By Shara Cayetano
Clashing responses on the autonomy of the Freshies, Shiftees and Transferees (FST) Council left students with more questions than answers at last night’s Hot Off the Grill, the official miting de avance of the College of Mass Communication (CMC).
Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP CMC (STAND UP CMC) chairperson candidate Beata Carolino said that the FST Council is autonomous and independent, and should remain so.
“Sila yung talagang nakakaalam kung ano yung nangyayari sa environment (nila). Guided sila (ng student council) pero hindi ibig sabihin binibigyan sila ng mandate ng student council (They are the ones who know what is really happening in their environment. They are guided by the student council but that doesn’t mean they will be given mandates),” Carolino said.
However, Interdependent Student-centered Activism (CMC ISA) chairperson candidate Mari Arambulo defended the incumbent council, saying that the FST Council’s non-autonomy doesn’t strip them of their freedom. She asserted that making the FST Council autonomous would create an overlap in roles, since the latter’s role is solely to help new CMC students make the transition into the MassComm community.
“Nandoon ang SC para i-guide sila; mas may experience (ang SC). Kapag naging independent yan, kailangan ng sariling constitution (The student council is there to guide them, they have more experience),” said Arambulo.
The issue came up when some FST Council members complained about the policies imposed on them by the incumbent CMC student council (CMCSC).
STAND UP and ISA proposed varying plans for the FSTs next year, with ISA focusing on batch projects and STAND UP focusing on educational discussions.
Differing views on defining activism also prevailed in last night’s talks, already an age-old debate between the parties. CMC ISA is pushing for student-centered activism, believing that there are different forms of activism people can pursue. STAND UP, on the other hand, asserts that student mobilization is the most effective means of achieving change.
Both parties, however, said they put a premium on student consultations and for representation.
The campaign period officially ends on Wednesday, 5 pm. Elections are set on Thursday, February 27, from 8 am to 7 pm.
(This article was earlier published in Botong Isko 2014, Tinig ng Plaridel’s special election primer. Read it here.)
For full disclosure, candidates who are part of the Tinig ng Plaridel staff have been asked to file a leave of absence from their duties to the publication from Feb. 3 to 27. Carolino, Calanog, Gloria, Reysio-Cruz and Jordan have taken a temporary leave.