Universities ready to host political debates

UNIVERSITIES in Pangasinan are willing to have their campuses serve as “battle ground” for healthy political discussions.

Lyceum Northwestern University (LNU), Pangasinan State University (PSU), University of Luzon, Pangasinan State University and the University of Pangasinan-PHINMA are among those that have expressed readiness to host forums for candidates in the coming May 10 election.

LNU President Gonzalo Duque said a local TV station is in fact already using his school’s facilities for its political discussions.

“LNU is open to political forums irrespective of my personal preference because an educational institution should be the bulwark of democratic discussions,” Duque said.

PSU president Victoriano Estira said candidates should attend the series of political forums in campuses to shed light on various issues like climate change.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ofelia Rayos, Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Pangasinan-PHINMA, said there is a need to define the parameters of the forum and identify the real organizers.

“There must be no orientation on political preference so as to remain neutral. There are campaigners in the guise of a political fora, so this must be taken into consideration,” Rayos said.

School administrators of the University of Luzon also said their campus is an open ground for the conduct of candidates’ forum.

Commission on Higher Education chairman Emmanuel Angeles encouraged the use of academic institutions for political forums to give students and faculty members the chance to evaluate candidates.

“You cannot make an assessment … if you haven’t heard them,” Angeles said during his recent visit to Dagupan City.

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