Connect with us

News

No ‘abstain’ in upcoming CSC elections; students develop new electronic voting system

In a press conference on Thursday, Central Commission on Elections Medicine Commissioner Ivan Pulanco elaborated that they have removed “abstain” in the new system developed by Computer Science students, but voters could leave their ballots unanswered.

Published

on

Photo by JC Alvero/TomasinoWeb.

(UPDATED March 10, 1:10 a.m.) There would be no “abstain” option in the upcoming Central Student Council (CSC) elections as the polls switch back to an electronic voting system developed by the University’s Computer Science students.

In a press conference on Thursday, Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) Medicine Commissioner Ivan Pulanco elaborated that they have removed the option—which won the CSC posts for president, vice president, auditor and treasurer in the last elections—but voters could leave their ballots unanswered.

“Unanswered means unanswered. That is our official stance. We are following the procedures conducted by the local elections in the Philippines for voters are allowed to leave positions blank and we don’t feel that it is proper to compel a student vote for an individual… So it’s not abstain, its unanswered,” Pulanco said.

This move is in accordance with the order of the Central Judiciary Board last year, which stated that including “abstain” in the ballots was a violation of Article X Section 5 of the UST Student’s Election Code of 2011 as ballots should only contain “the printed names of candidates, their positions and their parties , a box before each candidate’s name, serial number and the instructions” with no mention of an “abstain” option.

 

Thomasians develop new voting system

The Computer Science Society (CSS), in partnership with Comelec and the UST e-Service Providers (STEPS), developed the Evosys system, the very first electronic voting system developed by Thomasian students which they said would ensure fast, reliable, accurate and secured canvassing of votes through the use of the University’s local servers provided by STEPS.

“For this upcoming elections,  we will be hosting it with STEPS [with their] local servers…. It’s intranet, [meaning] within the internet of UST, so transferring of data will be fast,” CSS President John Regalado told reporters.

The elections last year became manual after the proclamation of elected officers in the 2016 CSC elections were delayed due to technical glitches with the Blackboard e-Learning Access Program, where the polls were hosted.

Evosys Project Manager Angel Luis Santos said the system would be more reliable than manual voting since “it requires a login to access the system and it automates the canvassing of votes” and that “the counting will be done by the system.”

Comelec Vice Chairman and Evosys Project Head Mely Cherrylyne Cruz said that Comelec, Potato Codes, an organization of Thomasian developers, and the Office for Student Affairs (OSA) decided it would be best that CSS would develop the system.

“There is no other competition… outside UST. [Developers outside the campus] cannot develop the software for UST because that would bring about concerns on outside influence, etc. This is why we chose specifically and only CSS,” Cruz added.

Santos also ensured the election’s security, saying that the system “underwent rigorous testing from developers and some faculty members of the Computer Science department.” She also said the system is secure from hacking since votes can only be accessed within UST’s local servers.

 

Security, technical concerns

Santos demonstrated the new voting process, which involves verification of voters by assigned deputies, the actual voting of students, submission of all votes and upon completion, and the acquisition of reference numbers as proof that a student has finished the entire voting process.

While students would be using their student numbers as theirs username in voting, Comelec Chairman Arvin Bersonda said that the password would be unique in every voting session and that it would come from verifiers.

“Malalaman lang namin yung password nila on the day that they will vote, on the day they were verified as a Thomasian voter kasi we have verifiers, sila yung mag-eencode and ‘dun palang nila makukuha yung access code nila sa elections upon entry sa [computer laboratory],” he added.

Bersonda said that if computer units crash during the voting period, the system would only process finished and submitted ballots so that students could still resume voting.

To accommodate all voters,  there would be an allotted time for every individual to vote, according to Allan Theo Hernandez, OSA’s staff for student activities.

University-wide mock elections held to earlier today to test the system. The filing of the certificates of candidacy would be on March 21; elections are set to be held in April .—B. Laforga

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dates regarding the exact schedule of elections and proclamation of officers were removed due to disputing claims from officers of Comelec.

 

Comments

News

Thomasians join protest vs tyranny, ‘de facto’ Martial Law

Several Thomasian progressive youth groups trooped to Luneta for the United People’s Action that condemned the current administration’s implementation of “de facto” Martial Law in the country, Friday, Sept. 21.

Published

on

martial law anniversary protesters
Photo by Christine Tapawan/TomasinoWeb.

For the commemoration of the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, several Thomasian progressive youth groups trooped to Luneta for the United People’s Action that condemned the current administration’s implementation of “de facto” Martial Law in the country, Friday, Sept. 21.

Thomasians lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies that “curtail and repress the democracy of the Filipino people.”

Anakbayan UST SHS spokesperson Ronel Reyes said that the dooms of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos are being felt under Duterte’s presidency.

“Mariin nating kinokondena ang “de facto” Martial Law na ipinatutupad ni Pangulong Duterte na wala ring pinagkaiba sa ginugunita natin ngayon, ang anibersaryo ng Martial Law ng diktador na si [Ferdinand] Marcos,” Reyes said in a chance interview with TomasinoWeb.

He also added, “masasabi nating may de facto Martial Law kasi ang mga nangyayari ngayon sa’ting bansa ay katulad din sa nangyayari dati.”

Reyes stressed that the Thomasian community’s participation is important as it’s a way to fight for the rights of fellow Filipinos.

