Going Indie in CSSP: Manjit Kaur “Jit” Guinto Sohal

Manjit Kaur “Jit” Guinto Sohal, Political Science Department Representative
3rd Year, BA Political Science

VP for Publications, Magkaisa! CSSP
Editor-in-Chief, The Sentinel (The Official Newsletter of Magkaisa! CSSP)
Member, UP Political Society (UP PolSCi)
Member, Nagkakaisang Iskolar Para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA)
Member, UP Kratos (Political Science Choir)

Awards and Achievements:
College Scholar, 2nd sem (07-08); 1st Sem (08-09); 1st Sem (09-10)

Her Platforms:
“. The following activities for PolSci students aim to address the fostering of a PolSci identity and community as well as to further the dynamic character of Political Science and live its role to bridge gaps in the social sciences.

PoliSARaP: Political Science Academic Resource Project
A project that aims to connect Political Science students through sharing, trading, and exchanging of readings and books that PolSci majors use, used, and will use throughout their journey at the department.

POLSCI 101: Political Science Workshop
This project aims to organize a workshop/semimar for PolSci students together with the Department of Political Science to prepare students to take up 199 and 110 courses in the future. This will also help us reflect on what certainly makes us Political Science students.

HOME OF THE GREAT: Department of Political Science
From the roster of excellent graduates that the Department has produced, one will be selected by the end of each month and will be known as the Alumnus/Alumna of the Month and become an inspiration to the undergrads. Also, the PolSci Department has weathered the trying times of the past and those little bits and pieces of history should be known by the students through PolSci of the Past.

POLISPEAK: Writing and Speech Workshop
This program aims to hone students’ skills in writing and speaking especially for Political Science classes, on top of those skills already learned in general education classes.

OOPsS: Outreach Operations for PolSci Students
This project aims to unite PolSci students and also the department-based organizations in pursuing a cause, i.e. GK build, outreach programs, and being more active in realizing goals for the greater society.

POLIS POWER: Empowerment of the POLIS Core Group
To be able to cater better to the students of Political Science, the POLIS Core Group should have a better management system. There will be batch year coordinators as well as organization coordinators who will be the POLIS’s bridge in reaching out to the students.

InsTV: Institution Visits
This program aims that the PolSci students be exposed to field trips to different political institutions such as the House of Representatives, the Senate, government agencies, and embassies.

POLISh UP: Political Science Curriculum Review
Curriculum Review aims to come up with a sound reflection on what the current demography of PolSci students need.

PulScie: PolSci Grievance Desk
This will help the department representative and the POLIS core group hear the pulse of PolSci students. We will assure that the voice of every student, organization, and even non-affiliated students will be heard.”

Their differences from the others:
“I believe my SPOA for the department is inclusive. Everyone is represented: freshies upto senior students, organizations, and even non-affiliated students! And in line with the GPOA of the independent candidates, we also aim to have student governance wherein all PolSci students are part of the decision-making process and of the student council.”

Assurance of their implementation:
“ If ever I win as your Polsci Department Representative, we will ensure the implementation of these projects. We will work together with the council and the department. We will continually consult and inform PolSci students regarding these projects. For the funding, we are going to coordinate with the alumni and raise funds through events such as Ms. Polis.”

Mechanisms to penetrate the ‘main arena’:
“We have our support network to help us. We also have KAISA. They help us a lot. It is really a big challenge for us since we are ‘new’ compared to the other 2 parties. But, we always remind students to vote based on platforms and credentials and not on personalities. We ask them to vote those who can really represent them and provide them relevant services.”

The Formation of Magkaisa! CSSP: reasons and visions:
“Last year, there were a lot of students who asked why there is no ‘yellow’ party in CSSP. As we can see, there is a great clamor to have one. So some CSSP students who are affiliated with KAISA together with students who believe in their principles formed, on September 9, 2009, a political organization which is MAGKAISA! CSSP.
MAGKAISA! CSSP is a dynamic formation true to the ideals that a UP student is an iskolar-aktibista, one who is excelling in his academic endeavors and also a student who is actively engaged in social issues confronting the college, UP Diliman, and the greater society. We also believe in academic excellence that is of relevance to the society we live in. The party was founded on the principles of PAIRS: Political Awareness and Political Involvement, Academic Excellence with Social Relevance, Inclusive Activism, Responsive Leadership towards Student Empowerment, and Social Progress with Social Justice.”

Being with Kaisa:
“Well, MAGKAISA! CSSP share the same principles with KAISA. And personally, I believe that KAISA and MAGKAISA! CSSP strive for activities that are of relevance to the students of the college and the university. That is what I like about KAISA. And when it comes to the student council, we are proud to say that KAISA and MAGKAISA! can efficiently work with both parties. We can strip off our color when it comes to working for the students.”

On the reason of an incomplete slate:
“ Of course we strived to achieve a full slate that consists of competent people who will represent our students and be relevant in CSSP. But we want to form a political organization that does not exist only in election but is still relevant even after the campaign period. It’s not about the party, it’s about us. It’s about what we can give to CSSP students. We also believe we can work with other parties in CSSP. Although we only have 5 candidates, we still aim for a united CSSP. We want a student council that is ready to take the call for collective and decisive action, a council that is willing to provide relevant services to the students, and a student council that is responsive to the needs of every CSSP student.”