April 14, 2009. The day after the KASAMA sa UP (Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP) National Council Meet was the GASC’s (General Assembly of Student Councils) Student Regent Selection deliberations at the CFOS (College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences) Auditorum of UP Visayas, Miag-ao.
I forget how many exactly were the student councils who were represented in the assembly, around thirty-three, I think. As I’ve mentioned, there were only two of us who were nominated to the GASC. Me, from UP Diliman, and Chaba from UP Los Banos.
The deliberations started off with an individual presentation of our vision for the office, and our programs of action–platform, if you may call it that. Then, it was grill-time, with both of us in front answering the same set of questions alternately. It was amusing at times since we were responding to the issue-based questions with relatively the same answers, which was no surprise since we are both from the militant political parties in our respective campuses. There were also personal questions, and questions which were deliberately and hilariously out-of-this-world.
After the first grilling, it was lunch time. Chaba and I were isolated from the rest of the assembly, so as not to tarnish the integrity of the student councils’ votes, apparently. So the both of us had lunch in a separate table with our chaperon. An hour after, the entire campus was on black-out, so the assembly was called off till electricity came back.
To kill time, we walked from the CFOS Auditorium down this concrete path to the beach, where we stared into the ocean for around an hour. Several members of some student councils did the same thing and played on the sand.
By 3 PM, the assembly resumed. It was then time for the individual grilling, and it was Chaba who went first. While she was being questioned by the assembly, I had to be isolated so I was taken around by our chaperon for the day. I was able to catch a half-hour nap at the Executive House, too.
After almost two hours, it was my turn. I was grilled for around an hour and a half. Honestly, and I hope you understand, by that time my reservations and doubts about the entire Student Regent thing came back. I wasn’t supposed to say it out loud but eventually when a colleague of mine posed the last question, “how would you feel if you don’t get chosen as Student Regent?” I just had to answer it honestly. I said, well, definitely hindi ako malulungkot. Short of saying matutuwa ako, I said I’d focus on law school and still take part in various student campaigns. Then I blurted off something about me being prepared but still wanting of commitment and passion to perform the duties of a Student Regent. I added, in Tagalog, that I’d not be any less confident with Chaba as Student Regent, as the outgoing Chairperson of the UPLB University Student Council, her experiences with their repressive administration equips her very well for the position. Bang told me I shouldn’t have done that, I practically wrote myself off and threw in the towel right before the student councils made the vote. I don’t know, perhaps I should’ve maintained the candidate-facade, but I was just being honest, couldn’t help it.
It was dinner time after the grilling, then it was the unit caucuses of the student councils. Chaba and I were again isolated from the rest of the assembly. I was able to catch another nap at the Executive House before we were ushered back into the auditorum for the announcement of the vote.
Eventually, the GASC unanimously selected Chaba as the Student Regent to represent the students in the University’s Board of Regents. Right after the announcement, we immediately got into business and Chaba, as the incoming Student Regent, had her first consultation assembly with the GASC.
[Photos by the Manila Collegian]