Throughout the school year, we were given updates on the University Student Government’s (USG) projects and developments through their respective social media pages. However at times, the sheer scope of our student government may get a bit overwhelming for some.
With so many different offices and groups working together for the betterment of the student population, it’s hardly a surprise if one were to get just a little bit confused.
One of the most crucial things that the Lasallian community must know about the USG is that its Executive Board (EB) consists of the President, the Vice President for Internal Affairs, the Vice President for External Affairs, the Executive Secretary, and the Executive Treasurer. Each have their own office that directly helps them in fulfilling their duties to the student body.
Office of the President (OPRES)
OPRES is headed by the President as they take the lead in representing the interests and welfare of the student body. They work in ensuring that the USG works collectively in attaining the goals and the direction set for the Academic Year. The office currently has an estimated number of 30-35 members in their office.
Office of the Treasurer (OTREAS)
The Executive Treasurer acts as the custodian of the USG funds and financial processes. This office takes charge in the cash budgeting and spending of the USG funds on different projects and programs. They handle the broad financial aspect of the USG and they provide financial assistance to members of the student body.
OTREAS Chief of Staff Eirah Ching reveals that whenever there are problems or concerns regarding finances, students go to their office for help and advice. There are currently 80 officers spread across 8 committees. “We handle the financials of the whole USG to ensure consistency, compliance, and transparency within the whole organization and to the study body,” she asserts. They also provide scholarships, grants, allowance programs, and loan programs to students who are in financial need on a short term basis.
Office of the Vice President for External Affairs (OVPEA)
OVPEA is responsible for external opportunities such as career advancement, academic development, and self fulfillment. OVPEA currently has at least a hundred officers according to the office’s Chief of Staff Milo Uncanin. The office’s leading programs include safety and security, as well as social engagement.
Office of the Vice President for Internal Affairs (OVPIA)
OVPIA is in charge of handling facilities, academics, and administration-based programs in the University. Chief of Staff Rhij Janda shares that their office currently has around 64 members. OVPIA strives to provide quality student services, and they oversee the internal operations of the entire USG.
Office of the Secretary (OSEC)
According to OSEC’s Chief of Staff Kimberly Ong, their office functions as the Chief Administrative Officer in the wider scope of the USG. OSEC mainly handles internal and external communications, and they are also mandated to enforce efficient office management and to hone the USG’s leadership skills to build competent officers through leadership formation. The Office currently has around 55 officers.
The Judiciary settles controversies to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of power by any branch of the USG. The members of the Judiciary include the Chief Magistrate, along with 5 other magistrates. There are two respective constitutional commissions that report to the Judiciary, namely the Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit.
Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
COMELEC handles the election processes within the University. They have two commissioners from each college. COMELEC’s decisions regarding the electoral processes are made final unless appealed in the LA.
Commission on Audit (COA)
COA consists of a chairman and two commissioners. They have the power, authority, and duty to examine and audit all accounts regarding the revenues, expenses, and disbursements of every USG unit.
Due to the sheer scope of the USG, one might wonder how they designate tasks and responsibilities within each office. While there are times that the student officers do become inactive due to their other responsibilities, many of them perform their duties under a strict schedule. Kimberly Ong explains that while at times there might be redundancies, these are easily overcome through careful planning. Her office’s EB meets frequently to talk about their goals and objectives for projects months ahead.
Legislative Assembly (LA)
The LA is the highest policy-making body of the USG comprised of the Chief Legislator, all LA Representatives, and the Legislative Secretariat. They not only concern themselves with policy-making, but also with the resolution of University-wide curricular and extracurricular matters, as well as national and sectoral issues.
Additionally, LA Committees are formed to address specific tasks and functions and to ensure that specialized concerns are adequately addressed.