CSC mulls University-wide referendum on charter change

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Photo by Deejae S. Dumlao

THE UST Central Student Council (CSC) is set to hold a University-wide referendum as part of a bid to revise its outdated 2003 constitution, after “Abstain” votes swept majority of council posts in last year’s elections.

In a news conference on Thursday, CSC Secretary Therese Gorospe said students would be able to vote for or against revising the council charter through their eLearning Access Program (eLeap) accounts from Feb. 5 to 12.

“Since ‘yung CSC may account na sa eLeAP, [doon] na namin ipapasok ‘yung referendum para mas mabilis. “Yes” or “No” lang naman [ang isasagot]… if they want to change the constitution [or not],” Gorospe said.

Jonathan Santos, CSC Central Board speaker and president of the Civil Law Student Council, said the revision would go through a “democratic” process.

“The mode of reviews and revisions or amendments has no steadfast rule in the CSC constitution, so we provided the rule, and to make it more democratic we agreed to hold a referendum,” Santos said.

At least 50 percent plus one of the Thomasian electorate must approve of the plan to revise CSC constitution.

If Thomasians vote against amending the constitution, the CSC will proceed with the revision of the long-delayed Students’ Code instead.

If the referendum rules in favor of the revision, the CSC will convene a constitutional convention, which will meet on Feb. 18, March 4 and 11 to deliberate on the provisions of the new constitution.

The proposed revisions will be distributed to the local student councils for review, but will still be subject to the approval of the CSC Central Board.

“Mayroong isang college or faculty president na hahawak ng isang article then through that, mag-iinject sila ng mga possible provisions na idadagdag o tatanggalin. But then lahat ng provision na ‘yun [ay] subject to deliberation [at] pagdedebatehan pa ng [Central Board] kung ia-add o hindi,” Santos said.

The final draft of the new constitution will be submitted to the Office of the Rector for approval, and will be subject to a plebiscite to be held from April 16 to 21, concurrent with the regular CSC elections.

In the April 2017 elections, “Abstain” votes won in four out of six posts—president, vice president, treasurer and auditor—sparking calls for a revision of the CSC constitution.

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