ABSC hopefuls to focus on student welfare, inclusivity amid pandemic

SIX ASPIRANTS for the Artlets Student Council (ABSC) positions vowed on Thursday to heighten student inclusivity and enrich the student welfare as online classes continue.

The candidates presented their platforms and engaged in a mandatory debate during the “Miting de Avance: Online Sagupaan 2021” led by the Faculty of Arts and Letters Commission on Elections (AB Comelec), with the AB Board of Majors as panelists. 

DEKADA’s bet for vice president (VP)-internal Josea Dimasuay said that his platform “Student Centered Distance Learning Guidelines” would let the Artlets’ involvement in the dialogue regarding their experiences on distance learning.

The grievances will be directed to the concerned institution for necessary actions, but prioritizing students’ concerns would not mean invalidating the administration, said Dimasuay. 

Dimasuay urged the Artlets to reach out to ABSC and to be participative in the possible events. He assured that the incoming projects will allow student participation.

Meanwhile, independent VP-internal candidate Julliana Flores highlighted her platform “Sama sa Masa,” a community development project that involves student participation through donation drives. 

However, UST Sociological Society President Sandy Fernandez questioned this initiative as it may duplicate the existing UST Simbahayan, the University’s community development project.

“Sama sa Masa is a community development project, it shall not duplicate the efforts of Simbahayan. With this platform it is more on the active initiative of the students,” Flores said.  

Kim Dacanay, DEKADA’s lone candidate for secretary, presented “Athena’s Calendar” that aims to keep the Artlet community updated on the ABSC events to amplify students’ interest to participate in the events.  

Communication Arts Students’ Association President Martin Alcantara called Dacanay’s platform “The Secretary’s Handbook” redundant and questioned the need for the platform as no student will publish their own event. 

Dacanay cleared that the handbook would make the information accessible to students and a way for Artlets to view how papers were processed in an online setting. 

‘Yung mga nasa handbook is ‘yung how to file a LoA (Leave of Absence) at iba pang personal concern ng students,” she said.

Alcantara advised Dacanay to revise and redefine the platform as it is too vague. 

Lone candidate for treasurer, Jiego Tagaban under DEKADA, emphasized his project “LoNA” that aims to provide continuum education for less fortunate Artlets. 

Tagaban said that his platform will provide internet promos for 50 Artlets students who are experiencing internet connectivity problems.

“[To clarify], by using a verification system and asking for parental verification we will be able to verify [who are at most risk], as it aims to focus [on students who are] at the most risk of internet connectivity problems,” Tagaban said.

DEKADA’s bet for public relations officer (PRO), Joshua Peñales vowed to spread information about important announcements and events through his platform “Knowtify.”

In problems of internet connectivity, he considered text blasts to make sure that all students would receive the information. 

“We will make sure that it will reach PRO from ABSC and PRO from each class,”  Peñales said. 

Independent candidate Francesca Ventanilla, running for PRO, said that with her platform “Pag-ABiso,” she can strengthen the relationship between her and the other organizations to practice accountability and democracy of both ABSC and other organizations.

Ventanilla also stated that through her platforms 3Cs, “Connect, Cultivate and Collaborate,” she would improve the relationship between the ABSC and the Artlets.  

AB Comelec Chairperson Fatima Francisco urged the Artlet community to vote for leaders who have the capability to lead.

“Having a proper leader is especially important during these unprecedented times,” Francisco told The Flame through email.

The campaign period will run until May 7, while the elections will be held on May 10 to 12 and May 14 to 15. F

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