No bets left for UST CSC polls after lone candidate for auditor withdraws

All candidates backed out of the 2024 UST Central Student Council election. Art by Riana Laurice Fajardo/THE FLAME

THERE ARE no more candidates seeking posts in the UST Central Student Council (CSC) after the remaining bet for auditor backed out of the student body polls.

Medical technology freshman Stephan Aseron filed his withdrawal via e-mail on Friday, March 22, according to a memorandum from the Office of the Central Commission on Elections.

Aseron backed out of the poll two days after six candidates, including three Artlets, dropped out from the race due to the supposed “suppression” and “oppression” from the UST administration. 

In an X post, Aseron said he was uncertain whether he would carry out his platforms under an administration that he claimed is carrying out “repressive policies.”

“But now, I realize that without concrete plans by the administration to expedite reforms in the policies in place, the repressive system would continue and the council would solely have their roles reduced to becoming mere event organizers instead of being the active voice of the studentry,” he said. 

Arseno argued that although the student council is just a small part of UST’s representation system, its vacancy poses a problem. He cited the need for a dialogue to safeguard students’ freedom and welfare. 

“The vacancy only underscores the fact that there must be direct representatives from the students in the decision-making bodies of the university, especially for tuition and other fee increases, academic policies, policies for student organizations and local student councils, and all student-related policies,” he said. 

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, March 20, the student body candidates who withdrew their candidacy, namely, Timothy John Santiago (president), Matthew Enriquez (vice president), Hannah Calara (secretary), Hanah de Leon (treasurer), Josh Viray (auditor) and Francine Tuazon (public relations officer) said their move was meant to protest a “system resistant to reform.”

“Amidst the controversies plaguing the University, particularly concerning the issues of campus media censorship, red-tagging, the suppression of democratic rights and student welfare, and the entrenched bureaucratic system, we have rendered that meaningful change within the existing system is elusive,” they said. F – Trisha Tamio

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