IAS, DepComm launches ‘I Can See Your Vote’

FEU Advocate
March 28, 2022 09:13

By Arabella Rochynne Asis and Shane Vallery Beduya 

Far Eastern University Department of Communication (FEU DepComm) officially opened the webinar series ‘I Can See Your Vote: See-know ang Karapat-dapat?’ under the Institute of Arts and Sciences Voter’s Online Technology Education Series (IAS’ VOTES) last Thursday, March 19. 

In collaboration with the different departments from IAS, the IAS’ VOTES campaign project, which encompasses the event, aims to tackle political issues and widen voters’ awareness in the FEU community. 

“The objective of IAS’ VOTES is [to] provide an insightful discussion of relevant election issues, advocate for good governance, through empowered citizens with their rights and duties as voters, and contribute to the overall aim of the university of producing graduates that are responsible citizens and nation builders,” Department of Communication Cluster Head Nikko Visperas told FEU Advocate.

Visperas also shared that DepComm pushed for a hybrid launch where there are on-site and online attendees in consideration of the transition of regular classes in FEU to a hybrid setup. 

Nasa Alert Level 1 na tayo (We are already in Alert Level 1). We are already on the transition. And dapat in conducting such event, dapat hindi siya maiwan [na] nasa Zoom lang, dapat may face to face siya (And in conducting such event, we should not let events take place only in online Zoom meetings, it should also have a face-to-face meeting). Just like what is happening in our classes right now, it's a hybrid setup,” Visperas said. 

Empowering individuals in preparation for elections

In selecting the topics for the series, Visperas said that they focused on topics related to communication that advocates capacitating individuals with regard to civic roles and responsibilities in view of the upcoming national and local elections.

“It’s very crucial that we represent those issues and we relate them to the election para mapagusapan (for it to be discussed) kasi ito lang rin ‘yung mga issue na kinakaharap natin bilang isang lipunan (since these are the issues that we face in the society),” IAS’ VOTES Project Lead and Chairperson of Department of International Studies Francis Esteban shared.

Esteban also emphasized the significant role that educational institutions play during elections. 

Isa sa malaking kalaban natin dito sa process ng ating demokrasya (one of the biggest problems in our process of democracy) is the widespread of disinformation and fake news, and there is only one way to fight that which is through proper education and proper information.”

Meanwhile, Visperas explained that the selection of topics for the event primarily focuses on the family since it is where interpersonal communication starts, followed by peers and classmates, then the strangers that people interact with on social media.

The conferences will start with the topic about varying political opinions within the family titled ‘Nanay, Tatay, gusto ko ng PINK. Ate, Kuya, gusto ng RED: The Differences of Political Candidate Preferences among Family Members’.

This will be followed by the Mini-Conference 2 titled ‘I like to Prove It, Prove It: The Voters and their Social Environment’ which pivots on how individuals should react around peers and trolls.

Next, the third mini-conference called ‘There Can Be Miracles When You Believe: The Voters and Their Social Media Consumption’ will tackle how the social media environment plays a huge role in an individual’s view and understanding of politics, as well as the lack of it.

For the fourth and final mini-conference titled ‘Let’s Vote In: The Voters and Their Social Responsibility’, the discussion will zero in on topics such as empowering the youth through volunteerism in political campaigning, initiatives of student leaders in promoting the right leader, and discussion on voting wisely in the coming elections.

Visperas added that with the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation, it is important to inspire and motivate FEU students and other stakeholders in stopping misinformation through the assistance of DepComm students, faculty members, and speakers from the communication industry.

Maari nating ma-influence ang isa’t-isa within our community (We can influence each other in our community). And our community can also be an instrument for us to influence our stakeholders, the general public to really criticize or to think critically,” Visperas stated.

The webinar series is set to launch its four mini-conferences on March 24, 29, 31, and April 4 respectively. Its culmination will take place on April 4 vis-a-vis the Mini-Conference 4 where the highlights of the series will be exhibited. 

(Photo by Juan Pablo Parian/FEU Advocate)