Meet the Candidate: Luis Omar de Jesús Martínez

In the midst of a potential educational crisis in the UPR, as students, one can’t help but fall into an abyss of impotency and conformism. However, they say, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and this phrase perfectly describes our university’s situation. In our crisis we have become stronger. They haven’t killed us yet.

As a result of this crisis, students from all faculties are seeking positions into our General Student Council to bring new ideas to solve our collective of problems.

One of these students is Luis Omar De Jesús Martínez, a senior Industrial Engineering major, ready to be part of the change.

What position are you seeking in these elections and what would be your responsibilities?

I am running for the Engineering Student Council as a student councilor. Within the responsibilities of a councilor, I understand the most important one is listening to my colleagues of the department and defend their voice since they have deposited their trust in my ability to represent students' feelings worthily.

What specific goals do you have in mind, if elected?

I took it upon myself to carry out an analysis of the needs of the UPR from a point of view which enhances our capacity for economic development, if i were to preside the Student Council, I would work in the following points:

  • Establish a permanent dialogue with a multisectoral committee to raise funds for the university.

  • Promote and bring more resources to platforms such as: Huella Colegial and Fábrica Modelo.

  • Raise funds for all student associations with international projects and competitions.

  • Defend students’ positions in decision-making bodies of government within the university.

  • Call on students and professors from the academic programs threatened to close, to establish alliances and strategies to ensure their longevity in our university.

Tell us about your previous experience:

I have worked in community service projects for over 10 years to improve the quality of life in our communities. I have also been president of the Chorium International Chamber Choir board of directors since 2014.

What do you think about the budget cuts planned for the university by the Fiscal Control Board?

The $450 million cut proposed by the FCB is an attack against the country's education which seeks to leave the university without value. Even though I understand we need to be more efficient as a whole, we cannot reduce the country's education or the country's economy to simple mathematical equations so the numbers fit. This would mean to treat society as if it were a large manufacturing company. Therefore I understand that to get out of the crisis, we need everyone to contribute.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

During my career as a leader of student organizations and special projects, I believe I have always been an important factor in the success of my team. My ability to lead, listen, dialogue and make strategic decisions make me a fit candidate to open paths to achieve objectives. My ability to convene and unite colleagues of different mindsets, in addition to my strength and focus, enable me to exercise a position of leadership in student governance. Today our country needs courageous leaders who can create dialogue with all sectors to establish alliances and strategically pressure those who attack public education.

Which three words describe you the best?

Leader, unifying, and strategic.

Any fina thoughts you would like to share?

It is important that when choosing our student representatives we look for their background and analyse what they have achieved throughout their careers. Ask them questions, demand we be heard beyond the forums where we are allowed to express ourselves as representatives. We must stop focusing on the results and focus on the processes, furthermore, improve these processes and transform them to be more effective and undoubtedly achieve great results.