The Legislative Assembly (LA), during their session last January 21, approved the resignation and appointments of University Student Government (USG) officers, called for the release of an open letter regarding the passport data breach, and the publication of a manifesto that tackles the sexual harassment issues in campus.
USG resignations, appointments
Iliana Tan, incumbent College Assembly President (CAP) for the Gokongwei College of Engineering (GCOE), appealed to resign from her position. 72nd ENG Representative Marian Lao put forward the appeal to the rest of the assembly for the approval of her resignation. Tan shared that she decided to resign so she can prioritize her graduate studies thesis.
Chief Legislator Stella Santos commented that Tan had been serving under an extended term, following two consecutive failures of election for her position. The resignation of Tan was unanimously passed, with 20 voting in favor.
Lao also put forward the call to appoint Depp Depasupil as the new CAP for GCOE. Depasupil, who was the Engineering College Government Chief of Staff, informed the LA of his intention to standardize student service policies in his college by establishing the GCOE Student Council, which he said will be composed of student volunteers from the Office of the Associate Dean and Student Services officers. He also brought up his objective to engage students in nation building and social transformation through creating “relevant platforms.”
Depasupil’s appointment passed with 19 representatives voting in favor and one against.
Meanwhile, the vacant position for the FAST2015 LA representative was filled by Marco Tenefrancia. According to the resolution’s proponent, FAST2017 Representative Neal Gonzales, the suggestion to consider Tenefrancia for the position came from College of Liberal Arts CAP Zeanne Garcia.
Tenefrancia cited his involvement in organizing the external venues for the International Youth Leaders’ Summit in 2017 as part of his prior leadership experience. He introduced to the body his plan to focus on mental health issues and career development during his term, saying these are relevant to his batch, who are expected to graduate soon. Choosing to join the minority floor, he pronounced, “I want to give [a] voice to the marginalized of the University.”
Open letter on data breach
The Assembly unanimously decided to release an open letter regarding the passport data breach of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), declaring that part of the blame should fall on the agency and condemning the DFA Secretary’s “lack of visible action”.
After being tabled in last week’s session, the letter, authored by Science and Technology Government Representative Geo Olaivar and CATCH2T21 Representative Jaime Pastor, was amended to include statements by students from the College of Computer Studies (CCS), who Pastor said were “more closely tied to the issue since [data privacy is] closely related to [their] course.”
According to Pastor, CCS students commented that the breach was partly DFA’s fault for not securing the data when they terminated their contractor.
Manifesto on sexual harassment cases
Meanwhile, following an article by The LaSallian that explored online allegations of sexual harassment by a DLSU professor, Gonzales, along with Representatives Christian Alderite of CATCH2T19, Pao Delos Reyes of CATCH2T20, and Bella Villar of BLAZE2020, proposed to release a manifesto on the issue.
“We also believe that those victims are also in the dark in the sense that they can’t come out because they are afraid of complaining to the proper office like [the Student Discipline and Formation Office]…” Gonzales explained. He further added that he and his co-proponents felt that the matter was timely and that the resolution calling for the manifesto’s release was in the best interests of the students.
But after a number of representatives raised concerns over the structure and content of the document, which they called “basic”, “vague”, and “insufficient”, the body decided to table the resolution to give way for revisions on the statement.
Amendment for the LA manual
The LA unanimously agreed to amend part of the LA Manual, which thus provides for the body to hold their sessions every Monday at 3 pm rather than every Friday at 2:40 pm. Gonzales, who put the proposition forward, reasoned that academic priorities prevent “a lot of people” from attending their sessions.