University Student Council (USC) elections in the University of the Philippines (UP) were hotly contested these past two months as rival parties and individual candidates vied for positions in its various campuses across the country.
The UP system has 6 physical constituent universities, namely UP Diliman, UP Manila, UP Los Baños, UP Baguio, UP Visayas, and UP Mindanao, and 1 autonomous college, namely UP Cebu, which each have a University Student Council representing the students in the said campuses.
Previously held a month before the end of the school in February, this year’s USC elections were held in April because of the academic calendar shift in the UP system which had classes ending in May for the school year 2014-2015.
The UP Diliman USC elections featured a 3-way fight between the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights (STAND UP), Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA), and UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (ALYANSA).
The month-long electoral campaign in UP Diliman, marred by allegations ofblack propaganda, vote-buying, and other dirty tactics, concluded last April 23 with a big win for ALYANSA. The party gained 16 of the 35 USC seats, including the chair, vice chair, 8 councilors, and 6 college representatives.
STAND UP took 10 positions, with 3 councilors and 7 college representatives while KAISA only got 3 college representatives in the incoming council.
ALYANA’s John Paulo delas Nieves took the USC chairpersonship after garnering 5,130 votes in the elections. STAND UP’s Miguel Enrico Pangalangan was a far second with 3,979 votes while KAISA’s Zaira Patricia Baniaga only got 804 votes.
The contest for the USC vice chair was a close fight with ALYANSA’s Adolfo Jose Montesa winning over STAND UP’s Potre Leila Menchani Tilendo by only 17 votes. Montesa got 4,222 votes while Tilendo got 4,205. KAISA’s John Arvin Buenaagua finished last with 986 votes.
The USC elections in UP Baguio, the national university’s northernmost campus located in Baguio City, was split between the parties Alliance of Concerned Students (ACS), Alternatibong Katipunan ng mga Mag-aaral (AKMA), and Campus Alliance for Dedicated and Unified Action (CADUA).
No one party secured a clear majority in the UP Baguio USC elections. AKMA gained 4 seats, including the posts of the chairperson, vice chair, alongside 2 councilors. However, CADUA took 5 councilor seats while ACS only got 3 seats.
AKMA’s standard bearers Yves Medina and Lance Garcia are incoming UP Baguio USC chairperson and vice chair respectively.
UP Los Baños
The Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan (SAKBAYAN) party won a simple majority over Buklod-UPLB in the UP Los Baños University Student Council (UPLB-USC) elections. SAKBAYAN gained 7 seats over Buklod-UP’s 5 seats in the USC.
Despite getting fewer seats, Buklod-UP won the chairpersonship with the student party’s Ronald Gem Celestial (2,502 votes) winning over SAKBAYAN’s Romina Angeliz Marcaida (4,499 votes) by a slim margin of 3 only votes.
SAKBAYAN’s Yvan Curtis Zuñiga won the vice chairpersonship with 3,110 votes. Buklod UP’s Jon Elijah Miguel Tetangco garnered 2,024 votes.
A third party, the Movement of Students for Progressive Leadership in UP orMOVE-UP did not field any candidate in this year’s race after 2 years of failing to win any position in the USC.
The Alternative Students’ Alliance for Progress-Katipunan ng mga Progresibong Mag-aaral ng Bayan (ASAP-KATIPUNAN) dominated the UP Manila USC electionsas took the chair, vice chair, and 3 councilor seats in the contest.
Also in the UP Manila USC are 2 councilors from Bigkis ng mga Iskolar Para sa Bayan Tungo sa Makabuluhang Pagbabago (BIGKIS) and 2 other councilors who ran as independents, Cherry Ann Lindayag and April Joy Baldovino.
ASAP-KATIPUNAN’s Cid Ryan Manalo took the chair position with 1,373 votes while BIGKIS’ Hanna Cayabyab garnered 1,138 votes. For the vice chair, ASAP-KATIPUNAN’s Ana Pholyn Balahadia got 1,671 votes as opposed to the 927 votes of BIGKIS’ CK Yao.
