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Get to know your CSC 2021 candidates

According to an executive order released by the UST Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) on May 3, this year’s CSC polls will be held online through an electronic voting system.

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FOUR SEATS—2021 Central Student Council candidates for president, Krizia Bricio (upper left); vice president, Gerald Dela Cruz (center); secretary, Arnet Paguirigan (upper right); and public relations officer, Jeric Mataga (lower left), Gabriele De Lara (center), and Jerome Espinas (lower right).

Three unopposed Artlets eye the top three positions in the Central Student Council (CSC) in the 2021 central elections. 

Legal management junior Krizia Bricio is this year’s lone presidential hopeful, followed by Gerald dela Cruz, another legal management student, who aims to become CSC’s next vice-president. 

Journalism junior Arnet Paguirigan, who currently serves as Bricio’s executive coordinator in the CSC, runs independently for the secretarial post. 

Meanwhile, three independent candidates compete for the public relations position: education junior Gabriele de Lara, Institute of Information and Computing Sciences (IICS) sophomore Jeric Mataga, and business management junior Jerom Espinas.

The election period will be from May 10 to 12 and May 14 to 15, while the canvassing of votes will take place on May 15.

According to an executive order released by the UST Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) on May 3, this year’s CSC polls will be held online through an electronic voting system, which students can access after entering an open precinct via Zoom.

There are no candidates running under a political party this year after the Comelec denied 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 in 2020.

Know more about this year’s candidates here:

President: Krizia Bricio

Bricio replaced then CSC secretary Robert Dominic Gonzales in 2019. Should she win this year’s elections, she will be replacing Gonzales once more as CSC’s president.

The incumbent CSC secretary aims to revise the 2004 central council constitution by implementing a project called “Conduit,” which is focused on “efficiency, accountability, and transparency.”

“The Central Student Council is in need of major revision to fully encompass all duties, obligations, and rights of student councils, and the process within the student councils to effectively and efficiently serve the Thomasian Student Body,” she wrote in her platform.

According to Bricio, Conduit will connect sponsors and donors to Thomasians who might need health or education assistance. The project, she said, will be done via online forms and with the assistance of CSC’s existing committees. 

“[P]agdating sa dalawa nating plataporma, tinutugunan nito ang current needs ng mga estudyante and it anticipates the future problems of CSC and the whole Thomasian student body,” Bricio mentioned during the Tagisan 2021 held on April 30.

She also acknowledged CSC’s lapses in communicating with the University’s administration. If elected, CSC will address this by building a rapport with UST officials in the next academic year. 

Bricio served as the interim president from December 2020 to January 2021 when Gonzales filed a leave of absence. 

Vice President: Gerald Dela Cruz

Incumbent Artlets Student Council (ABSC) Vice President dela Cruz shoots his shot as the sole vice-presidential candidate in this year’s CSC polls. 

If elected, dela Cruz said that he will revive CSC’s Students’ Rights and Welfare (Straw) initiative.

“Nakita natin na maraming hinaing ‘yung mga estudyante lalo na sa online o distance learning. Through the Straw initiative, gusto nating buuin ‘yung isang coalition o i-revive ‘yung Straw coalition na magiging parte ang local student councils, different student organizations, be it religious o under SOCC,” dela Cruz told TomasinoWeb. 

Dela Cruz noted his plans to hold a conversation with the UST administration next semester regarding the general policies for distance learning. 

“Kasi nakikita natin na with the past semesters na nasa online classes tayo, it’s either late o walang general guidelines na sinusunod for online classes. Sa tingin natin dapat sa start ng semester, makapag-consult tayo with the administration through a dialogue,” he said.

The vice-presidential hopeful also eyes a voter education campaign for the 2022 national elections. According to him, Thomasians should be active in issues regarding election polls. 

As ABSC’s vice-president in 2019, dela Cruz started “Talakayan,” which discusses social issues in the country, and the recognition of student achievers in AB. 

Dela Cruz filed a leave of absence (LOA) starting April 20 to May 8 to “attend to his thesis, other academic requirements, and personal reasons.” The filing of candidacy for CSC was on April 20 as well. 

However, Dela Cruz explained that he filed a LOA in compliance with the Comelec and the CSC’s constitution.

Secretary: Arnet Paguirigan

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Lone secretarial candidate Paguirigan stood firm on the importance of student representation, especially with the current online learning set-up. 

She emphasized how important it is that someone like her can “amplify” the Thomasian community’s concern especially amid the online set-up of classes.

Should she win the elections, Paguirigan said that she would encourage and empower Thomasians through advocacy campaigns anchored on voters’ registration and education. 

