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No political party in 2020 Central Elections

In the two resolutions released by the UST Central Commission on Elections, the petitions of Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) for reaccreditation, and the Student’s Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UST (STAND-UST) for its registration were denied.



A Central COMELEC staff tallies the votes in the manual elections of the University in 2017 | Audrey Fontilla/TomasinoWeb

No political party was accredited for the University’s Central Elections this year after the two political parties failed to meet the requirements.

In the two resolutions released by the UST Central Commission on Elections on Monday, 10 Feb. 2020, the petitions of Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) for reaccreditation, and the Student’s Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UST (STAND-UST) for its registration were denied.

LTC failed to meet the required 50 members from different colleges, faculties, schools, and institutes.

STAND-UST have completed the required 50 members but have not obtained at least two representatives from at least 15 colleges, faculties, schools and/or institutes.

According to Central COMELEC’s resolution, the submission of requirements has been extended several times since Nov. 27, 2019.

The UST Students’ Election Code of 2011 (USEC) states that central political parties must have “a minimum member of fifty (50) students and at least two (2) representatives from at least fifteen (15) faculties, colleges, schools, and/or institutes.”

This, however, does not affect the operations in the local elections in colleges, faculties, schools and institutes of the two parties mentioned above.

Changes in this year’s UST Elections

UST Central COMELEC Chairperson Lauren Eunice Navales said that they are expecting a higher voter turnout this year and more candidates will run in Local and Central elections. 

“Hopefully this year, mas marami na ‘yung tumakbo and tumaas ‘yung voter turnout,” Navales told TomasinoWeb in an exclusive interview.

“‘Yung iba kasi parang bahala na isa lang naman ‘yung vote ko. Feeling nila hindi nagma-matter ‘yung vote nila when in fact malaking part siya ng elections. Kasi without that one vote, malaki ‘yung nagbabago,” she said.

For her, one reason for the low voter turnout in the past years is that the students’ do not feel and see the difference in their vote.

“Based from what I here from people, hindi nila nafee-feel kung ano ‘yung nangyayari kung meron bang difference sa pag-vote nila or hindi, sa mga projects sa ganun. Especially sa local elections,” Navales said.

She also encouraged Thomasians to be more participative in this year’s elections.

“‘Yung right natin to vote, important siya lalo na paglabas natin ng UST. Magvo-vote tayo and participate sa national elections. And if ngayon palang na students tayo, hindi natin ine-exercise ‘yung right na ‘yon, parang make them realize na its important and malaki ‘yung magagawa nung vote na ‘yon,” she said.

The Central COMELEC also expects to have a more synchronized Calendar of Activities for this year’s elections for every college to ensure that every student will have the time to vote.

“Pinakamaayos sa lahat ng colleges na nag-e-election is AMV, kasi may scheduling sila. […] AMV kasi required their students to vote. Not all units ganon. Mahirap din naman na mag-force ‘yung student na mag-vote ka. […] Kasi right ng student na tumanggi kung ayaw niya. But kailangan din marealize ng student na important din ‘yung vote niya. Right din niyang mag-vote ng tao na gusto niyang maupo,” she said.

‘Yun ‘yung gusto […] para lahat ng sections maka-vote. And if ‘di man maka-vote sa kanila [local units], maforward sa open precincts [satellite precincts] if ever.

Navales also added that local COMELEC units/committees in colleges were asked to change their name to avoid confusion with the Central COMELEC and its units.

“Kasi ang societies, may sarili silang COMELEC na hindi under ng Central COMELEC. […] Pero kasi when you hear na COMELEC, part siya ng Central COMELEC. So ‘yun ‘yung nirequest namin na if ever, palitan nila ‘yung name kasi hindi naman sila under namin,” Navales said.

“Ang toong hawak lang ni COMELEC, ‘yung councils. ‘Yun ‘yung required naming hawakan. Pero ‘yung societies, magre-request sila kay COMELEC kung gusto nila,” she added.

