By Patricia Tamayo
First of all, kudos to Salimbay! I’ve been riffling through the various posts in the Philippine Collegian’s Facebook page for hours, trying to find even a hint of an update with regards to the outcome of the election in AIT. Sadly, the search was futile and the effort, in vain. But this ain’t a pity party. In fact, having read the results from our very own, very reliable, and, truth to tell, very tireless college newsletter was a reason for veritable pride in itself – especially since we all are aware of the fact that Salimbay’s diligence in bringing the AIT students not only news and issues, but also critical viewpoints and reasons for reflections during this entire election period goes unparalleled.
I didn’t want to get to this point, but someone must ask the question out loud: “What is up with the 100 Abstain votes versus our-now-AITSC-Chairperson, Christine-Joy Boller?” With the 50% + 1 rule, she nearly missed the post, only managing to hang on to it because of some 14 votes (There were 228 voters. In order to be rightfully elected, a candidate needed to obtain a minimum of 115 votes.). With this many Abstain counts, one cannot be blamed for saying that, somehow, people are not satisfied.
A 70.59% voter turnout – if 228 students went to exercise their voting rights yesterday, 95 did not. One may say that this isn’t bad at all, considering that this percentage is 5% more than last year’s, but we must admit, we can do better. A single ballot can tip the scales to either side, spelling the difference between a candidate’s victory or defeat. Thinking of how things could have gone the other way if those 95 just took the less-than-five-minutes moment to click on the names of the candidates they believed in, or Abstain, for that matter, makes one wriggle in agitation. This is precisely one of the reasons why we could not straightforwardly deny the claims with regards to the student body’s apathy. It might not be fair to generalize, but heck, elections are a big deal – a make or break situation. Not thinking about the implications of an uncasted vote is one hell of a way to show your desire to make AIT progressive.
Mulling over the numbers, if one is curious and concerned enough to do the math, there is both joy and sorrow, yet again. Adding up the respective Batch Representative votes and those who turned thumbs down on the candidates by deciding to Abstain, we see the Per Year Level Turnout as follows:
Freshmen ~ 28
Sophomores ~ 43
Juniors ~ 51
Seniors ~ 228 – (28+43+51) = 106*
What exactly do these numbers tell us? That there exists an inversely proportional relationship between year level and indifference? Or is this already a manifestation of how ineffective the supposed-to-be representatives and chosen candidates are in mobilizing the studentry? It pisses me off to even ask, but are there still misguided individuals who think that not voting is the correct way to showcase their displeasure in both the candidates and the system?
There are 139 Seniors in the college. 106 of us voted – 106 of us who have but a month (or semester) left to spend in the institute. Ah, the irony! But I guess if these statistics are indeed reflections of the “batch leaders”, a tip of the hat to JC Danganan and the rest of the 4th year SC members is in order. We could only hope that whoever ascends the throne, so to speak, can prove to have the same amount of credibility, passion and determination – enough so that he/she might be able to bank on the unadulterated trust and support of the entire AIT community.
Last night, the USC election results went viral. Although we’re only used to seeing yellow in the institute, blue reigned supreme inside the campus. Heart Diño bested her three opponents, including our college’s bet, Shaina Santiago. I’m quite sure that practically all of us had a tiny portion of our hopes crushed, even those who didn’t actually vote for Shaina. Somehow, somewhere deep within, we wished there’d be a miracle – this was, after all, our college’s shot at being taken for granted no longer.
*According to Prof. Paolo Fresnoza, included in this figure are those whose student numbers are 2008-XXXXX and earlier. This is despite their current standing (i.e. they are identified as seniors but are actually in the lower batch)