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No student elections this AY; USG officers to be appointed

Following the 774 out of the 7,134 DLSU-D undergraduates voting “yes” to the University Student Government (USG) Constitution revision plebiscite released on March 30, there will be no University Student Elections this academic year (AY) 2018-2019 due to the USG transition next AY 2019-2020. These changes come with huge changes in student representation, as there will be appointed leaders rather than elected officers taking office next AY.

The newly approved USG Constitution will take effect this June 15.

Students react

Upon the release of the plebiscite results on March 30, DLSU-D students went to Facebook to air out their concerns, namely the low voter turnout of 13.42% of the DLSU-D undergraduate population and the lack of information dissemination of the plebiscite as a whole. The HERALDO FILIPINO (HF) asked students of DLSU-D on their stance regarding the appointed officers, and the lack of student elections as a whole.

Mawawalan lang ng freedom talaga yung estudyante na pumili ng gusto nilang leader […] Parang unfair lang sa aming mga estudyante na wala kaming chance na pumili ng sarili naming student leaders,” said a fourth year student from the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Additionally, a fifth year student from College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology stated that “I’d rather have elected candidates because I believe in giving the students rights to vote or choices. It removes their rights to vote and maybe some students might not agree with the appointed candidates.”

However, some students agree with the appointment officers. “Parang nakikita ko na parang makakabuti siya for our campus. Para mas ma-maximize natin yung leadership kada department or saan mang position na part ng ating campus,” said a first year student from College of Business Administration and Accountancy.

Low voter turnout

Despite concerns regarding the 80.88% “yes” allegedly not being an accurate representation of the student population, the Student Commission on Election remains with their decision to ratify the plebiscite as a win, as Article XIII Section 1 of the current 2013 Amended USC Constitution states “Any amendment or revision of this constitution shall be valid upon ratification of a majority of the votes of the students during the plebiscite called for such purpose.” Moreover, Article XIV Section 1 of the proposed USG Constitution states “the ratification of the majority of votes cast by the students in a plebiscite shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution.”

Both of USC’s policies are in favor that majority of student voters for a plebiscite is necessary; yet  unlike the University Student Elections, a certain percentage is not needed for a win—thus, the 774 “yes” voters is considered a win despite 86.58% of undergraduates not voting.

As of press time, HF is awaiting USC on their statement regarding the low voter turnout for the plebiscite results.