You are on page 1of 12

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47

De La Salle University University Student Government Legislative Assembly Resolution No. 2013Sponsored by: Students’ Rights and Welfare Committee Jeri Bacar, FOCUS2013 Anjho Cruz, EXCEL2014 AJ Dy, 65th ENG Rap Fernandez, 67th ENG Trina Jimenez, BLAZE2013 Sponsored by: Rules and Policies Committee Niña Cervero, FOCUS2012 Jilliane Gomez, EDGE2012 Kiara Lin, BLAZE2015 Patrick Kahn, CATCH2T17 Aaron King, 66th ENG Authored by: AJ Dy, 65th ENG Tristan Felipe, BLAZE2016 Rap Fernandez, 67th ENG Micah Fernando, EXCEL2015 Trina Jimenez, BLAZE2013 Co-authored by:

P.L.A.R. No. 2013-01Status:

Bea Miñana, FAST2012 Bianchi Tanchuling, CATCH2T16 Gregg Tolentino, EXCEL2013 Matthew Yabut, FAST2013

Tim Rodriguez, CATCH2T15 Luigi Roxas, BLAZE2014 Binky Suarez, 68th ENG Frances Vista, FOCUS2011

Wendy Peñafiel, FAST2011 Bianchi Tanchuling, CATCH2T16 Gregg Tolentino, EXCEL2013 Jeffrey Yu, EXCEL2016

Kevin Caballas, COMELEC Chair Nico Padilla, OPRES R&D Head Krisspina Caraan, DAAM Chair Angel Pascual, SOE Magistrate Vjohn Dizon, FAST2012 Batch President Aki Nodado, OPRES R&D Member Marc Englis, CCS Magistrate Rem Serrano, Chief Magistrate Rowell Macalino, COA Chair Edward Tighe, CSG Chief of Staff Migi Moreno, USG President Hanz Tiu, Ombudsman Kenneth Nyanasengeran, OPRES Chief of Staff RESOLUTION CALLING FOR THE APPROVAL OF THE AMENDMENTS TO THE 2009 UNIVERSITY STUDENT GOVERNMENT CONSTITUTION Whereas, the De La Salle University Student Government is the supreme autonomous representative body of the students guided by the Lasallian principles of Faith, Service and Communion that develops empowered Lasallians engaged in nationbuilding;

48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93

Whereas, the mission of the De La Salle University Student Government is to advance and defend students’ rights, to promote students’ holisitc growth, to strengthen the identity of the Lasallian community, and to engage in societal development; Whereas, the Legislative Assembly is the highest policy making body in the Student Government (De La Salle University Student Government Constitution, Article XIV, Section 1); Whereas, the USG shall have the power of which emanates from the student body. It shall be the sole, unified, autonomous and democratic representative body of the students. (De La Salle University Student Government Constitution, Article III, Section 1); Whereas, All USG officers shall at all times be accountable to the studentry who they must serve with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, efficiency and professionalism. (De La Salle University Student Government Constitution, Article VI); Whereas, the Students’ Rights and Welfare Committee shall “discuss students’ rights and welfare issues, whether in or outside De La Salle University, and present recommendations on such to the Legislative Assembly” (Legislative Assembly Manual, Section 4.1); Whereas, the Rules & Policies Committee shall initiate the review of the rules, policies, and procedures of the Legislative Assembly, De La Salle University Student Government, and De La Salle University, in coordination with the concerned offices and/or units, and present recommendations to the Legislative Assembly, De La Salle University Student Government Executive Committee and offices concerned (Legislative Assembly Manual, Section 4.1); Whereas, the University Student Government [USG] was conceptualized and created due to the following problems identified in the SC during academic year [AY] 2003-2004: repetitive activities every year, activities were created for the sake of having done such, there is a rivalry between the SC and CSO, among others (Appendix A); Whereas, the original USG Constitution proposed during AY 2003-2004 was modified and ratified through a plebiscite during AY 2008-2009 and implemented during AY 2010-2011; Whereas, there are three versions of the USG Constitution: the 2004 original proposal in AY 2003-2004, the 2009 version ratified in AY 2008-2009 and the 2013 version unsuccessfully ratified in AY 2012-2013 with Article on the Science and Technology Complex [STC] Government (Appendix B);

