A Closer Look on Classroom Campaigning
With the coveted 2019 SSC elections just around the corner comes the equally intangible room-to room-campaigning by all the SSC hopefuls. At one point or another this election period, we have probably encountered these close-up and even personal interactions by these SSC candidates. These ingenious campaigns usually start off the same, with one or two members of the political party poking their heads along classroom hallways and politely asking the teacher or facilitator for a few minutes of their time to engage the Carolinian electorate. The members then take the platform and elaborate on their individual plans and activities for the Carolinians.
Classroom campaigning is a recognized form of election campaigning since it promotes the election of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office. Paragraph 1, Section 9, Article IX of the 2014 USC SSC Election Code explicitly provides for room to room campaigns to have permits with the original signature of the COMELEC Chairman to be presented to the instructor by the candidate or political party for the purpose of the room-to-room campaign. Likewise, Paragraph 2, Section 9, Article IX of the 2014 USC SSC Election Code clearly states that room to room campaign shall be limited only to fifteen (15) minutes unless the teacher/instructor permits an extension.
Truthfully, these simple and unambiguous COMELEC guidelines for room to room campaigning are easily skirted and eluded. The best example would be the inability by the political parties to present mandatory original Comelec-sanctioned permits upon the start of their campaign. Another shining example is when the classroom campaign goes significantly beyond the 15-minute limit and political parties abuse the extension granted by the instructor. Let us not forget those subtle, almost imperceptible, ad hominem jabs by a few daring candidates.
Essentially, these evident campaign mischiefs could be easily rectified with the presence of strong COMELEC oversight. COMELEC must substantially improve their monitoring of election campaign and propaganda activities. One obvious gray area is the unforgiving realm of social media and electronic campaigning where all forms of election mischief is regularly committed. The best way for COMELEC to curb these frequent delinquencies is to enforce the strict and firm compliance of all election rules and guidelines.
Here are some of the opinions on Carolinians on classroom campaigning:
BS Arch 4
School of Architecture Fine Arts and Design
I am for classroom campaigning since it helps the students know and explore the platforms the different political parties have to offer.
BA Pos 1
School of Law and Governance
I support classroom campaigning because it is one of the few chances that voters are able to meet the candidates and learn more about their plans and platforms. Also, meeting these candidates upfront during classroom campaigning gives a strong impression and appeal to the voters.
Danica Fe Vito
B Ed-SpEd 4
School of Education
I am against classroom campaigning because it disrupts, if not, stops ongoing class lectures and activities. It may also be redundant since social media campaigning is more relevant and readily available.
Krizia Mae Velasquez
BS A 1
School of Business and Economics
I am for classroom campaigning because it is through these that we can have a close interaction with them and we can raise our questions and inquiries directly. For me, it is the best way for the voters to select the appropriate candidates to lead the USC community.
Paler Jergin Stefan
BS Psych 4
School of Arts and Sciences
I am for classroom campaigning since it allows candidates a good opportunity to prove themselves worthy of our vote and confidence.
These critical insights by some Carolinians confirm the indispensable and equally influential facet of classroom campaigning towards promoting candidates to office and appropriately engaging the Carolinian electorate. With this, COMELEC must make enormous strides especially in the oversight and monitoring of electoral mischief to fulfill the standards set by the Election Code. It is also high time to revisit the outdated USC SSC Election Code and amend inefficient provisions such as social media and electronic campaigning.