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Celestial, Olivar officially take their oath as USC chairperson, vice-chairperson for A.Y. 2022-2023

They are joined by councilor-elects from SAKBAYAN. Incoming college student councils also took their oath, streamed live in the councils' respective Facebook pages.

The University Student Council (USC) took their oath Thursday, May 26, streamed live via the council’s Facebook page.

The SAKBAYAN slate that took their oath as the new USC is led by Chairperson Gean Marie Celestial and Vice-Chairperson Mark Gio Olivar. They are joined by councilors Carla Ac-ac, Julian Louis Bonza, Gian Arnold Catangay, Anne Margrett Dolar, John Athani Famador, Arvi Charlize Pascual, and Justin Glenn Salayog.

In the Miting de Avance conducted last April 13, SAKBAYAN highlighted the fight for education and democratic rights, pushing for a nationalist, mass-oriented, and scientific education system (READ: Celestial, Olivar elected as USC chair, vice chair in 2022 USC-CSC elections; USC-CSC elex candidates share platforms in TAPATAN Forum, MDA).

Meanwhile, five of the eight College Student Councils (CSC) have already taken their oath, streamed live via the CSC’s respective Facebook pages.

CAS SC. The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) SC for A.Y. 2022-2023 held their oath taking ceremony last May 19 via Zoom.

This is the second consecutive academic year where the college’s student council officers took their oath under the remote learning setup, according to previous CAS SC Chairperson Benjie Gallero in his opening remarks. Gallero stressed their term’s historic inauguration, being the first set of officers who were elected under the online setup.

He also mentioned that the newly-inaugurated set of council officers are set to face new campus-wide and country-wide issues and emphasized the need to answer to their duties as students who will soon contribute to the welfare of the society.

Magiging challenging ‘yong tatahakin ng inyong [CAS SC A.Y. 2022-2023] termino at sana magsilbing aral ang mga nagawa at hindi nagawa ng termino ng CAS SC A.Y. 2021-2022 […] Huwag kakalimutan na isaalang-alang palagi ang kapakanan at representasyon ng sangkaestudyantehan sa ating kolehiyo at kapakanan ng kapwa mamamayang Pilipino,” Gallero concluded in his remarks.

[“Your term will be challenging and I hope the actions we did and did not do in the CAS SC A.Y. 2021-2022 will serve as lessons to you […] Always remember to consider the welfare and representation of the student body in our college as well as the welfare of the Filipinos.”]

Led by CAS Dean Dr. Maribel Sese, the new CAS SC took their oath, headed by Chairperson Karl Lorraine Garcia and Vice Chairperson Luis Rellosa.

In her closing remarks, previous CAS SC secretary-general and incumbent chairperson Garcia thanked the CAS administration and expressed her anticipation to closely partner and coordinate with them. She also thanked her slatemates for their hard work and effort and urged them to work together to serve the student body with all their capacity.

Lastly, Garcia expressed her gratitude to the students and vowed to be their “CASama and CASangga through thick and thin”. 

Garcia added, “We assure you of a student council that is proactive. We assure you of a student council that is courageous, […] and when the going gets rough, you will see us in the frontlines standing with the masses, fighting for our collective rights.“

The Facebook live of CAS SC’s oath-taking can be accessed here.

CEM SC. The College of Economics and Management (CEM) SC took their oath last May 23.

In her opening remarks, former CEM SC Chairperson Margarette Destreza shared the challenges that their slate faced, being part of the first set of UPLB student councils that completed their term in an online setup.

Ang masasabi kong pinakamalaking accomplishment ng term namin as CEM SC is natapos namin ‘yung term na ‘to sa online setup, kasi very new ‘to […] To my fellow outgoing officers, give yourselves a pat on the back,” Destreza said.

[“Our biggest accomplishment as CEM SC is that we were able to finish our term in an online setup, because this was a very unfamiliar situation.”]

Addressing the incoming CEM SC, CEM Dean Agham Cuevas assured that the college will extend their utmost support and help to CEM’s new student leaders.

Following the address, the new CEM SC took their oath, led by Chairperson Charlyn Joergette Triñanes.

In her address, Triñanes said that coordination with the UP administration still continues, in order to ensure the safe return to face-to-face classes.

“As it is not an easy feat, we would like to ask for your patience, while you have our assurance that preparations are in place para mayro’n pong proper transition from the remote learning setup to the next learning setup na i-a-adapt,” Triñanes assured.

The Facebook live of CEM SC’s oath-taking can be accessed here.

CFNR SC. The College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) SC took their oath last May 19.

In his opening remarks, CFNR Dean Marlo Mendoza emphasized that the university’s and the CFNR administration’s main goal and “reason for being” is to produce responsible and quality students with utmost love for the country.

“For me and as part of my administration, sila college secretary, sila associate dean, it’s very clear to us that we really have to make sure that our reason for being – ng ating kolehiyo, ng ating unibersidad – is to produce quality students. Hindi lamang quality, but responsible and may puso para sa bayan,” Dean Mendoza said.

[“For me and as part of my administration, with the college secretary, associate dean, it’s very clear to us that we really have to make sure that our reason for being – of our college, of our university – is to produce not only quality students, but responsible students with a heart for the country.”]

Following the opening remarks, incumbent CFNR SC Chairperson John Laurence Reyes led the oath-taking along with the new council.

To address the incoming CFNR SC, outgoing CFNR SC Shanaia Raagas encouraged the student leaders to strengthen the calls for prioritizing students’ rights and welfare.