“Mahalaga po [ang partisipasyong ng mga Tomasino] dahil tayo ay hindi dapat nakukulong sa apat na sulok ng paaralan, dapat tayong makiisa sa laban ng mga Pilipino; hindi tayo hiwalay. Pinagsasamantalahan tayo ng parehong sistema,” Reyes said.

‘Never Again to Martial Law’

Unfazed by the sudden downpour of rain, the protest still pushed through at around 2 pm. and converged with other different organizations from the University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, De La Salle University, among others.

Chanting “Never Again to Martial Law,” the students were joined by other activist groups from different sectors and then marched to Luneta for the activities and programs prepared.

Also present in the protest were Lumads that recently visited and held “Bakwit School” in the University last Sept. 10.

READ: UST welcomes, pledges support for Lumads

On the other hand, “Pro-Duterte” groups also staged “counter-protest” at Burnham Green in Rizal Park carrying placards of praise of the administrations programs and policies.

Under the Proclamation 1081, Marcos enacted Martial Law that led to the killings and imprisonment of more than 70,000 people, according to Amnesty International.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) deployed more than 4000 cops around the area for the said event.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada suspended classes in all levels, both public and private, citing safety and security reasons for the students.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

UST welcomes, pledges support for Lumads

The Thomasian community along with other progressive youth groups welcomed Lumads as they trooped to the University to voice out their call to end Martial Law in Mindanao, assuring them of support as “Bakwit School sa UST” commenced, Monday, Sept. 10.

Published

on

thomasians protesting for lumads
Photo by Jude Camot/TomasinoWeb.

The Thomasian community along with other progressive youth groups welcomed indigenous peoples as they trooped to the University to voice out their call to end Martial Law in Mindanao, assuring them of support as “Bakwit School sa UST” commenced, Monday, Sept. 10.

UST Simbahayan Director Mark Anthony Abenir addressed the cultural minorities and said that UST “as a Catholic institution stands by the poor and the oppressed.”

“Ang UST bilang Katolikong pamantasan patuloy na naninindigan sa kapakanan ng mga mahihirap, ng mga naaapi at ng mga pinagsasamantalahan,” Abenir said as he welcomed Lumads for the second year of Lakbayan.

Despite the heavy downpour of rain, the “Salubungan” activity still pushed through with Lumads and Thomasians entering the Arch of the Centuries.

Meanwhile, UST Central Student Council (CSC) Secretary Robert Gonzales expressed support in ending Martial Law in Mindanao and assured the Lumads of the Thomasians’ continued assistance in rebuilding classrooms and other material support.

“Nakikiisa rin ang mga Tomasino upang ipaglaban at itaguyod ang paglaban natin para sa edukasyon. Tutulong kami sa abot ng aming makakaya upang itaguyod ang Lumad bakwit schools,” Gonzales said.

The UST CSC Secretary also added, “ipagpapatuloy namin ang pagsuporta sa mga paaralan ng mga Lumad sa pagpapatayong muli sa mga silid-aralan at iba pang suportang materyal. Ang paaralan ninyo ay paaralan rin namin.”

Moreover, cultural presentations were conducted including a performance by Tubaw, a reenactment by the Lumad students and a community dance together with Thomasians.

‘Buksan ang puso’t isipan’

Manilyn Gantangan, a grade 10 Lumad student, challenged Thomasians “to open their hearts and minds in what’s really happening in the society.”

“Hinahamon ko po ang lahat ng mga nakikinig na buksan po natin ang ating puso’t isipan at alamin natin ang totoong nangyayari sa ating lipunan,” Gantangan said.

Sr. Patricia Fox was also present and urged Thomasians to “hear what’s happening and listen to their story.”

“I think one of the problems is people are not hearing really about what’s happening there. So I think it’s great that the Thomasian community has accepted them, to listen to them and then get their stories out to others so that people know what’s happening,” Sr. Fox said in a chance interview with TomasinoWeb.

She also added that Lumads deserve “to live in peace and have a good education.”

“Well, I think they’ve got a just demand. Every young person should have a right to education. They have a right to be there to live in peace, to have a good education.” Sr. Fox said.

UST Save Our Schools (SOS) Networks volunteer Hannah Rondilla gave a solidarity message and asked the Thomasian community to heed the call to fight land-grabbing of ancestral lands.

“Makiiisa rin sana ang mga Tomasino upang tutulan ang pangangamkam sa mga lupaing ninuno at ipaglaban ang karapatan ng pambansang minorya para sa sariling pagpapasya,” Rondilla urged.

The said event will continue until September 17 in which various activities including Unity Walk, a peace forum and a grand solidarity night are expected to happen.

Last April 20, UST Simbahayan inked a partnership with alternative school for the Lumad as they commit to defend education and for the rehabilitation of school facilities.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

UST boosts performance in guidance counselor board exam

The University recorded a perfect passing rate in the August 2018 guidance counselor licensure examination.

Published

on

Photo by Jester Ramos/TomasinoWeb.

The University recorded a perfect passing rate in the August 2018 guidance counselor licensure examination.

UST improved to a 100-percent passing mark, with all four Thomasian examinees passed.

Last year, no Thomasian made it to the cut.

No Thomasian, meanwhile, made it to the top ten for this year’s licensure exam.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 307 out of 471 takers passed the board exam for guidance counselors. Rex Morales

Comments

Continue Reading

Trending