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Magna Carta of Students of the University of the Philippines

Magna Carta of Students of the University of the Philippines

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Published by Brian K. Ong
The proposed Magna Carta of UP Students is an alternative proposal to the Draft UP Student Code of Conduct. It is still an open document and is a work-in-progress. Everyone is welcome in helping develop this general framework for a Magna Carta which UPSURGE has provided for the studentry. We urge our fellow iskolars ng bayan to be involved, propose amendments, revisions or inclusions and to participate in upcoming fora that will discuss these issues.

The proposed Magna Carta of UP Students is an alternative proposal to the Draft UP Student Code of Conduct. It is still an open document and is a work-in-progress. Everyone is welcome in helping develop this general framework for a Magna Carta which UPSURGE has provided for the studentry. We urge our fellow iskolars ng bayan to be involved, propose amendments, revisions or inclusions and to participate in upcoming fora that will discuss these issues.

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Published by: Brian K. Ong on May 18, 2009
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Section 1. Title 
. - This document shall be known as the Magna Carta of Students of the University of the Philippines (“The Magna Carta”).
Section 2. Coverage 
. – The Magna Carta shall apply to the University of the Philippines in Diliman andits extension program in Pampanga.
Chapter I: General Principles
Section 3. Declaration of Principles 
. – Consistent with the principles enumerated in The University of thePhilippines Charter of 2008 (Republic Act No. 9500), as well as the basic tenets of academicfreedom, fundamental rights, and democratic liberties, particularly those which find resonance in thecontext of academic and educational communities, it is hereby declared the policy of the University that:1. The thrust of the University of the Philippines or
Tatak UP 
is to inculcate among its students an unwavering commitment to the highest standards of academicexcellence coupled with a deep and meaningful national consciousness befitting theirstature as scholars of the National University. It shall be the duty of the University toproduce graduates who are equipped with the intellectual preparation and sense of patriotism needed for them to become leaders in their chosen professions and vocations and to be catalysts of social justice and development. Towards this end,the University shall endeavor to foster creativity, critical thinking, resourcefulness,leadership skills, as well as socio-political consciousness, rights awareness and rightsresponsiveness, and a sense of national responsibility and civic duty among itsstudents in an academic community that observes and protects the democratic rightsand processes of students and student organizations.2. The students’ right to participate actively and effectively in processes whicheffectuate progressive and developmental reforms within the University shall alwaysbe recognized and shall never be subjected to arbitrary and unlawful restrictionssubversive to the students’ fundamental democratic rights. The students, the studentorganizations, and the University administration shall regard each other asindispensable and collaborative partners in all efforts to preserve, protect andadvance the rights and welfare of students.3. Student organizations shall develop in line with the University’s vision andmission, and serve as exemplars and advocates of democratic processes on campus.
 This proposed Magna Carta was drafted by Messrs. Jayson Edward San Juan (Philippine Collegian AssociateEditor, 2005 – 2006 and USC Councilor, 2001) and Ryan Hartzell Balisacan (Philippine Law Journal ViceChair, 2006 – 2008). For Sections 30 and 32 (List of Violations and Penalties that will become an integral partof this document), as well as other provisions, we urge our fellow 
iskolars ng bayan 
to give proposals and toparticipate in upcoming fora that will discuss these issues.
Membership and active participation in student organizations, alliances, andfederations that promote and protect student rights and welfare, and contribute tonational development shall be guaranteed by all members of the University community.4. Student organizations shall not be subjected to rules and regulations that unduly hamper their activities and are prejudicial to their objectives and interests. Towardsthis end, it shall be the policy of the University that administrative regulations thatimpact on the organization, formation, and operations of student organizations shallnot be adopted and promulgated without adequate consultation with affected sectorsof the University.5. The University Student Council and college student councils, being representativesof the studentry, shall have the right to participate in the formation of school policiesdirectly affecting the students. The University administration, in all matters affecting the rights and welfare of students, shall recognize and respect the mandate of studentrepresentatives and engage them in meaningful consultation and dialogue.6. The Philippine Collegian, college publications, and other student publications shallcontinue to enjoy guaranteed rights of editorial, management, and fiscal autonomy. The University hereby declares it a policy to provide all the necessary and sufficientconditions for the effective and full exercise of the students’ freedom of expressionthrough the medium of the student press, in recognition of the niche earned by alumni and alumnae of the University in the history of the campus press movementand the defense of human rights and liberties even during eras of state repression.7. With their democratic rights guaranteed, students of the University shall serve aspotent forces in the country’s national transformation by being at the forefront of the student movement and being advocates of student rights and welfare inpartnership with their colleagues and contemporaries.