Unlike in other constituent universities in the UP system, the UP Visayas USC officers are not elected at-large as one slate by students from all the colleges of UPV. Instead, students get to elect 2 USC representatives during the college student council elections.
Each of UPV’s 5 colleges and schools is represented by 2 USC representatives. These are College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), and School of Technology (SOTECH) in Miag-ao, Iloilo; College of Management in Iloilo City; and Tacloban College in Leyte.
Because of the distance separating UPV’s satellite campuses from the main campus in Miag-ao, the elected USC representatives get to meet each other and select officers like the chair, vice chair, etc. only after the conclusion of the elections in the local colleges.
The SC elections in CAS, UPV Miag-ao’s biggest college, was dominated by the Sandigan ng Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan (SAMASA) which won 10 of 13 seats.
SAMASA’s standard bearers Jude Mangilog and Henio Pajarito won the positions of chair and vice chair, respectively. The Partido sang Mainuswagon nga Bumulutho (PMB) got the remaining 3 seats.
SAMASA’s Stephanie Lucena and PMB’s Paolo Santos are the 2 USC representatives from the college. The student council elections in CFOS and SOTECH are not contested by the 2 big student parties in the Miag-ao campus.
Iloilo City Campus
The student council in the UPV College of Management, Iloilo City is divided between winning candidates from Katilingban ng mga Aktibong Kabataan para sa Bayan (KAAKBAY) and Pangkat Lingkod Bayan (PALABAN).
KAAKBAY got the top position with Isabelle Mirasol winning the position of chairperson. But PALABAN won 9 of the 16 student council seats, including the posts for the 2 vice chairs in the persons of Kyzel Dagdag and Aserina Baladjay.
The two parties got one USC representative seat each with KAAKBAY’s Malik Angelo Mariano and PALABAN’s Sean Oliver Ortencio.
Tacloban City Campus
The Pulso han Mag-aaram won a landslide victory in the UPV Tacloban Collegestudent council elections by winning 14 of 17 seats. The opposing party Kalayaan Lakas para sa Bayan Lihok Mag-aaram or KLM got the remaining 3 seats.
Pulso han Mag-aaram standard bearers Joshua Sagdullas and Aljun Angeles won the posts of chair and vice chair, respectively. Pulso han Mag-aaram also took the 2 USC representative seats in the persons of Brenz Marion Cabagsican and Alfonso Alex Labrague.
Previously a satellite campus of UP Visayas, UP Cebu became an autonomous college in 2010. The UP Cebu college student council subsequently became independent from the UPV-USC, needing no more representation in the said body.
The Union of Progressive Students (UPS) won 8 seats while the Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante (NKE) won only 6. UPS’ Justine Balane won the race for the chairpersonship while NKE’s Vince Dingding won the contest for the position of vice chair.
A group of 6 independent candidates, including aspirants for chair and vice chair, also coalesced to contest the student council election but did not win any position.
People United to Lead, Obey and Serve UP Mindanao (PULOS) dominated theUSC elections in UP Mindanao, the state university’s southernmost campus found in Mat-y, Davao City.
PULOS won 9 of 13 seats in the UP Mindanao USC, including the positions for chair and vice chair in the persons of Leah Lisette Aying and Pierre Giuseppe Gilles.
The rival party Alyansa ng mga Aktibong Kabataan ng UP Mindanao (Anak-UPMin) got the remaining 4 seats in the council, including 2 councilors and 2 of 3 college representative seats.
Each of the constituent universities’ local colleges also held their own college student council elections. UP Diliman have extension programs in Pampanga and Olongapo which also conducted their own local student council elections.
UP Manila likewise have Schools of Health Sciences in Palo, Leyte, Aurora, and Koronadal City, South Cotabato which also have their own respective local student councils.
Note: I wrote this roundup for thepoc.net.