As the DLSU University Student Government (USG) Activities Assembly (AA) held their first official meeting last December 10 via Zoom, the individual departments elected their respective officers. Along with this, Vice President for External Affairs Lara Jomalesa presented the assembly’s official outline for the proposed youth voter agenda and the AA manual that was tackled in the previous meeting.
National elections preparations
In preparation for the 2022 national elections, a partnership with DLSU’s Committee on National Issues and Concerns (CoNIC) and the rest of the University administration to release a Youth Voter Agenda is currently in progress.
The agenda will act as a guide for the DLSU community to properly discern the ideal qualities of the country’s future leaders and the platforms that the government should prioritize in succeeding years.
Jomalesa stressed that while this agenda will come from the assembly, its creation will not be restricted to it.
“After we tackle the issues we want to raise to the Philippine government, we will be sending the initial draft of the statement during the convention of leaders…on January 8,” she explained.
The results of a survey from CoNIC last academic year will be used as a guide for the agenda that would be written by the assembly. From the said survey, the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery, education, healthcare, economy, corruption, poverty and hunger, and sovereignty and territorial integrity were identified by the student body as the most pressing issues of the country. Moreover, the survey results also revealed the top five leadership qualities that candidates should possess, according to voters: pro-people, competent, credible, honest, and with integrity.
Establishing department leaders
Officers for the departments were also nominated in the meeting. Only batch and campus presidents were allowed to become chairpersons and secretariats, as Vice President for Internal Affairs Britney Paredes explained that the executive committee members of the USG are already part of the governing body that approves AA initiatives.
Out of five AA departments, only External Opportunities and University Student Support were able to elect officers during the meeting. For External Opportunities, BLAZE2021 Batch President Janella Gaoat and EXCEL2023 Batch President Kylee Tan were elected as chairperson and secretariat, respectively. Meanwhile, BLAZE2022 Batch President Audrey Lei Tan and EDGE2019 Batch President Lexine Dy were elected as chairperson and secretariat of University Student Support.
Failing to reach the 50-percent-plus-one voting requirement, the Civic Engagement, Political and National Affairs, and University Policy departments decided that their elections would be done asynchronously.
Such resulted in the election of FAST2019 Batch President Sofia Barrion and EXCEL 2022 Batch President Angel Trinidad as the chairperson and secretariat of the Civic Engagement Department; FAST2020 Batch President Alarice Angelica Reyes and CATCH2T23 Batch President Bryan Camarillo as chairperson and secretariat of the Political and National Affairs Department; and FOCUS2019 Batch President Miles Fernandez and BLAZE2023 Batch President Bryan Reyes as the chairperson and secretariat of the University Policy Department.
On manual revisions
Jomalesa also presented the outline for the AA Manual, which was based on the existing Legislative Assembly (LA) Manual. However, given that AA does not use the parliamentary system, the portion covering procedural meetings was removed. She also emphasized that both the LA and the USG Judiciary would be consulted regarding the AA Manual because “it’s also [going to] be an important document and a supplementary document under the constitution.”
Meeting no opposition from members, AA proceeded to assign parts of the manual to different departments for the proposal of provisions. The initial deadline for the manual’s draft was set to January 14 of next year to allow for open door consultations as the AA aims to consult the LA and the Judiciary about the manual by the first week of the second term.