By Raissa Juada
Last October 26, 2017, the FEU Congress had its fourth regular session for this academic year. The session began at 6:30 pm and ended at 7:45 pm. Those who were present during this session were the representatives from IABF Student Council (IABF-SC), IARFA Student Council (IARFA-SC), IAS Student Council (IAS-SC), IN Student Council(IN-SC), ITHM Student Council (ITHM-SC), FEU Central Student Council (FEU-CSO), FEU Oratorical and Debate Council (FEU-ORADEC), FEU Sexuality and Gender Alliance (FEU-SAGA), IL Student Council (IL-SC), and FEU Makati Student Council (FEU-MKT)
In the first part of the session, the privileged speech was delivered by the representative from FEU-CSO. The speech was about the proposed Constitutional Convention (Con-Con), wherein all the student bodies in FEU will convene to discuss the proposed One FEU Constitution – the new constitution of Far Eastern University. After the speech has been delivered, a point of information was raised by a representative from IE-SC, asking why a new FEU constitution should be drafted when amendments could just be done. In response to the point of information raised by the representative of IE-SC, the representative from FEU-CSO stated that amendments would not suffice and there is a need to draft a new constitution because “… the (present) constitution is outdated and needed to be revised.”
The second part of the session was the presentation of and deliberation on the resolution prepared by FEU-CSO. The resolution was titled “A Resolution Authorizing the FEU Central Student Organization to Convene Student Bodies for a Constitutional Convention.” After the resolution was presented in front, the deliberation took place.
The first representative who raised a point of information was the representative from the IAS-SC, asking about what will happen to the constitutions of other institutes after the new FEU Constitution would be drafted. The representative’s concern was whether or not the new FEU constitution will “… supersede their constitutions” or will just “… serve as a guideline for the crafting of their own constitutions.” In response to the question of the IAS-SC representative, the FEU-CSO representative stated that the new constitution will supersede the other constitutions.
The second point of information was raised by the representative from the IE-SC, asking why the members of the FEU Congress should give FEU-CSO the authorization to craft a general constitution. The representative of FEU-CSO stated that it is only fitting that they should craft the new constitution because FEU-CSO represents the entire student body. As stated by the representative of FEU-CSO, “… FEUCSO embodies the entire student body of FEU. The resolution that will be approved will be neutral and unbiased.”
Thereafter, the representative of IE-SC raised another point of information, asking why should the crafting be done through a Con-Con rather than through a Constituent Assembly (Con-As). In response to the question, the FEU-CSO representative stated that Con-Con is the better option because it is “… more inclusive and can get more factors.”
The fourth point of information was raised by the representative from the IL-SC, asking why the commission-on-election (COMELEC) should be involved in the application process. After this question was raised, the representatives agreed upon holding a caucus after the deliberation to answer the question.
The fifth point of information was raised by the representative from the IABF-SC. The representative’s concern was regarding the first clause on the first page of the resolution, in which it is stated that the present constitution is “outdated.” The representative of the IABF-SC asked the question, “… How can you say that the present constitution is outdated?” The representative from FEU-CSO answered the question by saying, “… It should be updated in order to cater to the needs of the present student body of FEU.”
The sixth point of information was raised by the representative from IAS-SC, asking if there was a research done on the first clause of the resolution. The representative from FEU-CSO stated that just by looking at the present constitution, one will easily recognize that it is truly outdated. As stated by the FEU-CSO representative, “The best proof is that to simply look at your own constitution and you will know that it is outdated and needed to be contemporized. We can’t remember certain proofs but we will look through it ASAP.”
The seventh point of information was raised by the representative from IAS-SC. In relation to the first point of information that they have raised, the IAS-SC representative asked why the new constitution should supersede the other institute constitutions instead of just encouraging each institute to update their constitutions. The representative from FEU-CSO answered the question by saying, “… The constitution will be very much inclusive and will address each of the needs of the student body holistically.”
Thereafter, the representative from IAS-SC raised a motion to hold an unmoderated caucus. When the session resumed, the IAS-SC representative raised a motion to amend the resolution. The ITHM-SC representative seconded the motion, and then the Chair opened the floor for the amendments.
The first amendment was proposed by the IL-SC on Section 2, Rule 3 of the resolution, stating that “From minimum of 5 to minimum of 2 to maximum of 3.” In response to the proposed amendment, the FEU-CSO representative stated that with that amendment, “… we cannot have forty-five (45) members in the convention.” The IL-SC representative then amended their amendment and removed the last phrase of the section.
Thereafter, the Chair changed the mode of amendment, and then the ITHM-SC representative proposed the second—and the last—amendment, stating that Rule 3 Sec. 1 Subsection (e) should also include form 137. After this proposed amendment was raised, the session was immediately suspended at 7:45 pm, ending the fourth regular session of the FEU Congress.