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Dinopol: There are no unconstitutional acts

By Jan Andrei Elizalde | January 19, 2024

After the 33rd Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) Student Assembly questioned the constitutionality of three resolutions being left unsigned, SUSG President Enrica Marian Dinopol said that she did not commit any “unconstitutional acts.”

She made the statement during a privilege speech in the Student Assembly’s second special session on Jan. 10 after they had sent her a communication letter with their concerns.

The letter stated that upon the election of the SUSG officers into their respective positions, there was an agreement to “cultivate a better Silliman for the students.” However, the Student Assembly pointed out that Dinopol’s delay in signing resolutions contradicted the agreement and “raised questions about the constitutionality of the president’s actions.”

In her speech, Dinopol responded by saying that she has been abiding by Article 8, Sec. 13 of the SUSG Constitution, which states that “The President shall act on every petition, resolution and other measures passed by the Student Assembly within [15] days after the receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become law as if they had signed it.”

“This clause itself signifies that even if I do not give [feedback], the Student Assembly is to act on the resolution once the [15-day] mark has been reached,” Dinopol added.

The three unsigned resolutions are Resolutions No. 4, No. 6, and No. 14. 

Resolution No. 4 institutionalizes an SUSG bar exam financial aid through the SUSG Finance Committee in coordination with the College of Law Bar Operations. 

Resolution No. 6 requests the SU administration, through its Board of Trustees, to adopt a “comprehensive” animals-on-campus university policy.

Resolution No. 14 requests the Instructional Media and Technology Center to use the university speakers to air announcements, news, and updates from the SUSG, and weekly news recaps from the Weekly Sillimanian through the Office of Information and Publication.

Moreover, Dinopol expressed concerns about the representatives having a different understanding of processing resolutions after being passed by the Student Assembly.

While acknowledging areas where she has either “improved” or requires further “improvement” in strengthening her communication, Dinopol also reminded the Student Assembly that the initiative to follow up on their resolutions is “essential.” 

“[Acting] on the implementation of [the resolutions] does not anymore [relate] to my jurisdiction [as the] president,” she added.

In her speech, Dinopol also provided a timeline of her undertakings for each resolution. However, specific details on the said timeline were not included in the Student Assembly’s livestream. 

Sections of Dinopol’s speech were kept off the record with the Student Assembly’s permission to keep communications between the president and certain university offices confidential.

Meanwhile, Frances Aldaba, SUSG Speaker of the House, declined to further comment on the situation.

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