The Legislative Assembly (LA) approved an online election code for the upcoming General Elections (GE), formally established the Laguna Campus Student Government (LCSG), and appointed a new magistrate for the Judiciary branch and a new FAST2017 Batch Vice President during its first Zoom session of the academic year last November 6.
Online Election Code
Included in the Online Election Code are guidelines for an automated voting system that will be used in the upcoming election. Per the specified voting procedures, login credentials to a voting website will be provided to students through their DLSU email addresses at the start of the voting period. Once a student has voted, an email confirmation will be sent as proof.
According to DLSU Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairperson John Christian Ababan, it will serve as the “standing election code as long as face-to-face classes are still suspended and campus access is restricted.”
Ababan highlighted new changes included in the code that allows the formation of independent coalitions. At least three independent candidates can now form temporary alliances for campaign purposes, provided that they inform DLSU Comelec within the filing period. Ababan said this new guideline would help level the playing field for independent candidates who are “passionate” to run for USG office but are discouraged to because they “don’t have as much support” as the candidates of political parties.
The body also approved the establishment of the LCSG, whose integration into the USG Constitution was originally planned during the now-postponed constitutional plebiscite.
The positions of Campus Treasurer and Campus Secretary have been added to the lineup of officers in the Laguna Campus, while the position of Vice President for Operations has been removed. The responsibilities of the treasurer and secretary were originally shouldered by the Campus President.
LCSG LA Representative Michele Gelvoleo, who authored the resolution, added that the number of college representatives—which are executive positions different from that of the LA Representative—will also be increased to match the number of colleges in the campus. Because the Laguna Campus has accepted students from the College of Liberal Arts this academic year, the number of college representatives has been raised to six. The new seats will be up for contention in the upcoming GE.
Judiciary, FAST2017 appointments
New to the Judiciary’s set of magistrates is Jericho Quiro, the Deputy Inspector General of the Counsel Officers Committee of the judicial branch, having been appointed after being endorsed by USG President Lance Dela Cruz. Meanwhile, Marianne Dinsay was appointed as the FAST2017 Batch Vice President, as endorsed by College of Liberal Arts President Michelle Orbeta.
One of the platforms Quiro introduced was the idea of “connectivity”, which he explains is having the Judiciary connect better with the studentry through “simplified” court processes and procedures. Despite being unable to conduct face-to-face meetings and physical submission of documents, Quiro aims to continue these processes through the use of online platforms, such as Google Forms and Zoom, for filing cases and grievances.
“I believe that truth and justice should not wait, for justice delayed is justice denied,” he expressed.
Dinsay, on the other hand, bared plans to provide students with a “smoother term” by maximizing the use of social media platforms to disseminate information to their batch and by appointing a representative who will focus on responding to student concerns.
RVRCOB student services manual
The LA also approved a measure that calls for the creation of a Student Services Manual meant to guide the students of the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business on concerns such as enlistment, adjustment, petitioning, grievance processes, and “other issues pertinent to the improvement of student life.”
“I believe an online database can be of great help, especially to the freshmen, because this manual contains most if not all of the frequently asked questions that students may have,” said BLAZE2021 LA Representative Jericho Quitevis, who co-authored the measure.
BLAZE2022 LA Representative Giorgina Escoto also pointed out that the manual “will also help the LA in knowing what concerns and issues should be addressed.”
Laid on the table
The LA had originally planned to deliberate on a resolution for the use of gender-neutral pronouns, but discussions were delayed as legislators agreed to make revisions to the draft. Escoto had previously highlighted this initiative as one of her plans as Minority Floor Leader.
Proposed amendments to the USG Constitution have also been laid on the table to give time for legislators to incorporate suggested changes.