DISSATISFACTION WITH a candidate’s platforms is just one of the factors that would make a voter consider other options in a ballot. But what if the other candidates still seem unfit for the position they are running for in the student council?
The voters would rather opt to abstain or rendering ballots void for a certain position might be the answer.
This was the exact scenario that happened in the previous polls that led to the mass abstention not only in the Central Student Council (CSC) but also in the Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC), where only four out of the seven positions were filled.
In the ABSC, the candidates for vice president-internal, secretary, and auditor lost to 678, 766, and 671 abstentions, respectively.
With the issue that arose after former CSC presidential candidate Steven Grecia and former ABSC vice president-internal bet Daniella Frigillana contested the legality of abstain in the ballots, the principles of the candidates—and even those who are already elected in their respective positions—have become heavily scrutinized by the electorate just as much as their proposed projects.
This proved that the abstention was not a result of mere apathy on the platforms of the candidates, but rather the students had become more critical in their votes and had set the standards higher for the kind of student leader they want.
During the special elections in the Faculty, only two out of three vacant positions were filled after void ballots for the position of auditor outnumbered the votes obtained by the sole candidate for the position, resulting—for the second time—in another special election to be held this October.
Although it may be alarming that half of the semester has already gone and the executive board is still incomplete, this sends a certain message to the next aspirants. Artlets are never complacent and contented with what is presented to them. Setting political parties aside, the candidates have to offer fresh platforms that are not really part of their work as mandated by the ABSC Constitution.
The candidates who believed that being a member of the Student Council’s executive board is one of the best ways for them to serve the other students, must see things through the perspective of an ordinary student to be able to identify, and later on cater, to the best interests of the Faculty.
Now that Artlets had already chosen the students who met their standards of a true student leader, the real challenge for the new officers has just begun. They have to occupy the void which functions were shouldered by the officers who were elected in the April student elections. The elected officers in the special polls have already proven themselves once during the campaign period. But now that they are in the position, they have to work harder to prove that they deserve to be where they are now as student leaders.
The special election would also compel the first elected officers to work on with their delegation of tasks to be able to work and function in unison with the newly-elected officers to meet—or even exceed—the expectations of the people they serve.
For the second special election within the semester, the keenness of the Artlets with student leaders poses greater challenge for the next set of candidates to convince their fellow students, who look beyond witty campaign speeches, that they are the right person to fill the void.
Artlets work and cooperate with the ABSC but they would also question its projects from time to time not to have something to pick on, but to test the capacity of our student leaders and for the betterment of the Council and the Faculty. F
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