94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140

Whereas, the 2009 USG Constitution is the version in effect for this academic year including Article XXIII on the DLSU-STC Science and Technology Government of the 2013 USG Constitution; Whereas, the proponents find that the current system in the USG does not properly respond to the problems in which the USG was founded upon; Whereas, articles from The LaSallian provides rationale to the proposed amendments in the 2013 USG Constitution (Appendix C); Whereas, the proponents present the 2014 USG Constitution with the proposed amendments (Appendix D); Whereas, the proponents compare the articles in the SC Constitution and versions of the USG Constitution with the proposed 2014 USG Constitution is presented (Appendix E); Whereas, the proponents provide details and rationale of the proposed amendments in the 2014 USG Constitution is attached (Appendix F); Whereas, the proponents provide a proposed system for appointment, approval and confirmation of USG Elected and Appointed Officers is attached (Appendix G); Whereas, the proponents provide a comprehensive report on the rationale and process of the proposed amendments is attached (Appendix H); Whereas, any amendment or revision of this Constitution may be proposed by the students through an initiative upon a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the LA (De La Salle University Student Government Constitution, Article XXVI, Section 1); Whereas, the proposed amendments in the Constitution, once approved by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the LA, shall be valid only when ratified by a majority of all votes cast in the plebiscite (De La Salle University Student Government Constitution, Article XXVI, Section 2); Wherefore, be it resolved that a plebiscite shall be called for by the purpose of ratifying the Constitution and shall be headed by the Commission on Elections [COMELEC] to enforce and administer all rules and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall (De La Salle University Student Government Constitution, Article XIX, Section 15.7); Wherefore, be it resolved that the plebiscite shall be conducted not later than the fourth week of Term 3 AY 2013-2014; Wherefore, be it resolved that an awareness campaign for the students on the details of the proposed amendments shall be initiated by the USG Judiciary branch in

141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154

coordination with COMELEC and shall be conducted prior to the conduct of the plebiscite; Wherefore, be it resolved that the Election Code shall be amended following the provisions of the ratified Constitution upon a majority of fifty percent plus one votes cast by the members of the USG in the plebiscite; Wherefore, be it resolved that a Transitory Commission shall be created and convened by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the LA for the purpose of drafting and adopting a transition process which shall serve as a guide for the candidates of the General Elections 2014 and the USG officers-elect. Adopted, .

155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201

Appendix A Operation Revamp (refer to attached document) Appendix B Versions of the USG Constitutions (refer to attached documents) Appendix C The LaSallian Articles Is this the USG? An interview with Saint Anthony Tiu March 19, 2013 By Juan Batalla and Miguel Luis Gayares under General Elections, University Back in 2003, Student Council President Saint Anthony Tiu drafted a then revolutionary idea: a University Student Government, with three functional branches patterned after the Philippine government. In an interview with The LaSallian, Saint shares his original vision, and sets it against the backdrop of the USG today. The vision of the USG back then was really to create the right identity for a student government. Back then, we were an activity generation body. Every now and then, Student Council (SC) officers would think of short-term projects versus long-term sustainable programs. And back then, the issue was (the SC’s) overlapping primarily with the Council of Student Organizations (CSO): the two could not distinguish who and what they were anymore, whether they were a government or just some student organization. So that was the problem. What we were trying to address back then was [our] need for an identity, and how to create the line between SC and CSO. So the vision was that the student council should [stand] as a student government, to the point that instead of creating activities, it should create policies, advocacies, and services for the student body. The student government should not be handling any activities./ That was the rule agreed upon by the CSO and other organizations. The entire student government would focus mainly on policy creation, creating resolutions and stands on issues at hand, whether University wide or national or international. It would not create any activities or short-term projects. There will still be some executive power, but the problem with the executive is that we think its always about execution and activities, when it’s all about creating programs and execution in the form of creating policies. Lobbying a policy is executive power, right? You lobby this to the University President or to the Senate. The USG really calls for some paradigm shift in terms of how we ground the government. A good example is the batch government. Instead of creating batch level activities, it should instead utilize manpower in terms of lobbying [and] enforcing University wide

