June 13, 2024

Only 12 out of 41 students qualified for candidacy in this year’s Student Government (SG) elections from the long-running partylist, Alliance of Youth (ALAY) Leaders, with yet again no competition from any rival political party or independent candidates for the second consecutive year.

In the official list released by the De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) Commission on Elections (Comelec) last April 23, there were originally 14 running candidates, however, only 12 remain after the two students running for the executive president and governor of the College of Nursing (CON) council withdrew their candidacy.

The number of this year’s candidates is less than half of the 38 from last year’s elections, highlighted by the vacant positions of the president, vice president, and executive PRO.

In an interview with Alyza Reign Camacho, the DLSL Comelec Chairperson, she expected that there would be another partylist and more students were going to file for candidacy, also pointing out that student engagement plays an important role in the turnout of the list of candidates. Camacho said that the vacant positions will be appointed by the highest seating officer in the SG and will undergo the same qualifications as the elections.

“We assumed kasi last year na kaya siguro isa lang [na partylist] is because students were afraid kasi […] we were still in the transition from our online setup to face-to-face […] we were very disappointed na kahit ngayon na settled down na tayo […] isa pa rin yung tumatakbo na partylist,” said Camacho.

The College of Information and Technology and Engineering (CITE) lacks candidates for its executive council and coordinators for computer engineering, computer science, architecture, industrial engineering, and entertainment and multimedia computing. 

Furthermore, there are vacancies for the governor, secretary, finance manager, and coordinator roles for all programs under the College of Business, Economics, Accountancy and Management (CBEAM), except for business administration.

In contrast to last year’s complete lineup for the College of International, Hospitality and Tourism Management (CITHM) council, no candidates will be running for governor, vice governor, finance manager, and coordinator for tourism and hospitality management. The CON also has vacant positions for governor, vice governor, finance manager, and representatives for each year.

Meanwhile, the sole candidate running under the College of Education, Arts, and Sciences (CEAS) is the position for vice governor.

Camacho further said that she believes there is a disconnect with students and student leadership, emphasizing that to encourage more students to file for candidacy begins with the influence and responsibility from those already in position to empower future leaders.

“I hope na kahit recurring yung ating candidates, maging active pa rin tayo in researching [about] them, tingnan kung sino sila, yung mga platforms nila, ano yung mga plans nila for us, for the next term,” Camacho said.

Moreover, the absence of an opposition and the low pool of candidates did not come as unexpected to students like Mariya Angela Ensina, a second year marketing management student who expressed her disappointment that grades are still a basis to become a leader, referring to Comelec’s requirement of having a grade no lower than 2.75 to qualify as a candidate. 

Ensina also shared that the negative feedback from students towards the SG in the past years has become a factor in discouraging aspiring student leaders from filing for a position.

“It’s super frustrating to see the same names pero very ineffective naman when it comes to representing us, the students. They were given a whole academic year to take action, dalawang semester ‘yun to prove themselves, pero wala man lang kaming nakita na pagbabago tapos lalaban ulit sila? I don’t think they need one more year,” said Ensina.

As per DLSL Comelec’s timeline of events, the ongoing campaign period for the SG elections will end on May 16. The candidates will also be answering various questions and concerns from the student body and different DLSL organizations in Tapatan 2024 which will be held at the Sentrum on May 17 and will be livestreamed on Lavoxa’s official Facebook page.

The voting period will commence from May 20 to 21 and the results are expected to be released on May 25.

 

Article by Jannaya Barrion 

Reports from Roy Tracy Andal

 

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