To heighten Lasallian awareness of and participation in the upcoming 2016 national elections, a student sector meeting discussing the future plans for a University wide campaign Boto Lasalyano, Sulong Pilipino (BLSP) was held yesterday, May 23, at the Henry Sy Sr. Hall.
BLSP was launched in time for the 2001 senatorial elections and has since been a continued activity in the University held every elections season. In 2010, the program received wide coverage through a youth forum held in DLSU that allowed students to ask questions about sensitive topics to the presidentiables.
This year, the campaign aims to tap various student organizations to help create the activities in line with the program’s objectives. According to BLSP Vice Chairperson Patrick Kahn, the BLSP is envisioned as “an objective and platform-based education program.”
Kahn also emphasized the importance of the youth’s participation in the upcoming 2016 national elections. He explained that since citizens aged 18 to 35 years old compose around 51 or 52 percent of the nationwide voting turnout, the youth has a very important role to play in the elections.
Phases of action
For this year, Kahn stated that the BLSP will involve several key performance indicators to gauge the “clear and measurable impact” of the several events lined up for the rest of the academic year, summed up in four phases.
BLSP Chairperson Mae Mae Gonzales explained that the phases of the activity are long term in nature. She stated that the BLSP’s efforts for the national elections will be present the whole academic year.
Pram Menghrajani, also a vice chairperson of BLSP, explained that for Phase 1: Voter Registration, the committee will obtain data from the Office of the University Registrar in order to contact students who are unregistered but eligible voters and encourage them to register for the elections.
The effort is in conjunction with the national Commission on Election and the University Student Government’s iRehistro, a project held every term to reach out to students who wish to register as voters.
Phase 2: Voter Education calls on different student organizations in the University to participate in creating activities that can increase student awareness of and participation in the national elections. Admittedly, this phase will take the longest to materialize, said Menghrajani and Gonzales.
Weeks before the national elections slated for May 9, 2016, Phase 3: Mock Elections will be held by the BLSP. The program aims to engage at least 80 percent of the undergraduate student body who are eligible to vote.
Phase 4: Lasallian Volunteerism will encourage students to participate in different activities in line with monitoring the elections.
Kahn stated that the BLSP is an endeavor for the University student sector to move from personality politics to issue- and platform-based politics.
Social media launch
BLSP Promotions Director Janel Tumpalan said that the program will be launched online through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter tonight, May 24.
For more on BLSP, read their primer.