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Inquiry into 2021 Make-up Elections opened, grievance manual amendments finalized in first LA session of the term

The Legislative Assembly (LA) held its first session of the term last June 25 to approve a resolution calling for a legislative inquiry on the recently conducted 2021 Make-up Elections, the finalization of amendments to the grievance manual for students, the resignation of EDGE2020 Batch Vice President Nadine Santos and EDGE2019 Batch Vice President Sabine Gonda, and the appointment of Tara Sanchez as the new EDGE2019 Batch Vice President. 

Moreover, Chief Legislator Giorgina Escoto approved the adoption of the Rules of the Legislative Assembly.

Legislative inquiry on online elections

BLAZE2021 LA Representative Pia Beltrano, along with EXCEL2021 LA Representative Katkat Ignacio, FAST2019 LA Representative Lara Jomalesa, and FAST2018 LA Representative Marts Madrelejos put forward a resolution to conduct a legislative inquiry on the recently held 2021 Make-up Elections. 

The inquiry seeks to ensure that electoral practices and responsibilities are aligned to the Student Handbook, the USG Constitution, the USG Code of Conduct, and the Election Code.

The resolution also called for “all previous commissioners and pertinent [DLSU] Comelec officers that served [in] the 2021 Make-up Elections be subpoenaed,” but Madrelejos clarified that this would only be for the members of the commisions to tell legislators the lapses and issues during the recent elections.

With 19 votes in favor and three abstentions, the resolution was approved.

Final amendments on Grievance Manual

Meanwhile, Laguna Campus Student Government LA Representative Pau Carandang presented the final amendments to the Student Grievance Manual, which included providing additional grounds for grievances, renaming “Informal Grievance” to “Student-Teacher Dialogue”, and outlining the composition of the Ad-Hoc Grievance board to cater to students taking General Education courses. 

The finalized amendments were communicated to the University Student Government Office of the President and the Judiciary to align with the grievance section of the Student Handbook.

74TH ENG LA Representative Didi Rico elaborated that they included a new rule that would allow for grievance if a faculty unintentionally disobeys Help Desk Announcements or announcements from the Vice Chancellor for Academics pertaining to learning engagements without the consent of students. This could be applied, for example, when a faculty member insists on holding classes during Independent Learning Weeks, Academic Easing, and Academic Breaks.

Meanwhile, revisions to Article 4, Section 2.4.1, which covers the composition of the Ad-Hoc Grievance Board, was done to address situations when students come from different colleges, Ignacio explained. The corresponding college presidents that will be part of the board will be designated under the discretion of the USG President.

“Informal Grievance” was renamed to “Student-Teacher Dialogue” to supposedly not “overwhelm” those who want to process a grievance. Consequently, another step was added under Section 5.1, wherein a student may approach a Student Adviser, who can be contacted through the Judiciary’s Facebook Page or email, to help guide them through the process.

The resolution was unanimously approved with 22 votes.

New EDGE2019 Batch VP appointed

Legislators also sought to approve two resignations. Santos formally withdrew from her current position as she shifted out of her college and moved to the College of Liberal Arts.

Gonda, on the other hand, said she stepped down due to family matters and conflicting schedules between her batch government work and her current job. Following her resignation, the LA unanimously approved the appointment of Sanchez as endorsed by EDGE2019 Batch President Alex Brotonel. 

Sanchez laid out plans to introduce EduTech Stream, a game-based learning platform that aims to promote and discuss the utilization of educational video games such as Roblox Education and Minecraft: Education Edition. She explained that discussions will happen within the game itself and would be recorded for those who cannot access the platforms.

By Orville Apostol

By Jezah Mae Bagsit

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