FEWER Thomasians volunteered for the 2013 midterm elections compared with three years ago, to the disappointment of student leaders.

Political Science Forum President Patrick Bugarin, who headed a group of UST poll watchers, said Thomasians were generally passive in this year’s elections, as only 100 students signed up to volunteer. This was down drastically from 210 Thomasian volunteers in the 2010 national elections. In the 2007 midterm elections, UST failed to send election volunteers.

“It is quite ironic that most of us are hopeful on the progress of our country yet majority of us remained hesitant to sacrifice some time for the country,” Bugarin said.

This year, there were only 26 Thomasian poll watchers and 74 volunteers for the Church-backed Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV). Three years ago, UST sent 43 poll watchers and 167 PPCRV volunteers.

Twenty-three Thomasian poll watchers were assigned to polling precincts at Ramon Magsaysay High School while the other three were sent to Juan Luna Elementary School.

All Thomasian PPCRV volunteers were given assignments as encoders, call center operators, and media personnel.

Central Student Council Vice President Gab Kintanar expressed disappointment but noted that most students had gone home to the provinces.

“As much as we have wanted more volunteers to participate in this year’s elections, there were circumstances out of our hands which may have caused the decline,” Kintanar said.

Political Science senior Angelo Castro, media coordinator of the PPRCV, was of a different view.

“The nature of the activity is merely voluntary,” he said.

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Kintanar said volunteering for the elections should be seen by Thomasians as participation in the democratic process.

Still, PPCRV chair Henrietta De Villa was thankful for the participation of Thomasian volunteers.

“UST students and the faculty included are really socially responsible and conscious. They are very aware. Tuloy-tuloy ang kanilang formation,” she said. Jerome P. Villanueva

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