Maskom forgoes special elections due to lack of candidates

The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) will resort to appointing officers to resolve eight vacancies in its student council as no candidate ran in the local special elections.

This decision was agreed upon by the CMC Student Council and the College Student Electoral Board (CSEB) to speed up the process of completing the council.

The local special elections announced on Sept. 26 were supposed to fill in the following vacant positions incurred from the regular student polls last May: vice chairperson, secretary, and representatives for the broadcast communication, film and journalism departments.

Meanwhile, the five independent candidates for the other positions were elected to the student council.

Read: Independent all-women slate takes over CMC student council

Apart from holding a special election, the only remedy provided by the 2014 UP Diliman CMC Student Constitution to address vacancies is to appoint the candidate who garnered the next highest number of votes.

However, this provision is inapplicable in the case at hand because the vacant posts in the council had zero candidates during the regular elections — an issue that was also observed in other schools and colleges in UP Diliman this year.

Read: #HalalanUPD2023: Kakulangan sa tumatakbong kandidato para sa mga tatayong lider-estudyante

“Kaysa maghintay na makapag-extend ng filing, we, the council, alongside with the CSEB, decided to move forward with the appointment,” CMC SC Chairperson Kiara Gorrospe said in an online interview with Tinig ng Plaridel

The council, however, noted that the appointment process is only a “remedial measure” and is not meant to replace the election process.

In line with this, the CMC SC drafted guidelines for the appointment of officers, subject to the approval of the CSEB.

“‘Yung appointment process hindi kasi siya explicitly accounted sa CMC constitution kaya nahirapan kami mag-decide o maglatag kung paano uubra ‘yung appointment,” Gorrospe added.

Appointment guidelines

Under the proposed appointment guidelines, students who intend to “apply” for the vacant posts must have a good academic standing and a regular academic load during the appointment. They must also be not proven guilty in any disciplinary case of any act involving moral turpitude.

Aspiring officers must also submit a letter of intent to the CMC SC and the CMC Council of Representatives (COR), alongside their curriculum vitae and plans of action.

The CMC COR is a local consultative body composed of leaders and representatives of student formations in the college.

The applicants will then undergo an interview, followed by a deliberation led by the CMC SC and the COR. Both activities will be conducted on the same day and be made available to the student body.

Following the deliberation, the CMC SC and COR will forward their recommendations to the CSEB for processing and verification. Once finalized, the appointed officers will be sworn into office.

While the CSEB has already reviewed the appointment guidelines, Gorrospe admits that the lack of manpower in the council has caused delays in resolving the comments and suggestions of the electoral board in their proposal.

As of the moment, the appointment guidelines are not approved and final as the student council is yet to submit a revised copy.

Para magkaroon ng formalized appointment procedures, kailangan [muna] namin i-resolve ‘yung edits and kailangan maglaan ng oras at efforts, which at the moment is difficult for us to do,” Gorrospe said.

In the meantime, the council members appointed Communication Research Representatives Jocel Duero and Emili Joy Capule as acting vice chairperson and secretary, respectively.

All currently elected CMC SC members are also working with the local Freshies, Shiftees and Transferees (FST) Council to connect with students of other departments with no representatives yet in the student body.

On Oct. 15, the college’s FSTs elected a complete set of officers for their own council.

Read: Maskom FSTs elect first complete council after 2 years

According to Gorrospe, the appointment process is expected to be completed before the start of the second semester.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tinig ng Plaridel is part of the CMC Council of Representatives. However, the publication is excluded from all meetings and proceedings concerning the appointment process.