IN an effort to raise political awareness among the Thomasian student body, The Political Science Forum (TPSF) launched its “UST Apathy-Free” Campaign at the Albertus Magnus Auditorium last August 30.
The project called “UST Apathy-Free: University-wide Political Education and Awareness Campaign,” the project aimed to change the masses’ “incorrect understanding of politics” and the apparent lack of interest towards it.
“It is only through education that we can equip our people with the necessary tools to continue building our great nation again,” said TPSF president Cedrick Sagun in his speech before the unveiling of the logo of UST Apathy-Free.
The two-day kick-off, which started last August 30, was attended by not just Political Science students but also students from the different colleges, faculties, and institutes of UST. Students Welfare and Development Board (SWDB) director Atty. Antonio Chua delivered the opening remarks. Engineering Dean Josefin De Alban Jr. and Philippine Ambassador to Vatican City Henrietta De Villa were some of dignitaries present during the event.
The advocacy also meant to “re-affirm the commitment and advancement in political awareness” among Thomasians. A large portion of the general population is oblivious to their duties and rights as Filipino citizens, Chua said. The advocacy will “play a role on political maturity.”
A Political Science senior, Sagun said that the ultimate goal of the project is for the proliferation of “responsible Filipinos concerned for the well-being of the country as a whole.”
“We, political science majors, do not intend to monopolize the proper understanding of politics, rather we find it our moral obligation to share the knowledge to our fellow Thomasians, so that they cannot be harmed by those who want to take advantage and so they cannot unconsciously cause harm as well to others,” Sagun said. “We believe that it is only when they understand different political phenomena that they can make the right decisions for our country,” he added.
Although the sound of the word “politics” stings the ears and spurs ballyhoos among the Filipino common folk, TPSF aims to cleanse the distorted meaning of the word attached to their field of study.
“The first step we have to take is to train ourselves for this mission; we can probably start by knowing the definition of political literacy, which is the basic goal of the Apathy-Free advocacy,” the TPSF president said.
The program also included a short demonstration of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine, which would be used in the upcoming midterm elections. In lieu of the Apathy-Free campaign, “Tomasino Para sa Pilipino 2013,” an information campaign about the May 2013 elections, was also launched.
“Remember, you can join any club, any org, any union, but from the moment you were born you are part of the state and I believe your birth certificate attests to that,” Sagun said, “and for as long as you are tied to your country, you will always have the sacred birth right of serving your nation. And the best way to prepare for it is through political education.”
By Raul Miguel C. Capalad and Jan Eidrienne R. De Luis