Thursday, May 17, 2012

Open letter to the membership of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association

To all students affiliated to PRSSA that will be voting tomorrow:

I write to encourage all of you to take a vote tomorrow and let your voice be heard. The most fundamental right in a democratic society, like the one we claim to live in, is the right to vote. Tomorrow, you will choose 5 members that will lead the National Board of the PRSSA on an historic semester, as we approach the Status plebiscite.

As the incumbent National Associate Vice-President I want to urge you all to choose wisely. You must not choose based on friendships, nor on contacts, but choose the candidates that will be actively involved in helping re build the chapters in Puerto Rico. Many of the candidates, emulating many of the candidates in the colonial political system, will promise to do a lot of thing, and will do 1 or 3 things of that list.

You will probably never meet the entire National Board in person, because those that are in the States rarely come to Puerto Rico to do anything of significance locally. Some in the National Board only work to advance “the cause” when they see their position in the NB being threatened. It is important to have a presence in the mainland, but the hard work is to be done here.

I also warn you of the following. There are some in the National Board that are only interested in advancing their own political growth within the party system, whether that is the NPP, the Republican or Democratic Parties. 3 years of said attitude has led PRSSA down a path of very little membership, to the point that one of our main missions, the promotion of the absentee vote campaign, is being led by a new organization done to fill in the space left by the PRSSA.

Please talk to all the candidates, and ask them what their plans are, and if their running for re-election as a member of the National Board, ask them what they have done in the National Board.

I leave with my head held high, as I have been able to do some of the goals I set myself to do throughout this year. I participated in a vigil prior to President Obama’s visit to the island last summer; I helped organize the forum with the current Secretary of State, the Hon. Kenneth McClintock, last fall; I contacted several students in different campuses to establish chapters in the island, most being unsuccessful.  I also helped organize the state meeting with the current National Secretary, Josué Rivera, in the UPR Bayamon.  

What this organization needs is to go back to its grassroots roots. We need to make the members feel that this is their organization and that they have a say in what goes on. We need to rescue the chapters of Rio Piedras, Humacao, and Mayaguez. We need to have hands on leaders, and not just leaders in title. A leader is not defined by the title they hold, but by the initiative and hands on work they do. Do not vote for someone just because you’re told. If you don’t agree with a candidate vote NO, and if you do vote YES.

I will be available to help anybody out next semester that needs my help, regardless of whom they are.

I wish the best to all of you, and hope you all pick wisely.


-Edwin R. Jusino-

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