Bilang mga lider estudyante, marapat lamang na ating gawing prayoridad ang students’ rights and welfare, maging ang kahalagahan ng patuloy na pagsusulong ng mga kampanya at hinaing, o student demands sa bawat araw na tinatahak natin,” Raagas said.

[“As student leaders, it is only right for us to prioritize students’ rights and welfare, and recognize the importance of continuously forwarding campaigns, grievances, and student demands every day.”]

In their address, Reyes intensified the calls for a safe, gradual reopening of face-to-face classes.

Sa pagsisimula ng bagong termino ay mas palalakasin at palalawakin natin ang iba’t-ibang kampanya natin, lalo na rito ang ligtas na balik eskwela at no student left behind para sa ligtas na gradual reopening ng mga paaralan,” Reyes highlighted.

[“To begin our term, we will intensify and expand our different campaigns, especially the call for the safe return of face-to-face classes and the call for the safe and gradual reopening of schools, so that no student will be left behind.”]

The Facebook live of CFNR SC’s oath-taking can be accessed here.

CHE SC. The incoming College of Human Ecology (CHE) SC took their oath last May 16.

In her opening remarks, incumbent CHE SC Chairperson Chelsea Sison recounted their service to the college with the challenge of operating online. She recognized that there is a greater challenge ahead as she concluded with a quote by Vice President Leni Robredo.

Hindi na lamang pandemya ang kalaban ng mga estudyante, mga guro, at mga mamamayang Pilipino, pero pati na rin ang banta sa sariling nating kasarinlan ng ating bayan. Hindi magiging madali ang mga susunod na taon, pero sabi nga nila, ‘When we stand for what we believe in, and we are ready to sacrifice our personal interests, we can make the impossible possible.’” Sison said.

[“The students, teachers, and Filipinos are not only fighting against the pandemic, but we are also facing the threat to our nation’s freedom. The following years will not be easy to face, but like what others say, ‘When we stand for what we believe in, and we are ready to sacrifice our personal interests, we can make the impossible possible.’”]

Incoming CHE SC Chairperson Eleazar Jose Barnuevo addressed in his speech the current threats especially towards students, highlighting that as iskolar ng bayan, they will continue to actively protest against it.

Makakaasa kayo sa ubos-lakas na gagampanan ng konseho ng mag aaral ang mandato nito para isulong ang mga panawagan ng mga estudyante, ng ating kolehiyo, at mamamayang Pilipino,” Barnuevo said. He also hopes for a good relationship among the council and administration to effectively carry out their responsibilities. 

[“You can expect that the student council will exhaust all efforts to fulfill its mandate to forward the calls of students, of the college, and of the Filipinos.”]

CHE Dean Ricardo Sandalo brought up in his closing remarks being a student at the time of Martial Law calling for the reestablishment of student councils and eventually becoming the CHE representative. He offers his administration to be open to the students and said that he would appreciate hearing their concerns. 

Gusto ko na rin buksan o ulitin ang aking pag-offer ng pagiging bukas ng aking administrasyon sa College of Human Ecology… Magiging bukas ang inyong lingkod para mapag usapan natin lagi ang ating tinatawag na ‘One CHE family’.”

[“I would also like to open the offer on the continuous welcoming of my administration to the College of Human Ecology… It will remain open to your service so that we can always discuss on what we call ‘One CHE family’.”]

Sandalo emphasized the challenges that the UP community is facing and believes that they should engage more with the masses. He calls on the students to know the people that they will be serving and make them realize that they are not enemies. 

The Facebook live of CHE SC’s oath-taking can be accessed here.

CVM SC. The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) SC took their oath last May 16.

In her opening remarks, former CVM Chairperson Therese Elaine Lomeda advised that the incoming CVM SC must continue fighting for pro-student campaigns. She highlighted that one of the most successful campaigns during their term was the fight for “VetMed is Med”.

Napakaraming kampanya at programa ang napagtagumpayan namin sa aming termino. Pinakamatagumpay ang ating kampanyang ligtas na balik-eskwela at ‘VetMed is Med’, kung saan ipinaglaban natin ang ating karapatan sa de-kalidad na edukasyon, at face-to-face classes sa gitna ng pandemya,” Lomeda said.

[“Our term has succeeded in forwarding many campaigns and programs. Some of our biggest successes was our campaign for the safe return to face-to-face classes and the call ‘VetMed is Med’, where we fought for our rights for quality education and face-to-face classes amidst the pandemic.”]

(RELATED STORY: VetMed students intensify #LigtasNaBalikEskwela calls as A.Y. 2021-2022 begins; CHED recognition leads to ‘new campaign heights’)

CVM Dean Jezie Acorda assured that the management and the student council will continue to work together to address various concerns within the college.

This was followed by the oath-taking of the new CVM SC, led by Chairperson Em Indunan.

Aming kinikilala ang mga hamong dala ng terminong ito. With the raging political climate, pandemic, the threats and damages brought about by ASF [African Swine Fever] and bird flu – all of these only strengthen our call for the safe return of [face-to-face] classes,” Indunan assured during her address.

The Facebook live of CVM SC’s oath-taking can be accessed here.

This article will be updated after the respective oath-taking ceremonies of the newly-elected student councils of the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology (CEAT), College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS), and College of Development Communication (CDC). [P]

Reports by Aron Sierva, Yani Redoblado, Pierre Hubo, and Charleston Jr Chang

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