ABSC hopefuls defend platforms amid storm of questions


THE ASPIRANTS for the vacant positions in the Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC) vowed to pursue their platforms despite heavy questions and criticisms raised by members of the Artlet community during the miting de avance held Friday.

Clio Marie Ocampo, vice president-internal bet of the Grand Alliance for Progress (GAP), denied that platforms by GAP candidates are just “hole covers.”

“’Di po ako naniniwala na panakip-butas lang po ‘yung plataporma namin. Naniniwala po kami na solusyon po siya. Solusyon siya na nag-e-encourage na makisali ang mga estudyante na hindi lang puro officers lang ang gagawa,” Ocampo said.

Ocampo proposes that two representatives from each block in AB be trained by mental health experts to be the “first line of assistance in protecting the mental health of Artlets.” She wants to put up an honesty store inside the Faculty, in which proceeds will support the community development projects of the ABSC.

Independent candidate for vice president-internal Mary Shane Talapian, who shares the same advocacy and project on mental health with Ocampo, claimed that her project Mental Health Allies would still be different from Ocampo’s Mental Health Volunteers.

“’Yung kinaibahan ko noong kay Clio, […] what I want is volunteers themselves who […], want to serve and want to help people,” Talapian said. “It is kind of like pay it forward. It is for people who want to help and people who want to be helped.”

The Behavioral Science major plans to engage students on social issues through infographics and the creation of collective statements representing the Faculty.

Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UST vice president-internal bet Jeremiah Pasion, who proposed the most projects among his competitors for the position, said his concrete actions include student representation in policy-making bodies and the launching of Alternative Class Learning Experience.“Bago pa man po tayo lumahok sa konseho, isinasagawa na ‘yung pagro-room-to-room discussions [at] ‘yung pagdi-discuss po ng socio-political issues,” Pasion said.

GAP’s unopposed candidate for secretary Janina Louise Catap said her project titled Artlets Recognition Day would be different from AB Glory and Pride, which also recognizes the achievements of Artlets.

Sa Artlets Recognition Day, it will still be the same [with Glory and Pride] pero there will be an event na po. So sa event na ‘yun, i-invite na lahat ng mga Artlet achievers para sila mismo doon sa araw nayun ay ma-feel nila na binibigyan sila ng recognition dahil po nandoon sila sa mismong lugar na ‘yun,” Catap said.

She also proposes an online classroom reservation in which schedule of professors and availability of rooms can be viewed while filling out necessary information.

On University-wide and national issues

Sole candidate for auditor Gherick Barlis (GAP) promised that in the event of a lost money in the student council—big or small amount—he would ensure that Artlets would be informed.

“I do not want to put my treasurer in a position na mabibigla siya. First we will be having an internal meeting about the lost money, small or big. From there, we will be releasing a consolidated statement. And from there, small or big na mawawala sa ating Council, the Artlets need to know because it is their money,” Barlis said.

Barlis’ platforms include survey forms and progress reports on the projects of ABSC officers, and an HIV awareness campaign.

Tuition hike is acceptable as long as it is justified, Ocampo, meanwhile, said. “Okay lang po ako sa tuition fee hike as long as […] alam ko at nararamdaman ko kung saan siya napupunta.

This academic year, a tuition increase of at least seven percent was imposed, down from the initially proposed 10 percent to raise the salaries of faculty members and maintenance of the University in light of the implementation of the K to 12 program.

Pasion, the only candidate who is against the Anti-Fake News Bill, said the bill must be viewed based on who will implement it.

Mayroon po tayong masa na direktang dumadanas ng pangdadahas mula sa estado. Kung ang estado po mismo ang gagawa ng Fake News Bill, nakakasigurado po ba tayo na tama talaga ‘yung maibibigay bilang sila ‘yung aparato na dumadahas at nananamantala sa karapatan ng mga mamamayan dito po sa ating bansa?” Pasion said.

The Anti-Fake News Bill proposed by Sen. Joel Villanueva seeks to penalize a person or entity who maliciously offers, publishes, distributes, circulates, and spreads false news or information in print, broadcast or online media.

The miting de avance was organized by the AB Commission on Elections.

The elections period will be on Sept. 18 to 21, followed by the canvassing of votes until Sept.  22.

The winners for the ABSC special elections will be also proclaimed on the last day of canvassing. F

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