USC’s laxity: misconception or correct perception?

The University Student Council (USC) serves as the highest student-governing body in De La Salle University – Dasmariñas. As the highest student-governing body, the USC is mandated to represent the students in pursuing their rights, welfare, and concerns. Recently, a plebiscite had been called for the purpose of ratifying a new constitution proposed by the USC. The result shows that the proposed constitution won by solely depending on the ratio of the votes approving it against the votes opposing it, as stated in the 2013 Amended USC Constitution, making it unethical for disregarding the majority of the voting population. Having said, is the current USC following its mandate of representing and serving the students? Or maybe they have been following their personal will of representing themselves and serving those who they will benefit from?

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” – John F. Kennedy.

The plebiscite for the Constitution of the University Student Government pushed through last March 25-30. However, only 13.42% of the whole voting population participated on choosing “Yes” or “No” – which shall not be considered as a victory for USC, but rather a failure.  After the proposed constitution won, many questions rose regarding it.

Was there a move for the students to be informed? Yes. The USC, through their Facebook page, managed to publish the image and document formats of the new Constitution a week or two before the plebiscite. Then a two-part video presentation about the structure of the Constitution during the week of plebiscite. I might say that the only way for them to bridge the information is through social media. There were no personal discussions with the students regarding the matter. Except for the College Student Councils who campaigned the proposed constitution via room-to-room setup on the week of the plebiscite.

Was it an ideal time for a plebiscite? No. The plebiscite came out as a “sudden” for most of the students in the university. Why does it seem that they are in a rush for this MAJOR change in the university for the next five years?

Does anybody know why is there a plebiscite? I don’t think so. From the stories and rumors from the polling stations, there was only one common question from the students, “Para saan po ito?” Someone even asked me, “Para po ba ‘yun sa tuition fee increase?”

Was it right to use this sensitive issue just to campaign for “yes” votes? Isn’t this a “trapo” move for grabbing the advantage for mentioning the issue?

Speaking of the tuition fee increase…

“A yes vote for the USG Constitution is a vote for a stronger voice against tuition fee increase!!!” – Anonymous. During the plebiscite, this surfaced on my Facebook wall. Well, the tuition fee increase was a hot talk from the start of the semester until present. Was it right to use this sensitive issue just to campaign for “yes” votes? Isn’t this a “trapo” move for grabbing the advantage for mentioning the issue?

Going back, the 13.42% voter turnout shows how the USC failed to educate the students on their proposed constitution, how they failed to inform the students that there is a plebiscite called for the purpose of ratifying the constitution, and how they failed to acknowledge the representation of students on such important matter. Instead, the current USC has been pointing out that it is the fault of the students for failing to educate themselves about the proposed constitution and for failing to participate in the plebiscite.

“The USC believes that all decisions should be arrived at in a democratic manner. The will of the majority shall always prevail without infringing on the right of the minority.”
(Article II, Section 2 of the 2013 Amended USC Constitution)

Are the proponents of the USG Constitution triumphant with the victory despite the turnout of votes of the plebiscite? Is it really worth implementing if they know that only a few agreed on their proposal? Is this sudden USG Constitution plebiscite for their personal merits and recognitions?  I hope not. If the so-called “Highest Student-Governing Body” of this good university disregards the majority of the student body, it should be a slap to their faces.

If they really are for the student service, then they must be willing to go downstairs and address the students.

We cannot deny the fact that the current USC is being stormed with issues for their passivity and silence. What do we expect from this council when: the President is underperforming, hiding behind her subordinates and failing to lead the council?; the Vice President is silent, not choosing to correct the mistakes that the council makes?; the Secretary is protecting the president, siding her on every decision even if it’s wrong because they are in a relationship?;  the Auditor is being eaten alive by the circumstances, failing to take criticisms even if it was out of objectivity?; the Business Manager is losing hope towards the council?; the Public Relations Officer is just having his free rides by enjoying the perks of being an officer and got appointed just because he is a close friend of the president?

I wish I could go on and on regarding these matters for it will serve as a critical component in the operations of the Student Council or Student Government. There are still many things that should be discussed. If they really are for the student service, then they must be willing to go downstairs and address the students. The students deserve to know what the USC is really up to regarding the university and council issues for it has been affecting the student service they are giving. Maybe a few hours of discussion or open forum will do. To the USC, are you brave and willing enough?


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