Tuesday, November 28, 2006


OUR philosophy professor, a Malaysian, asked who in our class was registered to vote. One guy raised his hand. We're a class of 40 college juniors and seniors; being underage is no longer a convenient excuse.

There's a lot to be excited about when you turn 18. You can finally legally drink and drive (of course not at the same time). You can get married (if that's your thing). You can enter a bar. You can go to jail. You're of age. You're an adult.

Is it just me or does voting eligibility cause the least excitement?

According to surveys, less than 20% of eligible Ateneans are registered to vote. In its attempt to address this issue, Ateneo's Sanggunian started the Reg2Vote campaign. Sanggu hopes to up the number of registered voters by providing free jeepney trips and guides to the city halls of where most Ateneans reside (Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, etc.).

I think this is an awesome idea that makes registering convenient for Ateneans. Furthermore, the fact that it takes on a group-activity-type feel could possibly result in more registrants simply through peer pressure, somehow making registering the “in” thing to do and making being registered "cool."

Though it would be nice for all registrants to authentically want to register due to the inner light of national pride and civic responsibility, starting the practice through the creation of a fad is still a start.

Our philo professor announced Sanggu's campaign to our class and passed out sign-up sheets for those interested. I looked around only to see the folder being passed quickly from student to student; hardly anyone opened the folder to sign up.

Kudos to the Sanggunian. Sorry if your efforts might not be paying off. Sadly, our problems run deep. How “uncool” of us.


Anonymous jhay said...

It's the sad reality students in the big universities suffer. We may all have the programs, activities and campaigns that advocate social action but a simple reality check like how many of us students are registered voters really kills it.

It reminds us that we should re-double our efforts.

7:49 AM  

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