COME FEBRUARY, local and university-wide politics heat up.

But the true essence of serving the studentry faces degradation. As in national and local elections, traditional politics invades the system of Thomasian governance and studentry. With all the magic formula of good looks, charm, and popularity, deserving and responsible candidates lose their chance to represent the whole student population.

The Central Student Council (CSC) elections reflect all the elements of fanfare and entertainment, and running candidates face important issues with merely vague platforms, poor work or service ethics, and of course, lack or inadequacy of Thomasian values.

Unlike last year’s one-party “election,” this year’s edition proved worth the watch as the University’s Commission on Elections approved two parties to run.

For years, running parties tend to offer enticing gimmicks instead of realistic platforms that would benefit Thomasians. These gimmicks merely degrade the councils as organizers of beauty pageants, concerts, and parties, and put their roles as representatives of the students, and promoters of student rights into the background.

Unfortunately, a lot of “leaders” think that serving the studentry means dispensing parties and other like events. Students, on the other hand, think of these services as an integral part of the system, not even caring about the wasteful use of funds that could be justifiably used in more important matters.

With all the glamour and prestige, student councils would like to do everything, but usually end up doing nothing. There may only be a few people in the councils who care about relevant issues that would help improve the educational system, student-administration relations, and the social training of students.

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Thus the question: what is their place under the sun? Having the full support of the University administration, the CSC has all the necessary resources to conceive plausible projects. However, the council should define and set limitations with its counterpart, the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC). Due to overlapping functions, the two bodies seem a muddle to many students. The CSC, for instance holds concerts, giving rise to the South Border issue, a needless controversy of the outgoing administration.

To be fair, the outgoing council’s effort to advance the UST Magna Carta for students was relatively successful. According to Vox, CSC’s newsletter, the drafted Magna Carta will hopefully be ready for the new academic year in June.

In the same light, newly-seated local and university-wide councils should busy themselves with issues of student concerns such as the tuition fee increase, student services, and fostering campus solidarity and unity through communitarian and social-interactive projects. The council’s next batch of leaders should work hard on these or else, Thomasians might lose their true concept of student governance.


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