Ateneo Task Force 2010 or ATF 2010 is a project that was launched through the combined efforts of 3 main organizations within the Ateneo de Manila University— the Sanggunian, Ateneo Residents Association (ARSA), and Council of Organizations of the Ateneo (COA). Spearheaded by the Sanggunian, the project focuses on student/youth involvement during last year’s National Elections.
During the TAYO 8 National Finals, Kenneth Isaiah Abante, then Secretary General of the SANGGUNIAN, explained that ATF 2010 aimed to “break institutional barriers.” When asked to share a quotation for his presentation before a panel judges, she shared one that expressed what their efforts meant— “It’s your country. Your elections. Your time to build the nation.”
What’s the Story?
Preparing for the National Elections served as the main driving force of ATF 2010. Satellite registrations were held in and out the Ateneo while forums were organized to promote voter’s education. Presidential candidates were invited as guest speakers while activities like Wear Your Candidate’s Color Day and mock elections were done to increase awareness and participation. And to strengthen these efforts, exhaustive documentation and surveying were performed for possible future replication or transfer of technology.
Fifty core volunteers guided the project through its four phases, with the 4th and final phase being the Sangguniang Kabataan and Barangay Elections. The program was supported by partners like the COMELEC, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Ayala Young Leaders Assembly, National Youth Commission (NYC) and Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP). As a result, more Ateneans were able to register to vote as well as engage in partisan work campaigning for their chosen candidates. On the day of the elections, they also participated in bantay balota operations and reported anomalies.
Recognition and Success
The idea of involving students in the electoral process is simple but also a multifaceted mammoth task— this was the challenge for the members of the ATF 2010. But they persevered and continue to persevere in the belief that vigilance is not only to engage youth voters known for being apathetic, but to hold elected officials accountable for the promises they made.
As an entry placing as a TAYO 8 National Finalist, ATF 2010 truly embodies the spirit of cooperation, teamwork, and unity. It displays the dynamism of the youth and shatters the image of a generation of apathetic youth.