[Written by Kristina Garcia & Pia Medina]
Unlike the previous years, wherein the organization celebrated February by holding EDSA week in commemoration of the 1987 People Power Revolution, POLIS worked with The Bosun and MMC to promote the POL ECO Month which gave importance to political milestones in the Philippines. This occasion was a month-long event comprised of activities aimed at giving the UA&P community a concrete idea of the nature of Political Economy. POL ECO month consisted of six major events that advocated the event’s theme: 2016 Elections: A Beginning of Change.
On February 1, POL ECO month’s opening ceremony commenced wherein the Political Economy and Juris Doctorate students gathered to support the event’s cause and success. The opening ceremony was marked by a speech delivered by Shay Juaneza, POLIS president. According to Shay Juaneza, “POL ECO month is celebrated to promote political and social awareness among the UA&P students.” Based on her speech, POL ECO month aimed to serve as an avenue to introduce politics, governance, and economics to the student population; another goal was to raise awareness about suffrage literacy. Pol-Eco Get Together was held next on February 13 wherein the students taking the course were invited to take part in occasion.
The Mock Elections followed and finger print shirts were sold as merchandise. Following the idea of social and political awareness, the mock elections aimed to encourage the university’s students to practice their right to suffrage. In line with the 2016 Elections, Political Thought students under Miss Gruet invited everyone to vote for the presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate they deem appropriate for the positions. They also wanted the students to be aware of the different platforms of each candidate through a mock presidential miting de avance and debate. In the end, the results of the mock elections showed that UA&P students, faculty, and staff who participated would like to support Miriam Santiago as the next president and Leni Robredo as the next vice president. On the other hand, the finger print shirts called the “Beginning of a Change” shirts were used as instruments to spread awareness about the 2016 elections in the campus.
The next event was the University Debate competition involving the following schools: CAS, SLG, and SSE. The project allowed the students to voice out their opinions regarding issues currently present in the Philippines and more. The finals of the University Debate competition occurred with the CAS and SLG schools competing for the winning title. Ultimately, the CAS debate team took the winning title.
On February 23, the Campus Challenge annually organized by POLIS took place with the theme Campus Challenge 3: Civil War, a sequel to EDSA Week’s 2015 Quiz Bee, Campus Challenge 2: The Battle Royale. Headed by Andrei Cabangon, the challenge welcomed all the students taking Philippine Politics and Governance under Sir Justin Akia and Miss Genalyn Aquino. The quiz bee served as a good avenue for students to increase their awareness about the workings of the Philippine elections. The challenge ended with the class under Sir Justin Akia reigning as champions of the night.
In hopes of reviving a magazine conceptualized by POLIS years ago, PERSPECTIVES: The Official Magazine of POLIS was on February 28, in partnership with Bosun. It featured research papers for major subjects done by some SLG students. These papers received high grades and were awarded as the best research papers done. The papers aimed to serve as a guide to the younger POL ECO students in writing their own papers. The magazine also served as a gateway to knowledge on political and international affairs. PERSPECTIVES is POLIS’ way of imparting their knowledge and views on political, economic, and social affairs to both the Political Economy students and the members of other schools.
To conclude Pol Eco Month, the Au Courant was held to give recognition to Political Economy students who made an effort to make POLIS an active and progressive organization. Special recognition was also given to those who have outstanding academic achievement.
Despite its low-key celebration, PolEco Month taught people the importance of taking part in the society’s political, social, and economic affairs. To describe it using Paul Ariola and Lorraine Doong’s words: “POL ECO month comprises series of activities organized by Political economy students, with the objective of enriching the political and economic environment of the University and promoting political literacy amongst the youth.”
POLIS’ celebration of the 2016 elections might have already ended but its message of the importance of the youth’s political, economical and social involvement is instrumental to invoking the change that society needs continues to be relevant. The members of the UA&P community are encouraged to preserve the advocacy of social involvement and it starts with knowing what truly matters.