Originally posted here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150091413184794&id=100000053506248
Around 4pm today, February 8, the Student Council had just a dialogue with Dean Enrique Avila and Associate Dean Ritchelita Galapate pertaining the Student Representation issue under UP Cebu’s autonomy. With UP Cebu’s autonomy, there will no longer be a student representative in the Executive Committee. The following are few important points raised by the Student Council and the Administration. PLEASE NOTE that most of the lines here are not exact. The recorded video of the dialogue will be posted afterwards.
Dean: The Executive Committee is only concerned of academic issues. For administrative issues/policies, there is another body for that. In UPV’s and in other constituent units, there is what we call Advisory Council composed of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, etc.
Dr. Galapate: Most of the issuess tackled in the Executive Committee are usually academic.
SC: Sir, our new UP Charter states in Sec. 3 (h), “The University shall provide democratic governance in the University based on collegiality, REPRESENTATION, accountability, transparency and ACTIVE PARTICIPATION of its constituents, and promote the holding of fora for students, faculty, research, extension and professional staff (FtEPS), staff, and alumni to &iscuss nonacademic issues affecting the University.
Dean: But I think not at all levels that’s why you have Student Regent,…
SC: Sir, we think we can just negotiate on this. Why can’t we just retain student representative in the Executive Committee total we have it naman while we are not yet autonomous.
Me: Or should there be an Advisory council na, will you recognize student representation just like the case of UP Mindanao’s Management Committee (which may be equivalent to the Advisory Council because it is also composed of the Chancellor, V-Chancellor, etc.)?
Dean: We have to follow the mandate of the UP Diliman manual wherein they do not have student representative in their ExeCom. It is not negotiable… We are the ExeCom.
SC: Oowwh/Wow.. O.O [silence]
SC: So, maybe we can be a model among other constituent universities – that we fully promote student’s right to representation. Or if that’s the case, can we make our own manual? If UP Mindanao and UP Diliman can, why can’t we.
Dean: Well, it’s our least priority. We have still lot of problems to fix for the autonomy. What will we address first, problems in the faculty or the manual?
Me: [I am confused. Shouldn’t the manual be the top priority in the process of autonomy? I believe it is very essential as it is the framework of UP Cebu’s autonomy.]
Dean: Having no student representative in the ExeCom does not mean we are no longer after you. Of course, we will sill listen to you but you must address it to the proper office. In your case, the Office of the Student Affairs.
SC: But sir, not that we are saying the OSA is incompetent, but the OSA does not really know the very objective-conditions of the students because the director is not a student, though he/she is a student before. Another thing, there is no assurance that our grievances will reach the ExeComm or whatever the body is, there might be filtering of our grievances.
Dean: Do not prejudge. Give OSA a chance.
SC: Sir, will student representation in ExeCom affect UP Cebu’s autonomy?
SC: If so, why are you hesitant to retain student representative in the ExeCom?
Dean: Because it is mandated in the UP Diliman manual.
SC: Sir, may we ask for a copy of the manual?
Dean: Yes, but not now, of course.
SC: Given that we still have to read the UP Diliman manual, can we set a time for another dialogue?
Dean: I don’t think so (considering his very hectic schedule. At the start of the dialogue, Dean Avila said that he is busy; he did not even expect he would be in Manila yesterday.)
These are just the few points raised between the two parties but are significant to the inquiry of student representation. Offshoot issues/concern were the state of UP Cebu High School, Prof. Basadre’s tenure (where he said he will never grant Prof. Basadre’s tenure because his tenure is for being a teacher in UP Cebu High School), and the Soccer Field situation. We will keep everyone updated on this pressing issue.