The Legislative Assembly (LA) in its session on September 4 approved the resolutions calling upon the appointment for the positions of the Executive Secretary and Vice President of Internal Affairs, as well as finalizing the provisions under the Special Elections Code.
Chin Kalingo and Jon Ridge Ong were appointed as Executive Secretary and Vice President of Internal Affairs, respectively. The decision to endorse them came from a majority vote among the Executive Committee (EXECOM) of the University Student Government (USG). After questioning them about their plans and qualifications, the LA approved the resolutions and inaugurated them in their new roles.
To fill vacancies in this term’s EXECOM, officers in charge were also appointed for the vacant positions in the College Assembly. From the last GE, only KM Lunar from the College of Science was elected College President. Charm Chioson from the Gokongwei College of Engineering was elected during GE2014 and will retain her position since she has not yet graduated.
For this term, Rizza Tan (Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business), Candee Chan (School of Economics), Faye Dolojan (College of Liberal Arts), Vener Margallo (Br. Andrew Gonzalez College of Education), Jared Deuna (College of Computer Studies), and Raphaelo Perez (Science and Technology Complex) will be filling in as officers in charge to complete the EXECOM.
The LA also passed a resolution addressing the Special Elections Code. The resolution called for the suspension of the current Election Code in favor of the newly created Special Election Code for use during the upcoming Special Elections only.
Compared to regular elections, the Special Elections, set to happen within the term, will combine both General Elections (GE) and Freshman Elections (FE). During the GE last March, only six out of the 75 positions were filled. Combining the open positions for the GE and FE, a total of 90 positions need to be filled in the Special Elections.
The LA also included a provision indicating that if the incumbent USG President will run, the Chief Magistrate shall take his/her place in the electoral board. In the regular Election Code, there is no replacement officer indicated.
Second time’s the charm — The LA had devised a resolution calling for a Special Elections last March to address the dismal voter turnout in the 2015 GE, a solution that would later on be declared unconstitutional in April.
Another notable change for the Special Elections is the lowering of required units from 36 to 24, since elected student leaders will only need to be in office for two terms instead of the usual three. Meg Buensalido of EXCEL2014 pushed to change the required number to 18, arguing that since students were allowed to take 18 units during special term, they may have qualified for the 36 units rule in the GE during the third term. However, the rest of the body and Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairperson Guinell Flores agreed to keep it at 24 units to ensure that the student leader will fulfill their duties for the next two terms.
During a session held last August 28, the LA approved the appointment of Giunell Flores, Narelle Domingo, Alex Rempillio, Roland Rosas, Jhanizz Paloma, Paul Ng, and Lawrence Tolentino as COMELEC officers for this academic year. Flores and Rosas were also appointed as Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, respectively.