Practice makes character. What one habitually does becomes the definition of one’s character.
Starting this week, green and blue posters have taken their places in bulletin boards as the university’s two opposing parties try to win the student body’s attention, trust and vote. Silliman University is one of only a few schools in the country which has two long-standing parties that compete against each other for the student government elections.
The Concerted Actions for the Upliftment of Students’ Endeavors (CAUSE) and Students’ Union for Reforms (SURE) have been coveting for the majority of the SUSG positions for decades now.
There is nothing wrong with competition. Let’s face it; nobody gets anything in real life unless it is fought for. Man, by nature, is not only a political animal – but THE political animal. However, it is not the fighting that’s usually wrong. It’s how the fighting is done.
For the past years, political mudsling has become a “habit” by both parties. It matters less who starts throwing dirt at one’s personal lives. What matters more is that candidates and their political elders should always bear in mind that student politics is our training ground for the real world. And if this is the kind of leaders – backstabbing, black propaganda ninjas and gossip girls – that we are molding today, what kind of society are we shaping for in the future?
Silliman is an institution oozing with intellectual and idealistic people. So instead of being a “miniature” of the circus that is Philippine politics, why don’t we try to get that clown out of ourselves and be good examples to our elders instead? We always criticize about immature, corrupt and unjust offcials in our humanities subjects. Hopefully, we do not become the very thing we wish to destroy.
Let us not spoil fresh and good tomatoes inside the basket of a rotten system.
Yes, this is just student politics. But the big one starts here. How can we expect a transparent and good government when the campaign and elections are full of dirt and mud already? It’s hard to beat a chaotic system if both parties are not willing to beat the worst in them.
Both parties talk about good causes and reformations. But they, most of all, should ask themselves: Am I the one who needs to be reformed? Does earthly victory weigh more than the principle and good cause that I should be fighting for?
Second, elders of both parties should leave the work to the students. CAUSE and SURE elders should always remember that this is STUDENT politics. Yes, you are allowed to guide and advise your little brothers and sisters. However, they are not your puppets. If you think that they really are brilliant, if you trust them the way you sell their trust to the students, why don’t you let them decide and work for themselves? It is not a beautiful sight to look at student politics intervened by “veterans” in the political arena. Let us know our place. This is their battle now.
Lastly, students should be more engaged in the elections. Know your candidates. Vote for your leaders.
Students mostly say that the reason why they don’t vote is because they get sick and tired of the verbal crossfires between CAUSE and SURE. But that’s just a lame excuse. You’re always complaining about this and that, but what have you done? You want a better Founders Week? More projects to get involved with? Then do something! You are part of the problem. Your apolitical/apathetic attitude is the reason why you’re always complaining. Start acting. Listen to the miting di avance and know who you are voting for.
When election day comes, remember that it’s not just a matter of party. It’s also a matter of personal background, platform and intention. The future of SUSG 2013- 2014 starts with your decision. Practice voting wisely. It defines your character.