Rundown of LA’s remaining plans outlined in public hearing

The University Student Government Legislative Assembly gathered for the body’s first public hearing to review the rest of their initiatives before the end of their term.

The majority and minority floors of the University Student Government (USG) Legislative Assembly (LA) convened on June 14, at the USG Session Hall to provide updates on the body’s initiatives for the rest of their term, particularly on the lead-up to the upcoming General Elections 2024. 

FAST2022 Batch Legislator and majority leader Irish Garcia provided an overview of her floor’s plans, two of which were focused on the LGBTQ+ community in light of Pride Month. They were then preparing a bill that proposed to institutionalize Pride-related events in the University, ultimately requiring the USG to organize them in coordination with the Lasallian Center for Inclusion, Diversity and Well-being (LCIDWell), LGBTQ+ organizations, and sector representatives. The LA approved this bill the following week.

The LA also recently disseminated a survey that aims to gather insights from the student body on the current DLSU Safe Spaces Policy, which was last amended in 2020. Particularly, the LA looks to add safeguards against sexual, cultural, and gender-based harassment. The policy is currently under review with LCIDWell, Garcia said. The LA’s Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW) Committee is also collaborating with the Office of the President’s policy team.

A proposal to add a 15-minute grace period for classes in the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall is also in the works. The grace period is supposed to provide students additional time before they can be marked as tardy. A survey was also sent out at the start of the month for this LA bill. 

Other initiatives under the majority floor include a possible revision of the DLSU Mental Health Policy with the Office of the Vice President for Internal Affairs, a bill that proposes to address the issues surrounding the Dean’s Lister privileges of students on leave of absences, and a review of the absence policies in the University. No specifics were provided on the last one. 

The minority floor leader, CATCH2T25 Batch Legislator Earl Guevara, headed the updates for the body’s bills, one of which is the Committee on Student Opportunities (COSO) bill. A group they aim to form under the Office of the Vice President for External Affairs, the COSO will work hand-in-hand with the DLSU administration to better consolidate and streamline the processes related to external opportunities so that students may be engaged in them. Concerns were raised about the survey’s low traction, so a re-broadcast is planned to address it in the following weeks, among current efforts to publicize it through AnimoSpace and group chats. 

The University’s Disaster Risk and Reduction Management (DRRM) policies are also up for review, as it was last updated in 2020, when the DRRM Ad Hoc Committee was established. Guevara also mentioned a “parameter checking” with the majority floor leader in relation to the initiatives. Chief Legislator Elynore Orajay clarified to The LaSallian later on that this meant monitoring the safety protocols observed by establishments around the campus.

Aside from the floors, the three LA committees also shared updates on their respective bills. The National Affairs Committee were aiming to submit a bill on the LA’s next session proposing a national affairs and sensitivity training to USG officers; they are also working on passing a recommendation to offer local folk games as a course under the Department of Physical Education. The same committee also has a statement on Pride Month for checking and revisions. The national affairs and sensitivity training was approved in the LA’s next session.

The Rules and Policies Committee, meanwhile, wants to reflect current processes and organizational arrangements in the Council of University Representatives manual, which was last updated in 2015. The STRAW Committee is working with the rest of the majority floor on inclusion policies, specifically the DLSU Safe Spaces Policy and the 15-minute grace period proposal earlier discussed. 

Orajay outlined some updates from their own office. Under the Office of the Chief Legislator, an infographic on the SOGIESC Equality Act, approved by the Legislative Assembly in 2021, will be published by the end of the month. The LA will also be partnering with the DLSU Commission on Environmental Protection for an upcoming advocacy campaign.

EDITOR’S NOTE: June 25, 2024

The report previously incorrectly cited the SOGIESC Bill in discussion as the one in the Senate instead of the one in the Legislative Assembly. The publication apologizes for the oversight.

Kim Balasabas

By Kim Balasabas

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