Constitution and By-Laws

 

 

PREAMBLE

We, the college students of Visayas State University, imploring the aid of the Divine Providence, with the aim of establishing a democratic, autonomous, representative and pro-masses Student Council, in order to forward the interest, ideals, aspirations, and welfare of the members and its sectors; protect and promote scholarships, leadership and service; foster principled relationships among students, faculty, administration and other sectors of the society, do ordain and promulgate this constitution.

 

ARTICLE I

NAME AND ADDRESS

Section 1         The Student Council of the Visayas State University System shall be known as the University Supreme Student Council herein referred to as USSC.

Section 2         The USSC shall have its office at the VSU, Visca, Baybay City, Leyte.

Section 3         The Student Council of the Colleges under VSU system shall be known as College Supreme Student Council herein referred to as CSSC.

Section 4         The CSSCs shall have its address at their respective campuses.

 

ARTICLE II

COLOR AND LOGO

Section 1         The official colors of the USSC shall be green and yellow.

Section 2         The logo is depicted by four arms in tight grasp that represents unity, cooperation and harmony among its members; at the center of the logo is a mechanical balance that represents justice.

 

ARTICLE III

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES

Section 1         The USSC shall be the highest governing body of the students of the VSU system, embodied by the CSSCs.

Section 2         The USSC is a democratic, autonomous, representative and pro-masses student council.

a. The USSC shall in full authority make decisions, policies and steps for the implementation of such without any interference coming from other sectors subject to existing rules of the University and the laws of the land.

b. The USSC shall strive to instill social awareness among students, and shall take definite stand on significant issues relevant to student welfare may it be local, national or international.

c. The USSC shall serve, protect and promote the interest of the students.

Section 3         The CSSCs shall exercise local autonomy such that each CSSC is independent to each other but they shall cooperate, support, and actualize any approved project and activity of the USSC.

Section 4         The USSC shall actively participate on matters affecting studentry through representation to the Board of Regents (BOR) in accordance with RA 8292, otherwise known as “The Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997”, and in the implementing bodies of the University.

 

ARTICLE IV

MEMBERSHIP

Section 1         All bonafide VSU undergraduate students shall become members of the USSC upon enrollment within the regular semester.

Section 2         All members shall be bound by Constitution and by-laws and subject to its rules and regulations.

Section 3         Membership ends upon transfer to another school and/or upon cessation of the schooling within the regular semester.

Section 4         The membership fee of the students under the college shall be determined by their respective CSSC with the approval of its members.

Section 5         Each student shall pay a minimum of PhP 50.00 per semester (or as may be determined by the USSC Board) to the USSC General Fund.

Section 6         The USSC membership fee shall be collected upon enrollment of every semester by the USSCs treasurer.

 

ARTICLE V

RIGHTS OF MEMBERS

Section 1         Every member has the right to academic freedom as provided by the 1987 Philippine Constitution Article XIV, Section 5, Sub-section 1.

Section 2         Every member has the right to an education commensurate to his or her abilities and capabilities and to avail himself/herself scholarship or grants offered by any sector of the society.

Section 3         Every member has the right to be knowledgeable of the USSC constitution and by-laws and participate actively during activities of the council.

Section 4         Every member has the right to express his/her views or opinions on all matters affecting him/her as a member of the University community and society as a whole.

a. Every member shall have the right to participate in discussions inside and outside the classroom setting and put a stand on significant issues whether local, national or international.

Section 5         Every member has the right to express his/her views and opinions in student newspaper and similar publications provided that he/she upholds the principles of responsible journalism.

a. Every member shall have the right to circulate leaflets, newsletters, posters, manifesto, and other materials of similar nature.

b. Student publications shall serve as official student organ reflecting and enhancing the ideas, views, aspirations, issues, and sentiments of students regarding its academic community, university administration, and society in general.

c. No school administrator, school official, faculty and staff shall interfere, influence nor determine the contents of the student publication provided that they shall be guided by the provision of the Campus Journalism Act.

