“Gi-boto ba ko tungod kay nagatuo sila sa akoa, tungod kay dili sila ganahan sa akong kalaban, or tungod kay naanad sila kay Bahaghari ko?”
Next school year’s Samahan will again be headed by a Bahaghari member for the fourth straight year, as Industrial Engineering student John Chin has been elected as the new Samahan president. And these interesting recurrences trigger Chin to ask what could’ve fueled students to vote for him.
Chin said that he intentionally chose not to attend the official announcement of results, choosing instead to work as an Arrupe volunteer for NSTP fieldworks. Not until current Samahan President Mike Leyson called him did he know he won this year’s Samahan election with a total vote of 3, 071 over Piglasapat standard bearer Amara Abrina’s 1,340 votes and Buklat presidential bet Ivy Jean Tupas’ 214.
“It gives me more confidence that maybe, during my turn, a lot of students will support for me,” Chin expressed.
However, the over-all voters’ turnout, which comprises only of around half of the students, is saddening for Chin.
“Only half participated in the elections, how much more in the activities [next year]?” he said.
Working with Chin during next year’s Samahan Central Board will be Dexter Jake Villarosa and Karla Dominique Tiu – both from Piglasapat – as Secretary General and Treasurer, respectively. Like last year, this raised a question on how Chin will be able to work with two individuals from a different political party, given the alleged “rivalry” between Piglasapat and Bahaghari.
“Knowing na sa top three ako lang ang from Bahaghari, we have to be flexible with our plans. I’m open with their plans pero kailangan pud nato i-adjust sa plans namong tanan. This is one of the most diverse [Samahan] Central Board,” Chin said.
But for him, no matter where political party the officers come from, it would be difficult and challenging to serve the student body.
“In terms of political party, yes, naga-exist ang differences [in political parties and their members] and it’s something I want to eradicate in our batch,” Chin expressed. But he assured that he is confident with Tiu and Villarosa since he knew them since first year.
“I think the problem would just be in terms of coordinating with them, making sure that our plans are in one line, kay basin lahi diay mig priorities, dira na mi maglisod,” he added.
Chin said he felt pressured following the terms of three successive SCB presidents who all came from his party Bahaghari.
“It means na naay na-appreciate ang Ateneo community on how Bahaghari has led Samahan,” he said when asked about what could be the implication of Bahaghari presidential candidates being consistently elected for office.
But Chin also wanted to know if students voted for him because of his capabilities or because they just got used to the fact that for four years, the Samahan presidency has been filled in by someone from the same political party.
Nevertheless, Chin said he will do his best for the students to be satisfied with his performance.
For now, Chin is beginning to plan for what will happen during his term.
“I’ll start with community building, preparing everything for the next year,” Chin said, adding that at the end of February, they will be finalizing the committees, appointments, and other procedures.
He explained that he will also be consulting the newly-elected SCB officers regarding their plans for next year.
“Whatever I will be doing is really relative to the students. I will really make Samahan better. I just hope na sa mga nagboto sa akoa, dili sila magsisi sa ilang gibuhat but I will really do my best,” Chin said.