202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248

advocacies. So let’s say, for example, the Legislative Assembly (LA) will create a policy or a stand on something. Batch representatives should ask themselves: how can I translate this to my batch? What kind of program will enable me to deliver the stand to the rest of my batch? The Executive Board will be responsible for large-scale representation, in terms of being active in committees inside the University, as well as becoming front liners in advocating stances on national issues. I envisioned the USG President, for example, standing there in the Senate, lobbying and being on national TV, saying, this is where Lasallians stand on the issue. I think there were a lot of principles that were lost in translation when the SC was reviewing and revising the original USG proposition. Considering the fact that I wasn’t there to defend the proposition, previous USG officers from a different ideological background did not really understand the principle behind the USG. They could not fully discern the recommendations that supported it so that’s one challenge. The other thing is the fact that there is a lack of understanding on what the USG really is for the people who actually led the USG, such as the USG presidents. Superficially, they call it a government, but they’re actually operating like a student council. The fact that the USG last year agreed to implement many centennial activities for the University is a violation of what a student government should be, at least if we remain true to the original USG proposition. It takes time. When we envisioned the USG, we knew it wouldn’t just happen overnight; it came along with a five year sustainability program, where the first year focused on internal reforms. We were envisioning that as they implement the USG, the USG for that year would focus on what is needed in terms of internal reforms, such as the manner in which Comelec would prepare for this, or how the LA would look like. If necessary, we stop some external ties so we could focus internally. This would also be the year in need of a strong presidency. After that one year, when you build up the internal capability, the second year will be the year where you build the external ties, thinking, ‘now that we’re strong internally, we need to go out’. Then, these organizations can be linked up, creating a stronger alliance with each other, USG included. I think it is very important that the USG institutionalizes principles in terms of running the USG, such that even though the president may have a different view, for as long as the principles are clear and tackles that, this is how the USG should operate, then all parties could always come back to the agreed principles. There might be some difference in policy creation and execution here and there, but it should be minor to the overall principles and strategy. The current limitation with our student leaders back then was this mentality: ‘This is my year, I will do whatever I can for my batch.’ There was a lack of long term sustainable envisioning of plans, so there was no thought of: ‘This is what I want in the future; that is why I am doing this today. Even though I neglect some of my current duties as a president, [creating a system] will still help me get there”.

249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295

It is very difficult for students, who are not involved in the USG, to understand how exactly the mechanisms work. I wouldn’t put that burden on the USG to fully explain the entire system to the students. It should be a multifunctional collaborative effort from different sectors. We need the student population to really understand the reason things are happening. We cannot let them just accept the fact that we ‘need’ more basketball tournaments. It is our responsibility to understand why the student government is doing something so crucial such as an internal, social overhaul. The USG in its first 3 years: In retrospect March 19, 2013 By Nina dela Cruz and Martha Elisse Teves under General Elections, University It has been three years since the University Student Government (USG) materialized. The USG was created to improve the Student Council (SC) by correcting the flaws experienced by the SC. According to The LaSallian’s General Elections Special (2010), SC President Saint Anthony Tiu initially conceptualized the USG in 2004 then further revived by 2008 SC President Nicole Villarojo to achieve a more efficient means of leadership and a more established check and balance system. It was meant to stand for competence, transparency and accountability in governance. The USG had concretized three branches similar to the country’s political structure—the executive, legislative and the judiciary. Under the executive branch are five offices such as the President, Vice President for Internals, Vice President for Externals, Executive Secretary and Treasurer. For the legislative branch, each batch is allowed to elect a single legislative assembly representative. Furthermore, the judiciary branch, acting independently, is composed of the Magistrates, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Commission on Audit (COA). Since the USG is a relatively new system, ambiguities and loopholes in clauses are not uncommon. There have been additional clarifications and amendments incorporated from the time of ratification. One of the problems encountered concerned information dissemination among students about the transition from SC to USG. During the USG’s second year of running, the Judiciary branch was reported ly left out in other functions by other branches, despite its establishment as an independent body. The Judiciary branch is ideally responsible for interpreting and enforcing the laws anchored in the constitution. It also acts as the check and balance body of the USG officers and units. Analyzing the functions of Judiciary, principles of accountability and transparency lie within this branch. These, however, were bypassed. Budget constraints, overlapping responsibilities, and several changes were some of the identified problems.

