by Karylle Panorel | April 26, 2022
Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) Student Assembly recently approved a resolution rescheduling the 2022 SUSG elections considering adjustments in the school calendar after Typhoon Odette.
During the 10th regular session, representatives approved the suggested new schedule through Resolution No. 29, s. 2022, which moved the 2022 SUSG “virtual halalan” from May 25 to May 18.
The resolution was authored by Rep. Raia Regina Aguilar of the Institute of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Rep. John Christian Entrata of the School of Public Affairs and Governance.
They said that conducting the SUSG Elections on May 25, as mentioned in provision from the SUSG Constitution, would cause conflict with the students’ academic responsibilities and would hinder the candidates, the SUSG Commission on Elections (COMELEC), and the student body from fixating on the SUSG Elections.
The resolution stated that the date mandated by the SUSG Constitution for the conduct of the SUSG Elections will be in conflict with the semester’s final week of the second semester of the school year. The school calendar for the semester has been pushed back and the semester started on a later date than expected because of the “extreme damages” brought by Typhoon Odette.
Rep. Entrata also clarified that the SUSG Elections were rescheduled with the intention to allow the students to focus on one event at a time.
“Conducting the SUSG Elections before the Philippine National Elections on May 9, 2022, will also be unideal considering the social media traffic during the said time,” he said when asked why the rescheduled date is after the national elections.
While SUSG election day was moved, the campaign period was also rescheduled to May 9 to 14. According to Article I Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code of the SUSG, the campaign period should start on the Monday of the week immediately prior to the SUSG Constitution-mandated election day of a particular school year.
He reassured that the schedule of the campaign is not in conflict with any academic-related activities. “While the day of the SUSG Election falls on the closed week, the activity is not expected to cause much disturbance considering that the elections will be done online,” he added.
He added that elections should stick with the online elections through SOUL considering the success of last year’s elections and the huge voter turnout. “This is also to avoid any health risks that may arise from voting face-to-face especially when students crowd in voting precincts.”
Meanwhile, the assembly is looking forward to a “bigger” voter turnout this year after rescheduling the SUSG elections at a time that is not in conflict with the national elections and any academic-related activities. “The Student Assembly really hopes that with nationalism and a sense of civic responsibility at their peak because of the upcoming elections, the student body would also be more proactive as we conduct the SUSG elections,” Rep. Entrata said.
He added that the Student Assembly is receiving concerns about time constraints related to the conduct of national elections and the start of face-to-face classes for selected colleges on May 11.
“Student assembly representatives are already in the works of a resolution that would ask the VPAA for consideration for those students who still have to travel back to Dumaguete after the national elections,” he said.
The assembly already conducted a survey among colleges to gather more concerns and suggestions.