Revision of the 2011 USEC

Meanwhile, the revision of the University Students’ Election Code of 2011 is still underway and is expected to be finalized this school year.

“Ilang years na siyang ina-update. And last year, last sem, nag-convene na ‘yung en banc ng Central and Local units para ma-finalize ‘yung draft. And this month, February, ipre-present na ulit siya, ‘yung final draft to the Central en bancs and Local en bancs ng Comelec para finally mapresent na ulit siya sa Central Board,” Navales said.

According to Navales, the revision of the USEC failed to reach a quorum in the Central Board last year. If it will be passed this school year, it will be implemented next academic year.

“Umabot na ng graduation kaya start from scratch this year. Kaya kinonsider namin ‘yung changes na sinuggest last year. […] If mapasa this school year, next school year bago na USEC,” she said.



CSC lambasts Duterte’s ‘apathetic’ threats; launches donation drive

“We recognize the purpose of the quarantine. However, despite the implementations of these policies, they remain fruitless, unsteady, and ineffective.”



Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Fruitless, unsteady, and ineffective. This was how the University’s Central Student Council (CSC) described the national government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic as it lambasted the “apathetic” threats of the administration towards the people.

In a statement released Saturday, April 4, CSC along with Local Student Councils urged President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration for responsible governance in managing the public health crisis.

“We recognize the purpose of the quarantine […] However, despite the implementations of these policies, they remain fruitless, unsteady, and ineffective,” the statement read.

Moreover, the statement outlined its condemnation in its crisis management from the inadequate test kits, overpriced personal protective equipment, the condition of frontline health workers to the military’s alleged abuse of power.

“The Thomasian community strongly urges the government to understand the sentiments of the marginalized, to heed their calls instead of resorting to violence, and to pay attention to constructive criticism aimed at correcting the flawed system.” 

The statement, which was released a day after Pres. Duterte’s impromptu public address, also denounced the violent dispersal and arrest of Sitio San Roque residents demanding relief goods and financial assistance.

It also reminded the government that “it is the people who put them in their position,” and added further that “what we give, we can always take back.”

‪MUST READ: The UST-CSC and LSCs call for responsible governance amid the COVID-19 pandemic and condemn all forms of…

University of Santo Tomas Central Student Councilさんの投稿 2020年4月4日土曜日

Donation drive

Last March 27, the CSC in partnership with the Student Organizations Coordinating Council launched a financial donation drive for the workers of the Tan Yan Kee Student Center.

Alongside with this, respective colleges have arranged financial assistance to their local City Service personnel and security workers. 

"Kindness can reach wounds that only compassion can heal." As of 6:30 PM, April 1, 2020, we have already raised PHP…

University of Santo Tomas Central Student Councilさんの投稿 2020年4月1日水曜日



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CSC pushes for online class suspension amid UST guidelines

The Central Board recommended the use of online modules like “handouts, video tutorials, and pre-recorded lectures” which the students can use during the break.



Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Eight days after Metro Manila was put under a “community quarantine,” the UST Central Student Council (CSC) Central Board pushed for the suspension of online classes until April 14, 2020 amid the University’s alternative teaching-learning guidelines.  

To make most of the month-long class suspension due to the community quarantine which was later heightened by the government, online classes were introduced to carry on with the semester.

CSC President Robert Dominic Gonzales, however, stressed the differences in the resources of the students to support their online classes.

Students continue to face challenges in complying to these online activities due to factors like internet stability and lack of gadgets like computers and laptops.

A survey was conducted among local colleges to monitor the concerns and statuses of the Thomasian community.

For instance, in the College of Commerce and Business Administration and College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, more than half of the students of each college have no stable internet connection.

The Board recommended the use of online modules like “handouts, video tutorials, and pre-recorded lectures” which the students can use during the break.

Focusing on other matters

In light of the pandemic, Gonzales emphasized the need for the psychological and mental health of the community to be focused on, which is not only limited to the students.

