To revise and approve of the minutes of previous LA sessions, and to present the plan for this academic year, the Legislative Assembly (LA) convened last October 22 at the Office of Student Leadership Involvement, Formation and Empowerment (SLIFE) room on the third floor of Br. Connon Hall.
Changes, corrections to minutes
One of the main agendas of the assembly was to go over the minutes of several sessions, specifically those of the Chief Legislative Elections held last September 11, September 20, and October 8. Making several changes and corrections to the session documents, the LA representatives were able to adjust its coherency for proper clarification.
In addition to making sure the session documents for the minutes were grammatically correct, the LA representatives also had to double check the attendance record. The reason being that any representative who accumulates three absences may be impeached.
With 12 LA representatives present, and a unanimous voting of 12-0 on each of the agendas, the recent revisions made by the LA representatives were all approved.
Plans for the school year
Apart from the approval of the minutes, the session also included the discussion of the LA subcommittee’s outlined plans for the upcoming school year. The National Affairs Committee aims to set up a system that is able to monitor national events and translate them into possible resolutions. Meanwhile, the Students’ Rights and Welfare Committee plans on conducting a research that will be able to pass quality resolutions to improve student life.
On the issue of the plebiscite, the Rules and Policies Committee announced that a preliminary timeline for their agenda is already in motion. From November 6 to 15, the committee aims to concentrate on tapping into select offices of the University Student Government (USG) such as the Executive board, the Judiciary, and the different college presidents for their consultation on the new USG Constitution. The feedback gathered will then be used to help improve the constitution, with the assistance of the LA representatives called out due to the project’s importance.
Chief Legislator Norbs Sarigumba called the plebiscite the primary objective of this year’s LA session. In a post-session interview, he added that the current USG Constitution had not been amended since its original conception in 2009, asserting that “there are some things in the [constitution] that are not being practiced anymore [and are not as] effective.”
Previous attempts were made in making amendments to the constitution but all were unsuccessful. Most notably, a plebiscite was called in 2014, but failed to reach the minimum required number of votes and ended in a dismal 8.49 percent turnout.Initially planned on being part of the 2018 General Elections, the plebiscite was moved to a later date to give time for better information dissemination since it might have been overshadowed by the elections at the time. As previously posted by the LA on their Facebook page, they “shall also make sure that the next weeks of this term are used to conduct sufficient and proper consultation with different student sectors… the Plebiscite shall be [cast] within the next academic year.”