Student Council candidates laid down their plans and advocacies during the Meeting de Avance (MDA) 2021 conducted by the SC Committee on Elections and Center for Student Leadership and Development, November 19, 2021.
The Meeting de Avance began with introducing the candidates and the declaration of their platforms for the student body.
"Leadership is not just about attaining your objectives but also assisting others to achieve theirs. One of the platforms that I would like to implement is the free printing station. I know with that simple thing, we can help our students who are struggling financially," said Jayson Tabal (IND), a presidential aspirant from the College of Teacher Education, stressing one of his platforms if ever he wins the SC highest post. He also pointed out his other plans, such as mental health awareness and student empowerment.
On the other hand, Usana laid the party's platform, forming the acronym SECRET. This is composed of plans, such as Sakloload, support among students who need internet through sim loads; strengthening the Educational activities, particularly in creating webinars relevant to the students; interpersonal empowerment through Center for Student Leadership and Development; enhancing the Recreational activities and Extension programs. She even emphasized continuing the incumbent council's "The Echoes," where students can share their thoughts online, especially concerning their academic and personal issues.
The first round of MDA was entitled "Pick-a-Hashtag," where each candidate would have to elaborate a specific random hashtag in one minute.
“Alam po natin na ang information ay napakaimportante para sa ating lahat. Kaya naman lahat ng mga impormasyong dini-disseminate natin ay tama. Bilang isang leader, kinakailangan ang ibinibigay nating impormasyon ay may proper at reliable sources,” stated Jon Bon Scottie Bautista, aspiring Auditor from the College of Health Sciences, in giving his thoughts on #FreedomofInformation.
Harris Rubang, one of the moderators, put the College of Pharmacy Representative aspirant, Rainier Castaneda in the hot seat with the question, “Sa tingin mo may mga pagkukulang ba ang last year’s Student Council? Kung mayroon, ano ang mga ito? Paano mapapantayan o mahihigitan ang kanilang mga nagawa?”
Castañeda answered the question straightforwardly, "Napansin ko na they're lacking about raising some awareness in breaking the stigma [on HIV/AIDS and mental health awareness]. Hindi ko sila tataasan or papantayan. I am here not to compete but I am here to inspire other people and share the knowledge and wisdom that I have."
I will still promote my #BreakTheStigma campaign on HIV and mental health awareness in our university. Because school is a prominent avenue to raise these concerns," he added.
The two presidential aspirants, Tabal (IND) and Jediah Usana (Supreme Party) engaged in a face-to-face exchange of views about the question from the Comelec Secretary Sidjay Paulino, “Naging successful ba ang ating gobyerno sa pagtugon sa pandemya?”
Tabal said in his opening statement, “Noon palang na sumailalim tayo sa lockdown ay medyo na-lessen at na-control ang pagkalat ng virus. At sobrang saludo po ako sa pagtugon nila sa bakuna dahil naniniwala ako na kailangan natin ito para magkaroon tayo ng immunity,” channeling his affirmation to the government’s pandemic response.
On the other hand, Usana expressed her impartial views about the matter, “Thankful ako sa mga magagandang bagay na nagawa ng gobyerno ngunit ang mga pagtugon na ito ay kanilang responsibilidad para sa bansa. Naniniwala pa rin ako na dapat noon palang ay meron na silang konkretong plano sa pandemyang ito.”
Moreover, the last round of the MDA 2021 was the X's and O's, where SC aspirants were asked if they agree or not to the 10 national and local issues, including pandemic response, divorce, minimizing the age of criminal liability, face-to-face-class, death penalty, and among others.
The SC Elections 2021 is expected to commence on November 22-24, 2021, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on November 25, 2021, from 8:00 am- 12:00nn through an online voting system. The UCUSC-COMELEC Chair Junard Beltran encouraged the students to practice their right to suffrage and cast their vote on said dates.