296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342

An article from The LaSallian’s General Elections Special (2011) reported, “The judiciary was established to make the student government more efficient, but the issues have prevented it from maximizing its capabilities. Many students and even officers are still not fully aware of the judiciary’s functions, if not ignore them completely.” This led to the judiciary’s failure to fulfill its responsibilities. The first USG president, Lorenz De Castro shares that the Judiciary branch is considered as the one of the noteworthy changes. “The student council, or government [as it is called now], has an impartial decision making body on issues that would usually involve controversy due to conflicting views of the two political parties,” he explained. De Castro hailed from Santugon while the next two USG presidents within its three years in practice come from Tapat – Cabe Aquino and Jana Cabuhat, respectively. In comparison with the country’s political map, the question of transparency and accountability still remain as the need towards an adequate delivery of services to the students and to the society in a bigger picture. Different year, different problems In 2010, De Castro’s administration took on the USG’s first run, after the transition from the Student Council. De Castro believes that the change was necessary, emphasizing that the Judiciary branch was a key attribute to the new structure. As with anything, however, problems abounded the first year of the USG. One problem they faced from the get-go was their operating budget, De Castro shares. They initially had to run on previous budgets and initiate fund-raising activities all while pushing for the programs they had planned prior to securing their positions, he furthered. However, it was during his term that the USG initiated a centralized evaluation system in collaboration with the activity-monitoring arm of office of the VP-Internal Affairs and in alignment with the Commission on Audit, wherein a continuous evaluation of different projects and programs transpired, as well as a trimestral evaluation of the different student government units. Ratification on the third year As the USG progressed into its third year, the ratification of a new USG constitution was in the works, as the student body and governing body continually evolved. And this time, the challenges were different. For Jana Cabuhat’s administration, she shares that the main problem was having everyone land the same idea about the USG. Cabuhat asserts that the constitution has yet to be fully interpreted by the Judiciary, and every year, a new interpretation of it crops up. Thus, she notes that in the three years of USG’s official functions, it would be hard to gauge its efficiency yet as she believes that in order for the University to yield the results, a certain degree of consistency must transpire.

343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389

She remains apprehensive of the different approaches the USG may be thrust into in the future. She shares that incoming officers must be better educated of the structures within the University, and the responsibilities they respectively entail, so that all functions are maximized and are effective. Conversely, De Castro believes that the success and reach of platforms and program plans, as he saw during his experience in both the SC and the USG, are greatly dependent on the leadership that sits in the USG, where success was dependent on people who had the commitment to serve first and foremost the students. Trials and expectations Both do not know the future that the USG holds in the University, but both maintain a positive outlook on it. De Castro envisions the student government as the unifying body of all student initiatives of the University, where student organizations are the biggest organizational sector in DLSU, to push for sustainable changes focused on bringing student potential to a reality. Cabuhat, on the other hand, wishes to see a student government functioning on its own, and streamlining some of the overlapped roles the SC experienced. She also wishes that the USG continues to fight for student rights, as no other organization in the University is aimed at doing so as its primary responsibility. Direction? The problems of an aimless Presidency March 19, 2013 By Juan Batalla under General Elections, University Setting a direction is a difficult aspect of the presidency. As the USG’s Chief Executive Officer, the president sets the vision and the general direction upon which the other units will direct their programs and activities. When Lorenz de Castro was President of the USG two years ago, his main vision was a student-centered USG, with activities mainly directed towards student activities that mobilized the Lasallian community. Most notable during his USG was the One Million Trees project, and other fundraising activities that ceded over their proceeds to the One La Salle Fund. During the term of USG President Cabe Aquino last year, the main vision of the USG was to become One USG that operated under an Advocacy Calendar that planned and programmed all the events and activities according to an advocacy per month based on the UN Millennium Development Goals. The motto this year was Lasallian citizenship. It is the primary platform upon which then, USG Presidential candidate Jana Cabuhat promised to provide her constituents.

