The Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP) will maintain its control of the University Student Council (USC) after its standard-bearers Latrell Andrei Felix and Mary Sunshine Reyes were elected as the next USC chairperson and vice-chairperson, respectively.
Felix, who is an incumbent USC councilor, defeated UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kanluran’s (UP Alyansa) chairperson candidate Jaira Del Mundo. Likewise, STAND UP's Reyes, who is USC’s current secretary-general, secured a decisive victory for the vice chairperson post with 4,767 votes, beating UP Alyansa's Tristan Rafa.
While the University Student Electoral Board (USEB) decided to extend the voting period for a week, this year’s elections recorded the lowest voter turnout since 2009. Only 8,446 out of 23,910 students, or 35.32 percent of the electorate, participated in this year's student council elections. This year’s turnout is 10.86 points lower than the 46.18-percent turnout last year.
Only three UP Diliman (UPD) colleges–Asian Institute of Tourism, College of Business Administration, and UPD Extension Program in Pampanga and Olongapo–recorded a majority turnout. The College of Engineering, which has the largest share of the electorate on the campus, even failed to breach a 30-percent voter turnout.
“Umaasa ako na ang mababang turnout sa USC elections ay hudyat hindi ng pagkawala ng interes ng mga mag-aaral kundi ng kabawasan sa nararamdaman nating mga kontradiksyon,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Louise Jashil Sonido. “Sa halip na internal na pagsasalungat, ang malawak na kaisahan ng mga estudyante ang naging matingkad sa multiple election season na ito.”
STAND UP also swept all 12 councilor seats in the USC. The candidate who garnered the most votes in the councilor race was Ma. Kristine Adriano with 4,351 votes.
UP Alyansa, meanwhile, only managed to win college representative posts in the College of Music, College of Education, and the School of Economics. Independent college representative candidates also won in the College of Engineering, College of Home Economics, College of Science, National College of Public Administration and Governance, School of Statistics, and Technology Management Center.