Raoul Manuel, who graduated as the first Summa Cum Laude of the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas with a degree in BS Applied Math in 2015, is set to serve as the 34th UP student regent in the academic year 2016-2017.
Manuel was elected during the 42nd General Assembly of Student Councils held in the UP Los Banos on Sunday, July 17. Other nominees for the post were BA Film student Josiah Hiponia and BS Biology student in Mindanao Omid Siahmard.
A Diliman nominee, Manuel is preceded by the 33rd student regent and Community Development major Miguel Pangalangan. As the next student regent, he will represent the 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students of the UP system in the Board of Regents, the state university’s highest policy and governing body.
“Sa paggampan ng responsibilidad, alam nating hindi tayo nag-iisa dahil kasama natin ang mga estudyante at mamamayang patuloy na ipinaglalaban ang karapatan sa edukasyon, lupa, trabaho at sahod,” Manuel said, thanking everyone who congratulated him for becoming the next student regent.
(In performing this responsibility, we know that we are not alone because we are accompanied by the students and the public in fighting for our rights to education, land, work, and wage.)
The BS Applied Mathematics major finished his 4 years in the Visayas campus with a general weighted average of 1.099. He is currently taking up his Masters degree in Applied Math in UP Diliman.
Prior being elected as the next student regent, Manuel served as the chairperson of KASAMA sa UP, a system-wide student council alliance in the university. In his graduating year, he served as student council chair of the university's College of Arts and Sciences. He also actively participated in student protests.
Manuel was a recipient of the UP Presidential Scholarship from 2012 up until graduation. He was also a BPI Anak Expat awardee in 2013, Mga Bagong Rizal: Pag-asa ng Bayan national awardee in 2011, and second placer in the 2011 National Philippine Statistics Quiz.
For 4 years, he managed to balance his academics with his role as a student leader. He has a long list of student affiliations, including Youth Act Now and LENTE. He also spoke often to students about campus leadership.
"As an Iskolar ng Bayan, I had to open my eyes to the realities around me and look for ways to become active in the affairs inside and outside of the university. My UP education instilled in me a desire to use my potentials to advance genuine social change," he said in a previous interview.
– This article originally appeared on Rappler.com