USC: New student handbook focuses on rights, not penalties

by Carmela Banuelos

Sudents attend Upheaval: Defending the Right to Education, Forgoing Unities in Struggle at the School of Economics Auditorium on 28 June 2011. Afternoon classes were suspended to make way for the event. MICHELLE ANGELICA SORIANO

The University Student Council presented Tuesday a draft of a handbook meant to be an alternative to the 2010 Student Code of Conduct, which has been criticized as anti-student by several student groups.

USC Chairperson Jemimah Grace Garcia said the Student Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities focused on student rights, rather than penalties for delinquency because “[under] normal circumstance[s], UP students are in UP to be iskolars ng bayan and not to do wrong.”

During the Diliman Student Summit, an annual meeting of student groups, Garcia said the Student Review Committee decided to draft its own handbook as a “counterproposal” to the 2010 Student Code of Conduct, which did not undergo student consultation.

May mga sanctions na kung hindi dumaan sa mga estudyante, kawawa naman tayo (If the code wasn’t reviewed by students, it would have included oppressive sanctions),” Garcia said.

Excluded from the new handbook are the strict guidelines for student organization recognition, one of the contested policies in the current administration-drafted code of conduct.

If approved, the handbook will give college councils leeway in creating rules for organization recognition. Under the current setup, organizations must apply for recognition before the Office of Student Affairs.

The handbook was drafted over the summer by the Student Review Committee, headed by Garcia and composed of the USC, League of College Councils, Office of the Student Regent, and student councils from the colleges and schools in the university.

Student orgs extend help to ‘Falcon’ victims

By James Bernard E. Relativo

Various UP student organizations and formations have extended help to communities affected by Tropical Storm “Falcon”.

The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), UP ALYANSA and the Asian Institute of Tourism Student Council, among others, have set-up donation boxes for typhoon victims.

Several boxes have been placed around different colleges around the University for receiving donations such as rice, canned goods, noodles, bottled water, blankets, coffee, and medicines.

Youth volunteers also helped in packaging the donations and delivering the goods to affected families through NUSP’s Task Force Tulong Kabataan.

“We’re still working with regional chapters to determine which areas are in urgent need of relief. Let us continue what we started during Ondoy,” said Issa Baguisi of NUSP.

The NUSP is a nationwide alliance of more than 650 student councils committed to the advancement of the students’ democratic rights and welfare.

NUSP placed donation boxes at the Vinzons Hall Lobby. Donors may also place their donations at the NUSP Command Center in Scout Rallos in Quezon City.

“Giving and helping our fellow Filipinos is not an exceptional, one-time-only act. Let us show to them that it is inherent in the youth to take part in nation-building tasks like this,” Baguisi added.

UP ALYANSA, a political party in the University, also launched their “Pahinugod ni ISKO”. Donation boxes were placed in UP dormitories such as Kalayaan, Molave, Ipil, Kamia, and Ilang-Ilang Residence Halls.

Falcon left the country this week and brought P54 M in damages to infrastructure,P48.97 M of which were recorded Bicol region, the hardest hit area in the country.  The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported three fatalities as of June 27.

The NDRRMC also said that the storm left 17 people missing: 13 of which are in Bicol, two in Central Luzon, and one each in Calabarzon and Cordillera Region.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs has not received reports of damages caused by Falcon within the UP Community.

In Focus: UP students stage rally outside CHEd

By Joshua Dalupang

Amidst the changes in the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) bracketing system, students from the University of the Philippines Diliman held a protest in front of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) blaming budget cuts and deregulated school fees for the “worsening crisis of education.”

Joining the protesters from UP Diliman were members of the UP Manila University Student Council, National Union of Students of the Philippines, League of Filipino Students, and Anakbayan-UPD.

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