Vanguards of Social Transformation

The end of year 2009 and the arrival of 2010 will signify the closure of a dramatic chapter in our history and the dawn of a new
one. The beginning of a another decade brings with it an opportunity through which we, as a nation, could determine our collective destiny. This opportunity that I write of is none other than the 2010 National and Local Elections.

The 2010 Elections will be very special. For one, it will mark the end of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's nine-year saga. Moreover, it
could lead to fundamental changes in our country's socio-political system. This opportunity, however, would not mean anything if no one would take advantage of it. The electoral process could certainly become a catalyst for social transformation and nation-building, only if intellectual and progressive-minded people would actively participate in it.

Arguably, intellectuality and progressive-mindedness have traditionally been two defining characteristics which distinguish UP students from students of other institutions. However, within UP, one particular group of students stands out as an extremely essential force in the twin goals of social transformation and nation-building: the students of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

We CSSP students, more than students of any other college within UP, should be concerned with national and social issues because they form an essential part of our academic discourse. CSSP students live in an atmosphere of the political, the social, and the philosophical. As scholars, our disciplines force us to stare at the sociopolitical system and analyze its every detail—its
normative and positive aspects, its evolution, its virtues and its demerits—so that, ultimately, we may learn ways to improve it. In short, political and social issues are our forte.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon us, the CSSP students, to practice what we are preached. During times that call for concrete actions, CSSP students could do better than merely study theories and concepts. We should be able to operationalize them and apply them to the real world. It is our duty to act on the knowledge that our scholarship has provided us. Therefore, in the coming elections, we must take it upon ourselves to ensure that the necessary changes in our government and society could be carried out by making sure that the right kind of leaders are elected. More than vote, CSSP students should empower other individuals and encourage them to exercise their democratic privileges.

The CSSP students should be at the vanguard of the efforts to get worthy candidates elected into office. We have always prided ourselves on being scholars of, and for the nation. Of being scholars filled with the spirit of volunteerism and activism. Now is the perfect time to reaffirm these claims. We should start by informing ourselves. Then, we could do our part by joining a campaign team, attending forums, posting in blogs, or simply speaking with other people and telling them our ideas regarding the elections. What is important is that we CSSP students become engaged in this crucial democratic process. Definitely, to be passive during such cataclysmic times is the worst thing we, not just as social science students but very well as citizens, could do.