations as part of his plan for more responsive and equal student services.

He also aims to repurpose the Central Judiciary Board which can be tapped to render advisory opinions on student statutes and review local student councils’ performance.

“We have to defend our students who are subject to such treatment, and assert the legitimacy of their concerns,” he said.

Looking at the national elections, Agustin said that the CSC should lead the Thomasian body in discerning and voting for the right candidates.

Kailangan manindigan ng CSC para sa mga kandidatong talagang makakatulong sa bansa natin,” he said. “Hindi lang dapat pinapakita natin na this is how you vote; we should help Thomasians by showing where we side.” N.A.M. Cruz


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