UST CSC unveils proposed Constitutional revisions

TomasinoWeb
3 min readMar 6, 2023

By Angela Atejera

The Central Student Council’s (CSC) Office of the President released a transparency report outlining proposed changes to the 2003 CSC Constitution, last Sunday, March 5.

According to UST CSC President Nathan Agustin, the revisions were proposed in response to the “need for systemic changes” in the University’s student government.

The origin of the transparency report can be traced back to the Constituent Assembly held on Sept. 19 where a preliminary session on the Constitutional Revision process and a discussion on potential amendments were made.

On Nov. 24, the Central Board clarified the process of Constitutional Revision and had also authorized the Executive Board to conduct consultations in order to formulate the proposed revisions.

In January 2023, the CSC President conveyed the Executive Board’s desire to conduct ad hoc discussions with different groups and students to gather relevant points.

Agustin mentioned that the goal of this undertaking is to present a comprehensive proposal to the Central Board to initiate the formal revision process.

Here are the proposed key provisions of the collaborative working document on the Constitution:

1. The Central Student Legislative Assembly (CSLA)

Taking on the responsibilities of the 2003 CSC Constitution Central Board, the CSLA shall be acting as the CSC’s Legislative Body. The committee will consist of legislative representatives from each Local Student Council (LSC) in a college and/or faculty.

The Central Board’s role will act as a communication channel among LSC presidents to align local-level projects and policies. Furthermore, the Central Board can exercise its residual powers to strike down any student statute, subject to limitations such as the submission of a petition signed by at least 10% of all students before it can be invoked.

2. Changes in the Executive Board structure

Proposed revisions to the election procedures for the Executive Board have been drafted. Under the new system, only the President and Vice President will be elected through University-wide elections. The Secretary, Treasurer, Auditor, Public Relations Officer, and Chief-of-Staff will be nominated by the President and elected by the CSLA.

Additionally, a Chief Experience Officer may be appointed to organize University events (i.e. Paskuhan, Welcome Walk, Baccalaureate Mass).

The Executive Board positions will also have expanded mandates, with the Auditor taking on the role of Compliance Officer to ensure adherence to all procedures and protocols.

3. Independent Commissions

To alleviate the workload of existing committees, new autonomous bodies have been proposed.

The Recognition Commission for Student Groups and Organizations will be an independent commission that will coordinate with the Student Organizations Coordinating Council to recognize student groups and organizations. Moreover, a proposed categorization system will accommodate the current recognition system of student organizations, sectors, and volunteer groups.

The Student Leadership Tribunal (SLT) will function as a student-led dispute resolution mechanism for cases related to officer misconduct, abuse of discretion, and decisions of Constitutional Bodies. However, the SLT’s decisions shall still be appealed to the Central Judiciary Board (CJB) as the latter’s creation is meant to address immediate concerns and reduce the CJB’s workload.

4. Special Processes/Issues

The revised Constitution emphasizes several special processes such as updated electoral procedures for University-wide and local elections, interim terms, officer vacancy procedures, transitory provisions upon ratification, and a new funding system for student councils.

Interested students and sectors are invited to access the working document of revisions on the Constitution. Stakeholders can input their comments and suggest edits real time.

“We highly encourage the maximum participation of every interested student and sector through all channels available — from your LSCs to the CSC. The working document is also open for your comments, with the intent of making the same conducive for collaboration,” Agustin said.

The amendments are subject to change and are yet to be ratified.

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