Section 4. Definition of Terms 
. – Unless otherwise provided for in the Magna Carta, all terms used shallhave their meanings and usage defined in Republic Act No. 9500 (“The University of the PhilippinesCharter of 2008”).
Chapter II: Student Rights
Section 5. Right against discrimination in educational institutions 
. – (a) Subject to fair, reasonable andequitable admission requirements, no student shall be denied admission, expelled from theUniversity, punished with disciplinary action, or denied welfare services, scholarships and otherprivileges on the basis of his/her physical handicap, socio-economic status, political and religiousbeliefs, sexual orientation, or membership in student organizations. Pregnant students, certifiedreformed drug abusers, and students with HIV/AIDS shall not be discriminated against.(b) A student shall have the right to freely choose his/her field of study subject to existing academicpolicy and curricula, and to continue his/her course up to graduation except in cases of academicdeficiency or violation of disciplinary regulations that do not infringe upon the exercise of studentrights. For this purpose, the University administration shall undertake to inform students of the rules
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and regulations regarding academic matters as well as student conduct and discipline in a mannerconsistent with the requirements of due process. Changes in such rules and regulations, other thanthose of purely administrative nature, shall be adopted only after prior consultation with concernedand affected students.
Section 6. Right to competent instruction and relevant quality education 
. – Every student shall have the right tocompetent instruction and quality education. To achieve this goal, the University is required toenforce a written evaluation of the performance of faculty members by students at the end of every semester, the results of which shall be an essential basis for the retention and promotion of thefaculty member. The University, in the interest of preserving the integrity and effectivity of thisevaluation mechanism, shall undertake sufficient measures to ensure that students will not be unduly prejudiced as a consequence of their participation in such evaluations.
Section 7. Right to organize 
. – (a) Unity and collective effort being fundamental to the realization of common goals and the promotion and protection of common interests, the University recognizesthe right of students to organize among themselves. The right of students to form, assist, or joinorganizations, alliances, or federations along their physical, intellectual, moral, cultural, civic,spiritual, and political interests shall not be abridged.(b) The University Student Council, in coordination with the Office of Student Affairs, shall takecharge in the accreditation of student organizations. No unreasonable requirements shall be imposedon student organizations seeking recognition. Any group of fifteen (15) students, and at least five (5)officers may apply for accreditation of their organization at the beginning of the first semester. Theguidelines for accreditation of student organizations shall be formulated jointly by the University Student Council and the heads of all student organizations.(c) The Office of Student Affairs shall have the mandate to implement the guidelines and mediate inconflicts emerging from the accreditation process. Until guidelines for accreditation shall have beenformulated, student organizations shall be granted accreditation upon the submission of a formalletter of application, constitution and bylaws, a list of officers with their names, respective positions,majors, year levels, addresses and telephone numbers, birthdates, specimen signatures, and certifiedtrue copies of their Form 5, list of at least fifteen (15) members with their names, respectivepositions, majors, year levels, addresses and telephone numbers, birthdates, specimen signatures, andcertified true copies of their Form 5, certification of a faculty adviser, and proposed activities for theacademic year.(d) The administration shall endeavor to provide, free of charge, a hall or building to house theoffices of student organizations within the premises of the University. Furthermore, wheneverpossible, the school administration shall allow student organizations to use school facilities free of charge, or at such discounted rates as may be sufficient to cover only the necessary maintenance andupgrading expenses.(e) Acts that impair the right of students to organize are prohibited:1. Signing of waivers or similar documents that use membership to any organizationas a basis for admission to or expulsion from schools, including the imposition of disciplinary actions;
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