Students gathered at the Roxas Grounds yesterday to witness one of the main events of this year’s Samahan Central Board elections, the debate between the two candidates for the student government presidency. Moderated by Ms. Ria Danielle Lumapas from the ADDU Law School, Kurt Sabate of the Bagong Samahan party and Mike Leyson of Bahaghari tackled important questions from both the moderator and the student audience.
Though the event was delayed for about half an hour due to rain, many supporters from both Bahaghari and Bagong Samahan flocked the venue to listen to the clash of the two candidates.
The first part of the debate was focused the candidates’ platforms and relevant issues in the campus. The moderator’s questions focused on the lobbying of the student’s concerns, addressing of the university issues, accountability and transparency of the respective division/department, maximizing school facilities and services, and dealing with the impeding tuition fee increase of the campus.
In the issue on addressing of student concerns and services, Sabate said, “We want to identify student concerns on a more personal level. We want to know directly from them their concerns are, and their issues.”
On the other hand, Leyson said, “On the maximization of student services, these are one of the services that students would really like to avail of, one of which is to intensify the information dissemination. How? Let us tap the different activities within the university.”
The moderator then challenged the two candidates to elaborate on three important issues of the school. Sabate said that he will address the issue of apathy among students, promoting activism and participation in the student activities, and strengthen the Ecoteneo program. Leyson said he wants to address the raising of student concerns, the reforming of the SAMAHAN constitution, and the reduction of student apathy.
The next part of the debate was focused on the questions from the student audience in the open forum. The questions were about the leadership potential of each presidential candidate, added information about their platforms, the challenges for the new SAMAHAN government, and establishing trust between students and the student government.
The upcoming SAMAHAN elections will be held from January 29-31 at the Thibault Grounds.