The well-being of the faculty members, non-academic personnel, and the administration is a matter of priority as well in this time of crisis.

Gonzales is with high hopes to the administration’s approval of CSC’s appeal.

“I am sure that the administration listens to our concerns, most especially during these crucial times,” Gonzales said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the backbone of the University amid this health-related crisis.

“[W]e also give utmost gratitude and salute to them for all the efforts that they have exhausted to ensure a holistic approach on the well-being of the Thomasian community,” he added.

When asked if it is most likely to extend the second semester if the administration approves the appeal, Gonzales said that: “The decisions regarding the academic calendar and special terms are to be determined by the administration.”

However, the Board alongside local colleges are “much willing to provide help and support” the endeavors of the University by seeking suggestions from the student body.



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UST shifts to self-paced instruction amid quarantine period

The University’s updated Collective Institutional Guidelines on COVID-19 notes that the current state of calamity and quarantine regulations limit the capacity of students and faculty members to participate in regularly scheduled online classes.



Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

[UPDATED] The University will now implement a self-paced instruction amid the quarantine period in Luzon

In the University’s updated Collective Institutional Guidelines on COVID-19 released on March 20, “[r]egularly scheduled daily online classes shall no longer be required” for both students and faculty members.

The updated guidelines notes that the current state of calamity and quarantine regulations limit the capacity of students and faculty members to participate in regularly scheduled online classes.

Faculty members shall still continue providing learning materials which includes video lectures, readings and discussion sessions for students’ self-paced instruction in preparation for formal instruction once classes resume.

Academic unit heads will also determine which examinations or alternative assessments will be held online, or will require in-campus conduct once classes resume.

ADVISORYIn view of the enhanced community quarantine, we advise all Thomasians to heed the government’s mandate to…

University of Santo Tomasさんの投稿 2020年3月20日金曜日

Preliminary and final examinations may still be be integrated depending on the academic units “provided that there were enough student assessments aside from final examinations.” Students must also be informed of the changes in the grading system of affected courses.

The Office of the Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation also suspended all in-campus and off-campus research data gathering, as well as research-related local and international travels. Researchers were advised to do alternative activities.

Meanwhile, the schedule of moving-up ceremonies and commencement exercises will be determined once classes resume and academic calendar has been finalized.

Last March 13, the Office of the Secretary-General suspended the online classes from March 13-14 to give way for personal and family concerns.

Online classes from March 17 to 21 were also cancelled to “allow faculty members and students to attend to personal and family concerns,” “give faculty members time to revisit their course plans,” and “allow students to attend to pending tasks and submissions that were given in the past week.”

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the National Capital Region on a community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, with regular class suspensions in the region extended until April 14.

The code alert system for COVID-19 was raised to code red alert sub-level 2 which indicates evidence of community transmission.

All land, domestic air, and domestic water transportation to and from Metro Manila were barred, and only workers coming from nearby provinces were allowed to enter Metro Manila. Mass gatherings were also prohibited.

As of March 20, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country is now at 230, with 18 fatalities.

On support staff, faculty evaluation, and admission process

Work for all staff shall “remain suspended until further notice” including skeletal workforce arrangement. Only selected on-site workers were allowed to perform work, according to the University’s Human Resource Department memorandum. 

Social distancing should also be observed during the work and all staff are “enjoined to observe work from home arrangement […] to maintain productivity.”

University admission activities for A.Y. 2020-2021 (reservation, confirmation, and enrollment) shall be scheduled once the classes resume. 

Academic units shall also coordinate with the Office of Admissions “to release the appropriate announcements to their respective applicants”.

Meanwhile, the faculty competence evaluation for the second semester will be scheduled once classes resume. It was encouraged “to provide qualitative comments” in the faculty evaluation to highlight their strengths, and help them [address] areas of improvement amid the regular class disruptions. A. Basa with report from J. A. Pangilinan


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