Section 6         Every member shall have the right to be protected against any harassment, abuse and unwarranted interference that is prejudicial to his/her physical, mental, emotional, social, moral and spiritual development and beliefs.

a. Military/police elements, school security forces, faculty and staff shall not interfere and/or not of harm with peaceful student activities inside the campus particularly students’ protest actions.

b. Every member shall have the right to be in due process of law if and only if his/her right/s is/are abused or suppressed.

Section 7         Every member shall have the right to organize associations without any discrimination and/or participate actively in any of these, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the University.

Section 8         Every member shall have the right to exercise ideological and spiritual beliefs without trespassing others’ respective values.

Section 9         Every member shall have the right to information on all matters affecting his/her studies and access on all records and documents (whether printed or in electronic form) of public nature.

Section 10       Every member shall have the right to vote and be elected subject to internal policies of the organization he/she desires to join.

Section 11        Every member shall have the right to protest against unjust and inhumane University policies.

a. No member shall be barred nor intimated from participating in any student assembly.

b. Every member shall the right to air their grievances, seek redress and shall have his or her protection for whatever intimidation or harassment suffered without just cause.

 

ARTICLE VI

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MEMBERS

Section 1         Every member shall uphold this constitution.

Section 2         Every member shall empower and develop each other’s advocacies for public service in order to strengthen the organization and foster cooperation wherein he/she is a member.

Section 3         Every member shall pay his/her CSSC and USSC membership fee as levied by his/her respective CSSC.

Section 4         Every member shall cast his/her vote in every election/plebiscite conducted by the Student Election Board.

Section 5         Every member shall attend all meetings conducted by their respective CSSCs, or by the USSC.

Section 6         Every member shall be involved in any socio-cultural, sport, and academic activities conducted by the USSC or by his/her respective CSSC.

Section 7         Every member shall exercise his/her duties and responsibilities.

 

ARTICLE VII

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

Section 1         Negligence of the duties and responsibilities of each member is subject to sanctions as per determined by the Committee on Sanctions through an approved resolution provided that it is in line with the rules and regulations of the University and in relation with Article VI.

 

ARTICLE VIII

THE USSC BOARD

Section 1         The Executive and Legislative Power shall be vested in the USSC Board.

Section 2         The USSC Board shall be composed of the Presidents of the CSSCs.

Section 3         The Board shall be composed of the following:

  1. President
  2. Vice-President
  3. Secretary-General
  4. Treasurer
  5. Auditor
  6. Eight (8) Board Members

Section 4         The eight (8) Board Members shall head any of the following committees;

  1. Committee on Justice and Students Rights (CJSR)
  2. b.      Committee on Student Welfare and Housing (CSWH)
  3. Committee on Sports (CS)
  4. Committee on Socio-Cultural Affairs (CSCA)
  5. Committee on Education (CE)
  6. Committee on Information
  7.       Committee on Student Organization (CSO)
  8. Committee on Sanctions (CoS)

Section 5         Once a CSSC President is elected as USSC President, his/her Vice-President shall automatically assume his/her responsibility as CSSC President and shall automatically be a Board Member.

 

ARTICLE IX

POWER, DUTIES, FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE USSC BOARD OFFICERS

Section 1         The newly elected USSC Board Officers shall conduct an inaugural address in a form of general assembly two weeks after the start of the regular school year.

Section 2         The USSC Board Officers shall conduct a State of the Council Address (SOCA) three weeks before the final examination in every regular semester.

Section 3         The President

  1. Shall be the head of the USSC.
  2. Shall approve all legislations and resolutions passed by the Board.
  3. c. Shall represent or delegate representatives for official functions of the USSC.
  4. d. Shall be the official representative to the Board of Regents (BOR).
  5. Shall preside on all meetings and dialogues of the Board.
  6. Shall vote in case of ties or as per determined be the Election Code.
  7. Shall form special committees when needed.
  8.       Shall perform other functions if the need arises as approved by the Board.

Section 4         The Vice-President

  1. Shall assume the responsibility of the President in such cases of his/her incapacity, absence, resignation or impeachment.
  2.        Shall have a voting power apart from his/her functions or as per determined by the Election Code.
  3. Shall perform other functions if the need arises as determined by the President, or by the USSC Board.

