Despite the difficulties of this year marked by the pandemic, UC undergraduate students actively participated in the FEUC 2021 Elections and in the second round they chose two women to lead UC university policy next year: Ignacia Henríquez as FEUC president; and Almendra Aguilera as senior counselor.
After the first round held on November 17 and 18, 55.18% of UC undergraduate students responded to the call to elect, in the second round, the FEUC board and Superior Council for the year 2021.
Through an online voting system, on November 30 and December 1, thousands of UC students from different careers expressed their opinion through online voting, choosing the projects of the New University Action (NAU ), both for the FEUC directive and for the Superior Council .
Thus, with 52.56% of the votes validly cast , the student body chose the Engineering student, Ignacia Henríquez to lead the FEUC directive , compared to the 1A list that got 41.2% of the votes. Meanwhile, with 49.9% Almendra Aguilera, a Sociology student, was chosen to head the 2021 Superior Council, winning against Begoña Torres, from the 1A list.
Both Ignacia and Almendra expressed their satisfaction with the achievement and relieved that the students placed their trust in their respective projects, despite the complexities of this year. “We are very happy, excited and grateful. Of all the team that worked with us and allowed us to carry out the campaign online, which was very intense, and of those who trusted and voted for us and us. Now we are facing the last two weeks of this semester, wanting to start working and continue transforming the university and the country, ” said FEUC 2021 president.
For her part, the superior councilor-elect referred to how challenging the campaign and election process this year was, because “historically the NAU has won in the courtyard and today we do not have a courtyard, so we had to learn to find other ways of reach people, that our message makes sense to them and that they would like to listen to us through virtual platforms. We are happy and happy and eager to start working ” .
Elections during the pandemic
After having lived through a complex year, in which the student representatives had to organize and choose a FEUC directive and interim senior counselor, different actors highlight that, despite the difficulties marked by the coronavirus pandemic and the adaptation of life to online mode , UC students maintained high motivation to elect their political leaders for 2021 through a democratic process of elections .
This was materialized with campaigns and debates broadcast on different virtual platforms, and with an online system that was put to the test during October and November, when the first and second rounds of the FEUC 2021 elections were held.
In this regard, Priscila Gallardo, in charge of Student Representation of the UC Student Affairs Directorate , acknowledges that there was some uncertainty regarding how the students would participate in the process, because the whole context was different and complex. “We are happy and satisfied that in both voting, first and second round, the quorum of 50% has been exceeded. And that is why it is very important to thank each and every student who participated, and we invite them to also get involved in other instances of student participation , “he said.
In the same vein, the newly elected councilor, Almendra Aguilera highly valued participation, especially in a complex stage like the one we are facing. “What happened at our university shows that UC students do care about their institutionality. Despite the pandemic and the fact that it is difficult to connect with people today, students are interested in participating, giving their opinion, going to vote and having representatives, especially in this context in which more is needed than the voice of students are channeled, ”he added.
Challenges and lines of action of the Federation 2021
The mental health, wellness, online teaching and constitutional process are the main subjects in which they will work the leaders of the UC Student Federation during 2021 . Along these lines, the elected FEUC president maintains that they will give priority to the 2020-2021 generation of rookies and rookies “so that they feel part of the community and help them carry the year ahead in a better way.”
For her part, the newly elected senior counselor announced that “in the face of the pandemic, the focus is on continuing to work on online teaching issues, the mental health crisis, academic overload and the feasibility of taking classes in some careers . “
On the other hand, for both student leaders the current country context is very important and they consider that the entire UC Community should become a participant in the process to develop a new Political Constitution, “which, broadly speaking, is a demand for greater equal opportunities” , says Almendra Aguilera, who also believes that this situation “requires us as future professionals to have more contact with the reality of the country, and respond to it (…) To make a university open to the country, a UC committed to the reality of Chile , we have to make part of the citizenship, the neighbors and other social actors ” .
Likewise, Ignacia Henríquez is already charging energy to “see how we are going to become part of the transformations that our country is experiencing and be part of the constituent process, for which we will work together with the university authorities, raising concrete projects around a more effective participation ” .
On December 21, the change of command ceremony will be held, which will mark the end of the management period of the federation led by Amaranta Valdivieso (FEUC President) and Magda Cottet (Senior Councilor), and the beginning of the work that is already beginning. plan Ignacia Henríquez and Almendra Aguilera, as FEUC President and Senior Advisor, respectively.