Coming back into full swing after more than a month since its last session, the University Student Government’s (USG) Legislative Assembly (LA) met again last January 24 at the USG Session Hall, third floor of the Br. Connon Hall, to officially resume work on the initiatives it had started last term. The new LA representatives from the 2019 Special Elections held last November 2019 joined the term’s first session.
New floor members
To formally integrate the new legislators as full Assembly members, the neophyte members were given the option to join either the majority floor, headed by FAST2018 Batch Representative Maegan Ragudo or the minority floor, which is led by FAST2017 Batch Representative Neal Gonzales. Chief Legislator Willem de Castro explained to The LaSallian that the representatives have the freedom to select which floor they wish to be part of, although it became tradition to split the LA along party lines.
New members of the minority floor now include BLAZE2022 Batch Representative Giorgina Escoto, FAST2019 Batch Representative Lara Jomalesa, FOCUS2019 Batch Representative Macky Vjuan, 74th ENG Batch Representative Kyle Arbas, and EDGE2019 Batch Representative Johann Coscolluela. CATCH2T23 Batch Representative Allen Aboy and EXCEL2022 Batch Representative Brendan Miranda, meanwhile, joined the majority floor.
Nevertheless, the new LA representatives unanimously expressed excitement at their new roles. “Being an LA [representative] has always been my dream. Maganda din ‘yung doing something for the University,” emphasized Escoto. Miranda also offered similar sentiments, sharing how student participation helps find “common ground for the betterment of the University.”
Gonzales advised the new Assembly members to use their individual passions as motivation to serve the student body. “You can really bring about great change here in the University if you choose to,” he stated.
Majority Floor leader Maegan Ragudo also welcomed the new batch representatives by sharing that the new electeds are supposed to identify problems and solutions. “Ikaw yung naghahanap ng problema sa University na bibigyan mo ng solusyon,” she stressed.
(You are the one who will look for problems in the University and you will be the ones addressing them.)
De Castro also briefed the new representatives on the examinations for LA members, which will help determine the committee assignments of its members.
Batch government vacancy
The LA also moved to fill in the vacancy of CATCH2T20’s batch government due to the resignation of Batch Vice President Nike Planas. CATCH2T20 Batch Representative Paolo De Los Reyes proposed appointing Antonello Santos to take the place of Planas based on a recommendation made by College of Computer Studies President Noki Topacio.
De Los Reyes added that CATCH2T20 Batch President Shenn Tinsay is also unable to keep up with the work of the batch unit given her academic load, making the need for a batch Vice President urgent.
Santos was invited to the floor to share his plans for his new position. He enumerated that a thesis aid and a text blast should be provided for ID 115, 116, and 117 students. Santos explained that his proposal would help the mentioned students find thesis advisers who would assist them with their thesis topics. On the other hand, Santos elaborated that the text blast can serve as a way for the student body to be informed of announcements made by the batch government.
Santos also voiced his intention to coordinate with ID 116 students to resolve the continued lack of classes resulting in delays to their program, “Marami kaming delayed sa batch.”
(There are a lot of us who are delayed.)
The resolution for the appointment of a new CATCH2T20 Vice President was approved almost unanimously, with only one abstention.
The floor leaders also laid out their respective floors’ initiatives for the term. Gonzales stated that the minority floor is focused on consultations for ID 119 elected officers, segregation of PET bottles, and looking into an all-faith room for non-Catholic students.
Due to his academic workload, Gonzales appointed BLAZE2020 Batch Representative Urban Teh as his proxy for later sessions of the LA as minority floor leader.
Meanwhile, Ragudo relayed that the majority floor will close in on the University’s sustainability policy, the anti-sexual harassment policy, and shuttle services to Laguna Campus.
The Assembly originally moved to review the University’s enlistment system. Ragudo, however, motioned to delay the discussion for the enlistment system, citing the need for more “consultation”. The motion was carried with no objections.
The planning of a second LA session at the Laguna Campus was also shelved to a later date due to lingering safety concerns regarding Taal Volcano’s status. The Laguna campus was forced to suspend operations for a week due to ashfall from the volcano.
Other minor concerns mentioned by the Assembly include residual ash in campus buildings and faulty elevators in the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall.