Presidential candidates Eisaku Ivan Bernardino (Lakasdiwa) and Ina Marie Angela Vergara (Lakas Tomasino Coalition) face-off  during the miting de avance. Photo by John Paul R. Autor

18 February 2014, 12:40 a.m. – TWO RIVAL parties contesting this year’s Central Student Council (CSC) elections faced off yesterday in the annual miting de avance and mandatory debate at the new UST Practice Gymnasium, outlining their platforms and advocacies for the next academic year.

Bets from Lakas ng Diwang Tomasino (Lakasdiwa) and Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) said they had adjusted their proposed projects in line with the University’s decision to revise the academic calendar.

Candidates were given two minutes each to answer questions from a panel composed of lawyer Elizabeth Inoturan, Student Welfare and Development Board coordinator; Varsitarian news editor Reden Madrid; and Rochelle Anne Obleno, court interpreter at the Supreme Court. This was followed by interpellation from the candidates’ opponents.

LTC standard bearer and incumbent CSC secretary Ina Marie Angela Vergara assured Thomasians of the passage of the long-delayed Students’ Code and the improvement of the grievance system.

“The most pressing issue of today is the [passage] of the Students’ Code. We (the incumbent council), together with Public Affairs, are [making] revisions. Every article must be well-defined,” Vergara said.

Asked about the possible implications of the recent deadlock of collective bargaining agreement negotiations on the student body, Lakasdiwa standard bearer Eisaku Ivan Bernardino said Thomasians could voice out their concerns on the rights of faculty members, and the council could serve as a channel for these concerns.

“[The CSC] could possibly act as the arbiter of the two bodies; not really as an official arbiter, but we still have a say with regard to that. Tayo ang magiging boses ng mga mag-aaral, kung ano nga ba talaga ang dapat iparating sa mga faculty members,” Bernardino said.

Inoturan asked the two presidential candidates whether they favored an evaluation of CSC projects at the end of every academic year.

The CSC already has an existing evaluation system, Vergara said.

“We are also planning to have Boses Tomasino, one that will bind all the students regarding the evaluation of CSC projects,” she added.

Bernardino, meanwhile, said there was a need to create an external body to evaluate CSC’s projects. “From the perspective of a marketing student, ang bawat produkto ay ine-evaluate after every use. There should be an external body [kung saan puwedeng] mapag-usapan ang mga proyekto,” he said.

The campaign period will run until Feb. 19. Proclamation of new CSC officers is set on Feb. 21.

Voter turnout must be at least 25 percent of the student population, otherwise, failure of elections will be declared. Last year’s elections had a voter turnout of 61.93 percent, with 26,768 students voting out of the UST student population of 43,221. Jon Christoffer R. Obice


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