The Legislative Assembly (LA) held last January 8 its first session for the year, wherein they approved a number of measures including the creation of a system for initiative and referendum in the University Student Government (USG) and additional amendments to the USG Constitution.
Meanwhile, after becoming Laguna Campus Student Government (LCSG) Campus President last December 11, Miguel Batallones filed his formal resignation.
Students allowed to author resos via new system
A system of initiative and referendum was created for students to exercise legislative power. Resolution author BLAZE2022 Giorgina Escoto shared that under the new arrangement, petitions from the student body can be passed as standard LA resolutions or as constitutional amendments.
A petition must be sponsored by an LA Representative who will introduce it to the legislature. If rejected, the petition can be taken to the Office of the President (OPRES), which decides whether the petition is favorable to students. If disapproved by OPRES, the petition can be brought to the DLSU Commission on Elections which will then ask the petitioner to initiate a signature drive that must be signed by 50 percent plus one of a batch unit within 45 days. The petition is considered defeated if it fails to reach the signature quota.
No more seizure of lab class dissection kits
A new resolution that would exempt dissection kits for laboratory classes from confiscation upon campus entry was unanimously approved. The resolution, which would address a Student Handbook provision that prohibits sharp objects inside the campus, was introduced with the assumption that Type C classes would open in the future.
FOCUS2018 LA Representative Renee Formoso explained that students will need to submit their names to their instructor or directly to the Biology Department, who will then forward the student list to the Security Office to ensure that the students’ dissection kits will not be confiscated.
The use of dissection kits will only be permitted during scheduled classes, and students will not be allowed to lend their kits to those not part of the list.
An orientation on the implementing guidelines is expected to be held with the Security Office, faculty from the College of Science (COS), and student leaders from the Science College Government and COS batch governments.
Constitution revised anew weeks before plebiscite
Following concerns raised by the Judiciary Department on various matters, the LA made additional amendments to the USG Constitution, less than three weeks before the revisions are to be voted on in a plebiscite. The revised Constitution now explicitly states that the Judiciary Department will have one appointed magistrate from the LCSG.
Training by the Commission on Officer Development will also include all the officers of the Judiciary, constitutional commissions, and the Office of the Ombudsman. Provisions on the Office of the Ombudsman also received a number of amendments which include the addition of provisions for physical autonomy and rules of internal governance.
Grievance, OSEC manuals
Seeing the need for a more detailed explanation on the process of filing for grievances, EXCEL2021 LA Representative Katkat Ignacio and CATCH2T22 LA Representative Shanon Ho sought to create a grievance manual detailing the information students need to file a complaint.
Ignacio emphasized that although grievance is already stipulated in the Student Handbook, there is a need for a manual that will make the grievance process more digestible to students, especially with the current online setup.
The manual shows the classifications of complaints along with step-by-step instructions on filing a complaint and types of grievance procedures.
Legislators also approved another manual which is intended as a guide for USG officers in OSEC and reflects all duties related to the office.