Elections for the freshmen of DLSU began with their campaign period last July 30, with Iisang Tugon sa Tawag ng Panahon (Santugon) and Alyansang Tapat sa Lasalista (Tapat) vying for a decisive win.
More than a hundred aspiring candidates have been fielded to get a slot for the elections, the results of which will be out on the 23rd of August.
Gab Andres, President of Tapat, states that both parties were not fully prepared since the schedule for the elections this year was earlier than usual. Certain activities had to be merged to fit the time frame.
He says that expectations were set for August 6 but instead the campaign period started on July 30. Andres furthers that usually they were given four weeks to prepare, but this time it was only two and a half weeks of preparation time.
Josel Delorosa, Executive Vice President for Santugon, says, “The dates were given late. Time is our [greatest] enemy in the process of screening the candidates.”
Despite experiencing consecutive setbacks in the past elections, Andres mentions that Tapat is now improving in all aspects. They are currently focusing on their marketing strategy, conveying their platform effectively, and making their message clearer to the students.
“As much as possible, we’d want to find new ways on how to answer the issues that we have in our society. But then our principles and our ideologies would always stand strong amidst all the controversies, amidst all the issues,” he says.
“For the frosh elections, we have a team to market the candidates and at the same time, we have the team to make all the publicity, all the videos, all the platforms, and all the paraphernalia that we would be needing that can be used.”
Maintaining the winning streak
Santugon has been relatively successful during the past elections, and the party is adamant in continuing its accomplishments in securing positions in the USG.
“For us, it is a matter of continuing what we have been fighting for at the very start, which is the student body. We always see the need, [and we believe] that the student government is all for the students,” shares Ikee Tolentino, Outer Core President for Santugon.
“It is both the platform and the person who executes the platform. We see the need of student leaders who are competent enough to execute the platform, and of course, we continue to live by our brand of leadership and our vision which is empowering Lasallians for better citizens.”
Ysabella Villacorta, Deputy President for Santugon, adds, “You can also say that the challenge for us is [to show our ideology to] the freshmen because they are new in the university. [We want to show them] that the Santugon leadership and the school is the one that is trusted and been trusted for 27 years.”
On the other side, Tapat is expecting the students to question and understand what they are fighting for. Centering itself on social issues, the party’s platform aims to educate the students on present issues and to propose solutions.
“Our campaign is a form of trust. It has become our legacy. We don’t really bank on the number of wins, but we bank on the change that has happened here, [as well as outside] De La Salle University,” says Andres.
For Santugon, the biggest achievement would be students realizing that all of the party’s candidates are ready and equipped to serve them. “Expect that this election would be full of passion from the candidates, as a well as [from the party],“ states Jojo Pugeda, Santugon President.
The results of a survey conducted by The LaSallian found most respondents who have a party feeling very strongly about their party and supporting it.
One respondent shares, “I expect the results to be fair and the students to really know who they’re voting for and understand their platforms.”
Another mentions, “I expect development after [the elections]. All the things that the elected officers promised the students [should] really be implemented.”
On the other hand, a certain respondent felt otherwise, seeing the entire process as superficial. “It’s a lot of [nonsense] with fake smiling and afterwards, candidates will forget your name once they’ve been voted.”
Another respondent mentioned, “I actually expect it to be biased. I don’t think our batch would pick the right ones for the job.”
14% of the respondents have decided not to vote in the FE elections.