Social Democratic Youth representatives visit DLSU to observe USG elections

Representatives from Akbayan Youth and Social Democratic Youth of Denmark (DSU) visited De La Salle University last November 16 to observe campaign week activities. In partnership with Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista (Tapat), the representatives were welcomed with a campus tour and witnessed the room-to-room campaigns that were ongoing for the University Student Government Special Elections.

The visit is part of a five-month collaborative program between Akbayan and DSU called Youth for Sustainable Change. The program comprises workshops and educational forums held in different universities to encourage youth leaders in solving local issues and campaign for human rights advocacies.



Partnership and strengthening

Belonging to the center-left of the political spectrum, the DSU, the youth party of Denmark’s Social Democrats, together with Akbayan Youth, pursued their partnership with Tapat based on their common stand for workers’ rights, freedom, and equality. Their Youth for Sustainable Change program aims to bring together youth leaders to share ideas and strengthen the different chapters of Akbayan across the country.

Cari Rasmussen, youth representative of DSU, shared that student involvement and student activism in politics are paramount to facilitating change. “Activism is a very good thing, especially in the situation that the Philippines is in right now. When you have the chance to vote, it’s important to do it,” she added. Rasmussen emphasized the importance of working with other organizations that share their ideals, citing that groups who identify as social democrats and democratic socialists have similar beliefs.

The representatives had earlier visited the University of the Philippines-Diliman as part of the program’s itinerary to help the participants get a perspective of Philippine universities and student life, as well as to prepare them for educational workshops they will be conducting throughout their program.

During the campus tour, Akbayan and DSU representatives met with Tapat officers and electoral candidates for the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, College of Computer Studies, and the Gokongwei College of Engineering to observe their campaign programs.

Aside from aligned organizations abroad, the Akbayan Partylist and the Akbayan Youth maintains relationships with other local student organizations, including Tapat, Union of Students for the Advancement of Democracy in Ateneo de Manila University, Unang Sinag Coalition from  the University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University’s Kadiwa Student Coalition, and the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines.


Voice of the students

Rasmussen shared her own experiences with being involved in student government, stressing the importance of student participation in school government in helping the youth realize their capabilities.

“When I was in High School, I was very active in the student movement. It is so important that students [in] school take responsibility with how the school looks. They have the biggest voice of how their school should look. It is really something we could put into the minds of the young people we talk to,” she elaborated.

Rasmussen commended the level of political involvement and campaigning conducted by both of the University’s political parties, expounding that it is important that candidates make themselves available to the students since they play an important role in bettering student life.

“It can be seen that [school policies] will take a lot of work to get into. The whole role of a youth politician in the school is to facilitate between the students and the [policy-making bodies] of the school and try to make it easy for [the students] to have a voice, even if [they] aren’t politically active,” she concluded.

Gershon De La Cruz

By Gershon De La Cruz

Ryan Lim

By Ryan Lim

Leave a Reply