STUDENTS’ RIGHTS and social awareness are among the concerns that the four independent Central Student Council (CSC) bets from the Faculty of Arts and Letters would like to focus on should they be elected to the council.
Presidential candidate and former CSC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Francis Gabriel Santos said he will fight for the passage of the Students’ Code, a document aiming to protect the rights of Thomasian students.
“[Ang] gagawin natin, lalabas tayo ng UST. Doon tayo sa kongreso. [Magtatayo] tayo ng national coalition. ‘Pag napasa ‘yun sa kongreso, saklaw ang UST. Hindi lang UST ang makikinabang kundi ang bawat mag-aaral na Pilipino,” Santos said.
He added that when he was the CSC PRO, the council took steps to support the passage of the Student’s Code but to no avail after issues on maintaining “abstain” in ballots for future elections was prioritized. “[O]ne year is too short for a Central Student Council officer to make sure that his vision will be materialized by the council.”
The Students’ Code, originally named the Magna Carta for Students’ Rights, was first drafted in 2004.
Running for secretary, Journalism junior Carol Anne Balita said she aims to make some venues in the University, including the Quadricentennial Pavilion and Tan Yan Kee Building, more usable for students.
“Hindi [na tayo] papayag na maging masyadong mahal ‘yung binabayaran ng mga estudyante. […] Isipin din ng mga administrators na kung lalabas pa ‘yung students para humanap ng ibang venue para sa kanilang mga activities, hindi ba added risk din naman ito?”
Both running for PRO, Political Science juniors Jeremiah Pasion and Jan Krianne Pineda vowed to address the issues of sexual harassment and press freedom in the University.
Pineda said one of her platforms aims to protect Thomasians by tapping nearby barangays to create a “safe space” around the University for students, adding that UST’s current grievance system must be improved.
“Dahil alam natin na may grievance system ngayon, we should empower that to a greater extent, to a greater level, especially ‘pag nakikita natin naaagrabyado ang mga Tomasino,” Pineda said.
On the issue of fake news, Pasion said Thomasians should immerse themselves in communities outside the University to learn the truth first-hand.
“Alamin natin ‘yung tunay na nangyayari sa kanila. […] At isa po doon sa ating ipapanukala, ‘yung Thomasian community po ay lumabas din sa apat na sulok ng ating paaralan. Pakinggan po natin ‘yung malawak na masa at makiisa sa kanilang laban,” Pasion said.
CSC elections will run from April 11 to 21. The proclamation of winners is also on April 21. F LUIS MIGUEL B. ARUCAN