“[M]y platform is basically is to establish to the Thomasian youth the importance of voting and how powerful it is that they exercise their right  in nation building,” she told TomasinoWeb. 

She also aims to promote a “harassment-free” and “inclusive” environment for the Thomasians amid the online set-up.

Public Relations Officer (PRO): Jeric Mataga

Jeric Mataga said that his edge among the other competitors is his empathy and his participation in student activism.

“I believe that my empathy towards other students and participation in student activism is my edge compared to the other candidates,” Mataga said in an interview with TomasinoWeb.

Mataga shared that he aligned himself to pro-student advocacies and spoke against issues related to student repression.

Mataga also said that he wanted to close the gap between the students and the administration and to give a stronger voice for the students when elected as PRO.

“[I] plan to bridge the gap between the students and the administration…[O]ne particular point regarding this is giving a stronger voice to the students, being the largest stakeholders in this institution, in terms of policy-making,” he said.

Mataga is a student-activist and a third-year student of IICS.

PRO: Gabriele De Lara

Gabriele De Lara, a third-year College of Education student, said that being part of the educational field is his higher ground. 

“Bukod sa nandon yung passion talaga natin makapagbahagi ng kaalaman, nandon yung naipapakita natin yung importansya ng paglilingkod para sa nakararami at sa mga taong hindi kayang makapagsalita.” he told TomasinoWeb.

According to him, candidates saw a need to change or improve the council that is why the public relations position is fought for.

When elected, de Lara desires a student council that is close to the students.He also believes that the student council is there to be the voice of Thomasians to the University administration.

“[M]agagawa lang rin naman natin ito ng maayos kung makikipagtulungan tayo lagi kasama ng ating mga magiging executive board members sa bawat local student council para mas organized at maayos ang ating representation sa kanila [mga estudyante]” he added.

PRO: Jerome Espinas

Jerome Espinas said that his experience in the student council and other organizations is his edge among the other candidates.

“[I] have amassed skills that honed me to be holistic and well-rounded and to be the student leader that I am today with the courage to move forward and onward,” he said in an interview with TomasinoWeb.

Espinas also said that the opportunity of working under people with diverse personalities and the desire to serve fellow students sets him apart from the candidates.

If elected, Espinas desires to have a “policy-centric” student council more than an “event-centric.”

“The council’s focus would also be on taking strides on improving communication systems of the CSC and streamline communication systems across Local Student Council’s (LSCs) to ensure efficient and effective information exchange between the students and their respective councils,” he said.

He also wants improved psychosocial support for the students especially those who are dealing with difficulties.

Espinas is a third-year student from the College of Commerce and Business Administration and former vice-president of the Commerce and Business Administration student council.

The last time the public relations officer position had a competition was in 2018 in which Jeanne Nicole Naval was seated as PRO.

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Central Comelec postpones SC elections

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University’s Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) put on hold the supposed student council (SC) elections for the academic year 2019-2020, Thursday, May 21.

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Photo by Carmina Beatriz Dizon

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University’s Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) put on hold the supposed student council (SC) elections for the academic year 2019-2020, Thursday, May 21.

In a resolution posted, Comelec announced the postponement of both Central Student Council and Local Student Council elections with which all positions are now deemed as vacant.

The resolution noted, however, that all non-graduating incumbent SC officers are proclaimed interim officers until the rescheduled elections.

Comelec stated: “[T]he Commission hereby declares that all non-graduating incumbent officers of all student councils, unless otherwise disqualified by law, may continue to exercise the powers vested in his or her office ‘on hold over capacity’ as interim officers until after their successors are duly elected in the rescheduled elections.”

Comelec also urged the student bodies to maintain an organized transition as the University continues to grapple with the pandemic in both curricular and non-curricular activities.

“[A]ll outgoing Student Council officers are hereby directed to ensure a smooth transition and turnover of responsibilities, records, and documents to their successors after the rescheduled elections shall have been conducted,” the resolution read.

Last February 10, the Comelec released two resolutions denying Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) for reaccreditation, and the Student’s Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UST (STAND-UST) for registration, making no political party accredited for the elections.

As of this posting, there are no announcements about the tentative date of the rescheduled elections.

 

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Former CSC PRO is new prexy; executive board back to full slate

Political Science junior and former Central Student Council Public Relations Officer Francis Gabriel Santos was proclaimed president with 13,351 votes.

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kiko santos
Photo by Alec Go/TomasinoWeb.

Former Central Student Council (CSC) Public Relations Officer (PRO) Francis Gabriel Santos is set to lead as the new president of the CSC following the proclamation of the new set of CSC executive board officers last Saturday.

