By Genno Gabriel Rabaya | September 28, 2023
The 33rd Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) Student Assembly approved a resolution institutionalizing a Legislators’ Assessment Exam (LAE) to be implemented next school year.
According to Frances Aldaba, the resolution’s author and the Assembly’s Speaker of the House, the LAE will serve as “a great avenue to gauge the capacity of the representatives to perform in their duties.”
The exam intends to assess the knowledge of upcoming legislators on the SUSG’s structure and their roles as representatives.
Aldaba added that, because of the bureaucratic system at SU, “newbie[s]” often face challenges in understanding how student politics works at the university, particularly in the scope of legislative authority.
“Because our main responsibility as legislators is to just organize and to just audit the budget, we don’t have a say on the event itself,” she confirmed.
During the 3rd Regular Session held on Sept. 17, the LAE was approved but amended to emphasize that the exam would be optional.
This was to address concerns regarding the exam’s constitutionality, which Aldaba clarified was not a requirement for candidacy as a representative.
Instead, the exam will be held after incoming representatives undergo the annual resolution-making workshop organized by the executive Resolutions Committee (ResoComm).
However, the results of the LAE will still be publicized by the same executive committee.
“If there were certain students who were not amenable to taking the exam, it would test the trust of the public or the constituents in terms of their public servant,” Aldaba explained.
Teara Marie Olegario, chairperson of the ResoComm, expressed her support for the LAE, saying that it is a “great idea” as there are some representatives who are unaware of the demands of their roles.
She claimed that “even [if] representatives who are elected [under]go multiple [training sessions], that still isn’t enough for them to fully acknowledge what their work entails.”
Olegario also said it would be great to publicize the results for transparency with the newly-elected representatives.
The next ResoComm administration will prepare the LAE, which includes how the SUSG works, the SU administration, and pertinent documents involving the legislators, such as the university manual and the SUSG constitution.