Written by 8:00 pm Opinion

Espejo will Win but That’s Not Enough

As the third day of the ECA General Elections wrapped, the BEACON released an exit poll to assess what the average Atenean thought of the candidates they voted for. The survey was able to reach 80 students from various academic organizations and year-levels.

The results showed that 46% of students were dissatisfied with the performance of the previous El Consejo Atenista. An additional 36% felt ‘apathetic’ – neither satisfied nor dissatisfied – with the past term. Only 18% of students were satisfied with ECA’s progress last year.

 This should not surprise anyone. For most, the Consejo has been an office that failed to be visible. Only a few would know who the current President is, much less the programs under her administration’s care.

And yes, before someone complains about me being unfair again, let’s be clear: To some extent, the Consejo tried its best to get out there and introduce itself. If only it could actually live up to its potential and the promises it made last year.

The Consejo and its defenders can offer a lot of reasons to try and shift the blame. “Ah, it’s because voters just don’t care.” Perhaps, they might say: “We have our mistakes, but it’s not completely our fault.” Honestly, maybe they might even try to blame it on BEACON.

We think BEACON should help spread information about ECA statements, instead of sharing disinformation and exaggerations.” Please, the only hurdle stopping ECA from helping students would be itself. The tragedy is that they can’t stop being their own worst enemies.

My sarcasm aside, here’s a reality check for a self-destructive ECA – When 8 out of 10 Ateneans believe you failed to be relevant in their lives, it’s time to be honest with ourselves. There’s no one else to blame for Consejo’s failure but the Consejo itself.

The good news is that BEACON’s exit-poll also shows that the next ECA President and Vice-President will enter with high approval ratings.

When asked whether they were satisfied with your choice of candidates for the said positions, a majority of 54% responded positively. Only 16% of students were dissatisfied with the candidates with 30% just apathetic of the race.

Assuming the best, Espejo will enter office as a popular President, drawing strength from the Education Academic Organization she used to lead as Governor. Whoever wins between VP bets Cea and Aizon, either one will rely on voters who voted them in.

Via Mariz Espejo, President-presumptive, will inherit a Consejo heavily distanced from the lives of ordinary students. While she will have the power to put into motion policies only a few can stop, she will also face an Ateneo who easily forgets.

When 5 in 10 Ateneans are satisfied enough with your candidacy – when they believed your promises and agreed with your platforms – you are under the greatest pressure to deliver. Espejo seems ready to face the challenge, but didn’t Tawasil look that way too?

With the entire campus fixating on the Consejo and thinking of what its future will look like, student-leaders must not freeze or flee at the first sign of danger. It must have the courage to pursue policies for the real transformation of students’ lives.

It is not enough to settle for sweet words and nothing more. It is not enough to speak strongly on the podium. It is not enough to be popular in our small niches. What the previous Consejo forgot is that being student-leaders requires actual leading and not dawdling around.

Leading means sacrifice. It means work. It means proving yourself.

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