(As part of TNP’s election coverage and participation in Halalan sa Diliman, we are reposting articles published last year that analyzed the outcome of last year’s election results-Ed)
By Roehl Niño Bautista.
Originally published on March 10, 2009
The composition of the outgoing College of Mass Communication Student Council (CMC-SC) was a near stalemate between the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP and Interdependent Student-centered Activism (ISA), with the former bagging seven out of thirteen council positions.
“I personally think it is good, in a sense that no particular party would be dominating in terms of forwarding its ideologies and ideas,” said Jo Javan Cerda, CMC representative to the University Student Council (USC) and a member of ISA. “But regardless if it’s divided in terms of seats, I trust my co-council members enough that they will cooperate in every project and plan decided by the entire council.”
Despite the political rift in council, iCMC-SC chairperson Rupert Mangilit of STAND-UP said he’s sure that candidates from both parties ran to serve the students’ interest.
When STAND-UP was first challenged by ISA in 2007, the SC had a 7-6 division in seats.
The difference in political orientation of both parties was constantly noted then: STAND-UP said that they have “always been at the forefront of social issues” while ISA was against “activism that comes from just one group of students.”
Elections that year recorded a 55.96 percent turnout, or 629 of 1124 students casting their votes, the first time that more than half of the student population voted in recent years. Lourdes Portus, College Secretary and college electoral board chairperson said then that the feat was a record- breaking statistic.
The turnout spurt made a significant increase of 8.38 percent from the 2006 turnout. Since then, the number of voters has always exceeded the 50 percent mark.
STAND-UP shared the executive board positions with ISA which got the chairperson, secretary, and CMC representative seats. The former narrowly dominated composition of the department representatives.
The election for the incumbent council gave an 8-5 domination for STAND-UP who got all the executive board posts, a clear advantage for the party compared to their previous standing.
The year before the two-party system
STAND-UP was the sole political party in the college prior to ISA’s inception. But even then, the party didn’t entirely dominate the student council with six positions taken by independent candidates in the 2006 elections.
In the same year, most candidates ran unopposed, except for the CMC representative seat and for the three candidates who ran for the Broadcast Communication representatives position.
Micah Sulit, CMC-SC 2006-2007 Journalism representative who ran independent, said that the relationship of officers with each other “were okay”, and that then chairperson Melanie Pinlac from STAND-UP made a setup where “everyone’s voice counted.”
“Melai was fully aware of the almost-equal divide and she always respected it,” she said.
Voter turnout increase
Number of students casting their votes at CMC during the last elections slightly increased this year, with 655 out of 1144 or around 57.25 percent of the student population participating in this year’s election, slightly higher than last year’s turnout of 56.88 percent.
(With reports from Mark Anthony Gubagaras, Maria Ernica De Guzman, and John Paul Afable. Archived election story for TNP by Johanna Sisante and Kimberly Tan.)