390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436

Cabuhat had a vision that banked heavily on the education of Lasallians to the plight of the world outside, and sought to provide a bridge by directing the flow of USG programs and activities towards avenues for said education within the University. She recalls that she used her platform of Lasallian Citizenship more than anything because she really wanted to focus on national issues this year, and how we’re going to get involved in our specific colleges and our specific batches. Difficulties Cabuhat’s direction for the USG, however, encountered troubles she had not foreseen when she first planned out her platform and the programs that would result from her strategic vision such as the physical unavailability of her Vice Presidents. “During the first part of the first term, there was a lot of miscommunication between me and the EB because first term was the term that I was always gone, and so was Sasa [Hermoso], so it was a really difficult f irst term,” she laments. “During the second term, Robert was gone and so was Janine, so definitely communication was a challenge within our USG.” Cabuhat furthers that nothing can be done because the constitution does not give the president direct jurisdiction over anything. She adds that it is all about representation, giving directions without any real first steps as opposed to the Vice President of Internal Affairs or External Affairs or Office of the Secretary or Office of the Treasurer that have specific tasks. She concludes, “The President really just oversees everything, especially if everyone has their own independent vision.” The problem of coordination is the prevalent obstacle that hampers a USG’s overall effectiveness in that certain redundancies occur in terms of activity coordination. For instance, an October 2010 article from The LaSallian cites that during de Castro’s term, a lot of fundraising activities focused on shirt sales without diversifying the kinds of student activities available. Conversely, during Aquino’s time, a December 2011 article from The LaSallian examined that sometimes, the advocacy-based activities, due to their volume, were unable to secure large audiences for VIP guests who conducted lectures and delivered talks. Cabuhat shares, “There are times during the year when I just feel exasperated on setting the direction for the whole USG,” citing that particular bodies in the USG were stubborn in following the strategic vision that she set at the start of the year. She affirms that she sent all offices a letter stating clearly her framework and vision to establish Lasallian Citizenship as the anchor vision for the year. Challenging visions The candidates for President this year are also preparing strategic visions with which they plan to bind the USG that they will be chiefly overseeing.

437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 480 481 482

Incumbent Vice President for Internal Affairs and presidential candidate for Santugon Robert Hechanova describes his vision of ‘Everyday Lasallian Heroes’ as the driving force for the USG. Everyday Lasallian Heroes, as Hechanova describes, highlights the individual accomplishments of normal Lasallian students, done in the spirit of faith, service, and communion with St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle. He shares, “I just really want to focus on sharing the vision intently on the EB once we get elected with due respect to the other party because eventually, we will all need to work together in achieving our mission in the long run.” Hechanova’s vision also entails closer coordination with the administration in implementing the vision. He adds, “It’s very important to engage people and to have them join activities to provide many opportunities that will focus on their development, given the opportunity to practice the heroism in them.” Incumbent College Assembly President of the School of Economics and presidential candidate for Tapat Kaila Astorga, on the other hand, deviates from Hechanova’s focus and hones in on an identity of excellence as the key for next year. She furthers, “Like the way we see things and the way we see how we’re supposed to be running things, and fully grounding ourselves on our main focus and function which is representation, acknowledging that as students, we have rights and welfare not only for ourselves, but to make sure that we have responsibilities as Cabe Aquino’s term was defined in terms of pushing for advocacies and activities that students can get engaged in, the identity of excellence through making sure that we are grounded in our rights and welfare.” Asked how she would react if she worked with people who had a different vision for the USG, Astorga affirms that it is imperative that they be persuaded of the vision. She furthers, “It would be a matter of me allowing people to understand why this is th e vision we are going to push for. As a leader, it’s not about compromising what I believe in because it makes things more difficult. It’s a bigger challenge, yes and I’d be up against bigger battles should we not be favored by making sure we have a Straight slate, but if push comes to shove it would be about me making sure that people would understand how crucial it is that this is something we all believe in and we all fight for. “ Independent candidate Migi Moreno looks at the situation differently. He says, “The first set of USG officers (which I was a part of) unfortunately failed to set that much needed direction, which is the reason why the USG has lost sight on where it should really focus on.” Moreno’s main vision is refocusing the USG to remember its priorities and re-examine the functionality of the system, and ensure closer coordination between the USG and all of its stakeholders.

483 484 485 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494 495 496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510

From the past USGs, he noticed a lack of a real grasp of what it means to have a student government. He explains, “From the start, we focused too much on activities, and failed to see our greater role as representatives and policy-makers. It was as if the [Student Council] before simply changed its name to USG. Though there have been efforts last year and even this year to try to assume USG’s true nature, I believe that the efforts allotted for this goal have not been enough.” Appendix D 2014 USG Constitution with Proposed Amendments (refer to attached document) Appendix E Table of Comparisons of Articles in the Constitutions and Differences between 2013 Unratified Version and 2014 Proposal (refer to attached document) Appendix F Table of Proposed Amendments in the 2014 USG Constitution (refer to attached document) Appendix G Table of Proposed System for Appointment, Approval and Confirmation of USG Elected and Appointed Officers (refer to attached document) Appendix H Operation REFOCUS (refer to attached document)