by Bryan Ezra Gonzales
The UP College of Fine Arts Student Council will continue to be led by the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP) after its slate won Thursday all 10 local council posts and the College Representative to the University Student Council (USC) position.
STAND UP’s bets will occupy the positions of chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, treasurer, public relations officer, all four councilors, and studio arts representative.
Incumbent Fine Arts councilor and STAND UP bet for College Representative to the USC Ana Patricia Non won by a landslide with 202 votes against independent candidate Paul Armand Bañez, who garnered 33 votes. Bañez was the only other candidate not from STAND UP.
No candidate ran for Visual Communication Representative. According to College Secretary and College Student Electoral Board Head Prof. Jamel Obnamia, the post will remain vacant throughout the term,
Last year, STAND UP dominated the local council elections and won 7 posts in the local council, ending the dominance of the Facilitators of Educational Development Uniting People (FED UP), local arm of Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA) which lasted for two years.
FED UP was not able to field any candidate for this year’s elections.
Upon the official closing of voting, the college recorded a voter turnout of 38.06 percent, lower than last year’s turnout of 44 percent.
Obnamia said that this year’s election period was relatively peaceful.
“There were no tensions and disputes because only one party was running,” said Obnamia.
But Obnamia added that despite the peaceful outcome of the local elections and the absence of major interruptions and glitches during the voting, only a few students filed for candidacy and less students participated in the actual voting.
“The campaign period was not that felt because only one party sought positions in the council. Student participation was not so good because some students didn’t have major classes during the day. If we only had two days allotted for the election, then students with Wednesday and Friday classes in the college can participate in the voting. Because those who don’t have classes in the college and have classes elsewhere are discouraged from going to the college to vote,” added Obnamia.
Meanwhile, the local council’s newly-elected chairperson, Augustus Patacsil, said that he plans to implement income generating projects which help rehabilitate the college’s facilities.
“We lack facilities and the primary reasons for such problems in the University are the budget cuts. And as a student council, we’re going to have to look for ways to generate income,” said Patacsil.
The new local council will focus on education and research, initiate fitness and health activities, and continue the programs of the past council.