Candidates debate on school issues online, vie to win spot in student government

The Alliance of Lasallian Youth (ALAY) Leaders party, Empowering Lasallian Involvement Towards Excellence (ELITE) party, and four independent candidates conducted online campaigns to advocate platforms on transparency, equality, and budget allocation for student’s welfare through the online Student Government (SG) Tapatan, May 23.

(Screenshot from SG Tapatan online stream)

Amidst the high probability of transitioning to online classes for the next school year, ALAY and ELITE presidential candidates laid down their plans for conducting activities and student engagement online. 

When we unite, even though not in person, pwede tayong lumakas. […] We’re going to ask the students what they want pa rin, [be it in] online class or [the] new normal,” said Karl Tolentino, ELITE executive president candidate. 

On the other hand, John Mark Declaro, ALAY executive president candidate, reiterated their mindset of prioritizing student concerns despite the challenge of the new normal.

“Ang mindset [namin ay] magse-serve kami sa students, mapa-school man [o] mapa-online man ‘yan kasi ang SG ay dedicated for the students and hindi kami for the institution,” Declaro stated.

Tolentino and Declaro then addressed the issue on their leadership style when asked about SG’s concerning lack of urgency in responding to students’ grievances.

“As part of the current student government, nakita ko kung ano ‘yong mga lapses namin. […] Alam ko na ang mga kailangang i-adjust in terms of urgency, communicating [with students], and other things [because we already know] how the student government should work,” Tolentino said.

Declaro also reiterated his time and experience in office which he said will be useful in carrying out his plans and addressing criticisms on SG’s sense of urgency.

“We are aiming for flexibility [and] efficiency kapag may narinig kaming concerns. Nagkulang man kaming SG ngayon sa sense of urgency, […] we are not aiming for perfection, we are striving for progress,” Declaro claimed.

On the debate portion of the program, some of the student viewers voiced out their sentiments.

“Undecided pa rin ako kasi parehong partido ay determinado sa kanilang minimithi para sa students,” Jeanne Loren Reyes, a first-year BS Legal Management student, said.

Juan Paolo Reyes, a first-year AB Communication student, shared his opinion on the candidates’ high-sounding statements.

“Puro flowery words ‘yong ginagamit nila, at the same time, mayroong mga kandidato na parang nawawala sa ipinupunto nila. Imbes na tutumbukin na ‘yong sagot, naliligaw pa rin,” Reyes said.

Seychelle Pulanco, a graduating student from BS Industrial Engineering,  pointed out the Tapatan’s small number of participants that could affect the SG Halalan.

“Kakaunti ang ma-e-encourage na bumoto kasi kakaunti ang nakakita kung paano sumagot at lumaban ang candidates. Maaaring kung sino lang ang kakilala ay ‘yon na lang ang iboto,” Pulanco said.

SG Halalan is accessible from May 25 until Jun. 8. College students may cast their votes through http://tiny.cc/SGHalalan2020.

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