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Benilde Central Student Government moves forward with Interim Executive Board

The Benilde Central Student Government (CSG) released a memorandum on the results of the transitory Executive Board Elections, following the resignation of the previous CSG officers.

By Mikaela Amira Barrosa, and Victoria Mareposque | Sunday, 28 April 2024

Due to the resignation of former CSG President Editha Eunica Rose Dagsaan, and School of Diplomacy and Governance-School Student Government (SDG-SSG) President Patreece Abbygale Tan, and SDG-SSG ID121 Batch Representative Elizabeth Sakura Kakizak, an election for an Interim Executive Board commenced in January.


In a Facebook post made by CSG on Jan. 23, they announced the results of the transitory Executive Board Elections that followed the election for the Executive Boards overseen by the Benilde Commission on Election (COMELEC), held on Jan. 20. The voters were officers from the remaining CSG and active School Student Government Officers, namely School of Management Information Technology (SMIT) and School of New Media Arts (SNMA).


They conducted the votation with the result of the Interim Executive Board consisting of:

  • Joshua Jeridan Castro as Interim CSG President
  • Bien Carla Marquillero as Interim Vice President for Internal Affairs
  • Irish Cristobal as Interim Vice President for External Affairs
  • Yhanie Marie Magracia as Interim Vice President for Operations
  • Karel Czesley Mendoza as Interim Executive Secretary


In an interview with The Benildean, Center for Student Life Dean Mr. Levi Albania disclosed the reason for the previous CSG officers’ resignation.


“For S.Y. 2023 to 2024, the CSG officers were on hold over capacity until the next elections which weren’t held neither on the first term or second term, […] from the time they were hold [sic] over capacity waiting for the elections, both the former President and VP for Externals resigned due to academic load because they were preparing for graduation,” he explained.


CSG’s challenges

Meanwhile, the Interim Executive Board President Joshua Castro, Vice President for Internal Affairs Bien Marquiello, and Vice President for External Affairs Irish Cristobal shared with The Benildean initial challenges they faced from this transition, and their plans for the remainder of the second term.


Cristobal remarked, “I think napapansin nung iba na naging inactive ‘yung CSG. Matagal siyang naging inactive because of past CSG officers. Basically, ang naging active lang ay SMIT and SNMA, with SDG, at medyo nahirapan kami to lead the body since naging inactive na ‘yung higher ups namin and ‘yun yung naging pinaka-lead ng resignation nila.” 


With the same sentiment, Castro conveyed, “Pinasa sa ‘min ‘yung burden na walang maramdaman na CSG. Andoon ‘yung burden na ‘yun, and we understand that burden.”


As mentioned by Mr. Albania, it was noted that the former CSG officers' extended tenure resulted from COMELEC's failure to hold an election after their initial term. To overcome these challenges, the Interim Executive Board prioritized fostering dialogue and connections between students and administrators.


“Open dialogue to address, to hear the organization’s concerns on how the CSG can help them on moving forward […] communication din sa admin [..] communicate with the admins what students are facing, their problems, their questions,” Marquiello explained. 


Cristobal further added, “Nagso-source out or naga-ask kami sa mga ibang students kung ano ‘yung kailangang i-improve sa mismong school […] katulad sa [The] Generator namin right now kasi maraming gumagamit since it [was] midterms, nag-survey kami doon kung anong changes ‘yung pwedeng gawin.”


On the importance of maintaining communication with COMELEC during their tenure, Castro shared, “For us, naging important ang communication with COMELEC this year. Throughout the previous year, laging may gap ang COMELEC at CSG, ‘di lagi ‘yan nag-uusap [...] Now we’re on good terms, nakakapag-usap kami on [a] legal basis.” 


Plans for the community

When asked about their advocacies, the Interim Executive Board shared they are working towards furthering safe spaces in Benilde.


Castro shared the prompts behind it, stating, “When I realized na we have issues when it comes to safe spaces, may it be sexual harassment, online harassment, it became a prompt to me [as to how] we can promote a safe space in Benilde.”


He added, “How can we make sure na we create policies that are inclusive and are safe for everyone, and we give justice to those who don’t have justice?”


”A safe space for all the students, not just sa campus, kahit outside the vicinity of campus that they will feel safe […] ‘yung safe spaces [are] not just inclusive, but also safe for both men and women, and other gender[s] or sexualit[ies] as well,” Marquiello elaborated.


Additionally, CSG plans to bring back Benilde Eats during finals week so students have access to food without needing to leave the campus. “Under this term, we are trying to reach for a community pantry, which is Benilde Eats,” Castro said.


Looking forward

The CSG Interim Executive Board will last until a general election involving all students will commence in the third term of this school year. They are hopeful that the transition to the next set of officers will not mirror their own experience when they assumed their positions, as they are committed to ensuring a smooth handover of responsibilities. 


"By starting from ground zero this year, it will allow a smooth transition next year,” Castro said.


“The work of the CSG kasi it's not your typical organization work […] for someone who will run as a student leader, in any case, for the upcoming general elections, they should be flexible and willing to adapt […] the workload of the CSG is not for the faint of heart,” Marquiello emphasized.

Last updated: Sunday, 28 April 2024