LA fails to select new chief but elects new floor leaders

The University Student Government (USG) Legislative Assembly (LA) was unable to elect a Chief Legislator in their first session last March 5, which was presided over by USG President Maegan Ragudo. The selection of floor leaders, however, was able to proceed but with neither side taking a majority.

LA chief elections postponed

Legislators could not muster a majority after two rounds of voting between BLAZE2022 LA Representative Giorgina Escoto and EXCEL2021 LA Representative Katkat Ignacio both ended in a 12-12 tie, prompting the body to postpone the election until all vacant seats in the LA have been filled.

FAST2018 LA Representative Martina Madrelejos and FOCUS2018 LA Representative Celina Vidal initially raised concerns that Escoto’s position as the batch assemblywoman will still be up for contention, given that a pending case in the Judiciary had suspended the elections for the BLAZE2022 Batch President and LA Representative seats.

Escoto, however, assured that the case would not affect the exercise of their duties since a new Chief Legislator can still be elected if she would lose the election for her post.

In her nomination speech, Escoto bared her plan to focus on the formation of the Office of the Chief Legislator to ensure the efficient management of their duties and responsibilities. She also intends to revise the LA Manual, which has been unchanged since 2014, revisit the rules on political partisanship, and prepare for the transition to the newly ratified amendments to the USG Constitution.

Meanwhile, Ignacio raised the need to address issues with online classes, mobilize emergency response during calamities, provide financial support to students, and advocate for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality. 

An emergency session, to be presided by a USG Executive Board (EB) member, will be set for next week. Though the LA Manual states that the USG President should oversee the election of the Chief Legislator, it does not say whether another EB can perform the same function, nor does it say what to do if the seat remains vacant in succeeding sessions. The prolonged vacancy may impact judicial and constitutional commission appointments, which according to the USG Constitution must be done by the LA within 45 days after the student government elections.

Floor leaders chosen, agenda revealed 

The LA named Madrelejos and FAST2019 LA Representative Lara Jomalesa as the new floor leaders, both with 12 LA representatives under their wing. With the body evenly split, neither floor was able to form a majority.

Jomalesa presented their floor’s agenda, which include implementing a DLSU SMS Alert System for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management announcements and important University updates; lending students with college-specific materials, especially for laboratory classes and major requirements; and improving pre-enlistment and enlistment scheduling.

With the possibility of school reopening, Jomalesa also proposed a COVID-19 Radar, which would make use of a COVID-19 contact tracing platform called NOVID, which would alert users if they are within range of or came in contact with individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Madrelejos, on the other hand, did not present their floor’s agenda, saying they had already been discussed with the rest of the representatives prior to the session. “I believe that as nominated being a Floor Leader, I would rather present our plan through our actions,” she reasoned.

Meanwhile, a resolution approving the resignation of Laguna Campus Student Government LA Representative Michele Gelvoleo was unanimously passed by the body. Gelvoleo cited conflicts with her recent appointment as Vice President-Laguna Campus in La Salle Computer Society as the cause of her departure. 

Rheine Noelle Requilman

By Rheine Noelle Requilman

Dustin Albert Sy

By Dustin Albert Sy

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