The Political Science junior won the highest post with 13,351 votes, defeating Civil Law sophomore and former CSC Secretary Karizza Kamille Cruz, who garnered 9,414 votes. A total of 3,383 students left the ballots unanswered.

Along with Santos, the Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) also proclaimed the winning candidates for the positions of vice president, secretary, treasurer, auditor and PRO — marking the board’s return to a full slate after abstentions in last year’s polls left four posts vacant for the entire year.

Biochemistry junior and lone candidate Victor Amores was proclaimed vice president with 15,241 votes, while a total of 10,907 ballots were left unanswered.

Medicine freshman Robert Dominic Gonzales was elected secretary with 9,818 votes, besting Journalism junior Carol Anne Balita who obtained 9,156 votes. A total of 7,174 students left the ballots unanswered.

Marketing Management junior Alek Pierce Joell Santa Ana,  who ran unopposed following the disqualification of Graduate School student Rome Voltaire Gomez, was proclaimed treasurer with 14,759 votes, while a total of 11,389 ballots left unanswered (READ: Comelec disqualifies treasurer bet).

Medical Technology junior and lone candidate Adrian Lee Fernando was elected auditor, winning 14,587 votes, while a total of 11,561 ballots were left unanswered.

Advertising Arts junior Jeanne Nicole Naval was proclaimed PRO, obtaining 7,649 votes, beating Political Science juniors Jan Krianne Pineda and Jeremiah Pasion, who garnered 6,645 and 6,273 votes, respectively. A total of 5,581 ballots were left unanswered.

All candidates for this year’s CSC elections ran independently, as sole accredited political party Lakas ng Diwang Tomasino did not field any bets for the polls (READ: Lakasdiwa fields no candidates for CSC polls as independent bets fill candidate list).

The Central Comelec removed “abstain” votes in the electronic ballots used this year following a resolution by the Central Judiciary Board regarding the abstentions in last year’s polls. Voters, however, could leave their ballots unanswered (READ: No ‘abstain’ in upcoming CSC elections; students develop new electronic voting system).

A total of 26,148 out of 38,045 students participated in this year’s University-wide elections, higher than last year’s 28,873 out of 43,762.

 

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Continuing platforms, plans

In an interview with TomasinoWeb, president-elect Santos said he would continue what he has started and learned as CSC PRO.

“[P]apatawag tayo ng unang meeting with the new set of executive board officers so as to set the direction of the CSC next academic year,” Santos said.

He also said they would begin actualizing the Students’ Rights and Welfare (Straw) Coalition platform and the other platforms of the executive board officers.

“For my case, uunahin natin ‘yung pagtatag ng Straw Coalition dito sa University, that will be the first step. Para by August or by September ma-launch natin siya dito and ma-set na ‘yung general direction ng coalition para, at the end of it all, ma-produce ‘yung batas, congress or ‘yung Student’s code dito sa University, he added.  

Next year’s CSC Central Board, composed of the newly-elected local student council presidents, are as follows: Rafael Enrico Arellano (Faculty of Arts and Letters), Maria Dascha Uy (College of Architecture), Jealar Lazaga (Alfredo M. Velayo – College of Accountancy), Carl Joseph Reyes (College of Commerce and Business Administration), John Louis Torres (College of Tourism and Hospitality Management), Nikki Mei Ko (Faculty of Civil Law), Maricris Chuang (College of Education), Kristienne Mary Magsanoc (Education High School), Catherine Rose Santa Romana (Faculty of Engineering), Jheanna Delleopac (Junior High School) , Marianne Therese Lacap (Institute of Information and Computing Sciences), Lance Estenar (Faculty of Medicine and Surgery), Mikaela Janelle Mallorca (College of Nursing), Carlo Miguel Sarrosa (Faculty of Pharmacy), John Alfred Ravena (Faculty of Philosophy), Vashwin Amarnani (College of Science), Maria Taña Sanchez (Senior High School), Bro. Sandy Alerta, O.P. (Faculty of Sacred Theology), Bryan Joshua Casao (Institute of Physical Education and Athletics).

Candidates for the Conservatory of Music Student Council were disqualified and is yet to announce a schedule for elections.

Local elections for the College of Fine Arts and Design, College of Rehabilitation Sciences and the Faculty of Canon Law are currently being conducted and is set to end on Friday, April 27. —M.W. dela Paz, with reports from P. Jamilla and A. Ortega

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LIVE: Proklamasyon 2018

Watch TomasinoWeb’s live feed of the proclamation of the newly-elected officers of the student council elections.

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