Six of seven bets decry ‘oppression,’ withdraw from UST CSC polls

Art by Riana Laurice Fajardo/THE FLAME

ONLY ONE aspiring student leader remains in the running for a post in the UST Central Student Council (CSC) after six out of seven bets withdrew their candidacies due to the supposed “suppression” and “oppression” in the University.

A memorandum released by the Office of the Central Commission on Elections on March 20, Wednesday, said the six candidates filed their withdrawal via e-mail.

The candidates who backed out from the student elections include incumbent Artlets Student Council (ABSC) president Timothy John Santiago,  external-vice president John Matthew Enriquez and secretary Hannah Patricia Calara.

Computer science sophomore Josh Kenn Viray, business administration student Hanah Lauren De Leon and Fine Arts and Design SWIS student Francine Tuazon also withdrew from the polls.

First-year medical technology student Stephan Aseron, who is running for CSC auditor, is the sole candidate left vying for a position.

‘Principled stand’ 

In a joint statement, the six students said they have decided to withdraw from the CSC polls to protest UST’s prevailing system that they claimed was built on “suppression” and “oppression.” The system targets its students, student leaders, student organizations and other stakeholders, they added.

“It is now evident that we are vying for positions where we are prevented from fulfilling our duty of representing our fellow students and providing the Thomasian community with the service that they deserve,” the statement read.

“We find ourselves compelled to take a principled stand against participating in a system resistant to reform.”

The former candidates also complained about the University’s supposed “dire” status in handling overall student rights, and campus media censorship.

“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.

The six students also expressed hope that “genuine” reform would encapsulate the values of the University.

“[W]e call on our fellow students and student leaders to no longer compromise their principles, and to no longer give up on their dreams and vision of a better student experience by refusing to participate in a dysfunctional and oppressive system,” they added.

Last Feb. 6, eight students filed their certificates of candidacy, including Faculty of Arts and Letters Board of Majors speaker Mike Corrubias, who had withdrawn his candidacy earlier. F – Shayne Lee Andreas Macaraeg

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