By Franz Jonathan de la Fuente and Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Elizabeth Enriquez, ex-officio USEB chair, issued Memorandum No. ELE-11-05 changing the date of the elections to Feb. 17, one week after the original date of Feb. 9.
Article VI Section 1 of the University Student Election Code states that the USEB, which facilitates the university polls, “shall determine the day of the USC Elections, provided that said elections shall be held not later than the first week of March.”
Other pertinent dates in the electoral calendar have also been moved one week forward. The official campaign period starts on Jan. 31.
The same changes apply for the College of Mass Communication (CMC) electoral calendar. Candidates have until Wednesday, Jan. 19 to file their candidacies at the Administration Office.
With Enriquez, a broadcast communication professor, as USEB chairperson, the outgoing USC must nominate two faculty members and two students to the USEB.
However, USC Chairperson Rainier Sindayen and vice chairperson Fermina Agudo were criticized by Dr. Oscar P. Ferrer, Office of Student Affairs coordinator, for their delayed submission of the USC’s USEB nominations, allegedly causing the confusion in the electoral calendar dates.
“Hindi usapin dito ang mga pangalan ng (kasapi) ng USEB, dahil ang usapin dito ang paghahanda para sa USC elections.” said USC chairperson Rainier Sindayen.
“Mineet na kami ng OSA at OVCSA para sa electoral calendar. Nung nakita namin yung final date, nagulat kami. Paano ito naaprubahan? Kaya nag-appeal kami para maextend,” Sindayen said. “Masyadong maaga ang Feb. 9.”
With the original date, the campaign would have begun on Jan. 24, only three days after the mid-term week starting Jan. 21, according to the University Academic Calendar AY 2010-2011.
“We want to maximize student participation. Paano naming ito magagawa kung tatama ang campaign sa University Job Fair (Jan. 25-28) at UP Fair (Feb. 15-19)?” Sindayen asked.
Agudo said voters and candidates alike wouldn’t have time for the election campaign because of expected academic requirements during mid-term week. “Hindi papayagan ng mga professors ang mga RTRs (room-to-room campaigns).”
“The USC and the students shall be very busy,” said Agudo. “Liliit yung space for students para maexpose sa principles nang lahat ng parties kung napaaga ang election.”