Section 5         The Secretary-General

  1. Shall keep all journals and correspondents pertaining to the activities of the USSC, and shall reproduce such if the need arises.
  2. Shall take minutes of the USSC Board meetings, general assemblies and the likes.
  3. Shall issue call slips to the USSC Board Officers.
  4. Shall present secretarial report through the Committee on Information.
  5. Shall have a voting power apart from his/her functions or as per determined be the Election Code.
  6. Shall perform other functions if the need arises as determined by the President, or by the USSC Board.

Section 6         The Treasurer

  1. Shall be principal budgetary officer of the USSC.
  2.        Shall keep detailed records on all properties and financial expenditures of the USSC.
  3. Shall transparently present an approved financial report together with the Auditor to the USSC members during SOCA.
  4. Shall have a voting power apart from his/her functions or as per determined be the Election Code.
  5. Shall perform other functions if the need arises as determined by the President, or by the USSC Board.

Section 7         The Auditor

  1. Shall audit all accounts of the USSC.
  2. b. Shall assist the financial report of the USSC Treasurer.
  3. Shall have a voting power apart from his/her functions or as per determined be the Election Code.
  4. Shall perform other functions if the need arises as determined by the President, or by the USSC Boar.

Section 8         The Board Members

  1. Shall be the head of his/her respective committee.
  2. Shall be held accountable for the effective and dynamic functioning of his/her committee.
  3. c. Shall establish linkages with the other USSC Board committees.
  4. d. Shall make resolutions pertaining to concerns and functions of his/her committee.
  5. e. Shall have a voting power apart from his/her functions or as per determined be the Election Code.
  6. f. Shall perform other functions if the need arises as determined by the President, or by the USSC Board.

Section 9         Nature and Description of the Executive Board Committee

  1. a.       Committee on Justice and Student Rights (CJSR)
  2. Shall hear grievances from the USSC Members, attend to these and bring issues to the appropriate authorities for immediate action.
  3. Shall act as a Para-legal counsel to members being subjective to investigation by the University and other entities and/or shall facilitate the assistance of any reputable lawyer.
  4. Shall be present during investigations involving Student cases conducted by the University.
  5. b. Committee on Student Welfare and Housing (CSWH)
  6. Shall monitor food, fare and fuel prices and exert effort to organize the Studentry in gaining the best deals in bargaining compromises with entities concerned.
  7. Shall implement projects and form task forces addressed at giving solutions/remedies to problems concerning student welfare.
  8. Shall attend to problems concerning student-housing welfare and bring these to the attention of the proper authorities for action.
  9. Shall coordinate with the alliance of dormitory occupants, non-dormitory occupants, and other dormitory organizations from both main and external campuses.
  10. Shall discuss common goals with the alliance of dormitory occupants’ leaders and leaders of organizations for non-dormitory occupants and implement activities that would benefit them.
  11. Shall assist the USSO regarding the concerns on housing maintenance and facilities that will provide security among dormitory and non-dormitory occupants.
  12. Shall represent the USSC in the USSO Dormitory Management.
  13. c. Committee on Sports (CS)
  14. Shall coordinate with the Institute of Human Kinetics in the conduct of the USSC’s Most Valuable Player Award Program during the Annual University Intramural Games.
  15. Shall coordinate with the Committee on Sports of every dormitory and cottages.
  16. Shall monitor the welfare of the sports related organization recognized by the USSO and the VSU varsity team.
  17. Shall represent the USSC in the VSU Anniversary Committee and in the Athletic Board.
  18. d. Committee on Socio-Cultural Affairs (CSCA)
  19. Shall organize socio-cultural activities for the benefit of the students.
  20. Shall promote and develop Philippine cultural dances and traditional games.
  21. Shall coordinate with every Socio-Cultural Committees of different dormitories and the Culture and Arts Center of the University.
  22. Shall monitor the welfare of any socio-cultural related organizations recognized by the USSO.
  23. e. Committee on Education (CE)
  24. Shall receive complaints and work for the resolutions of academic-related grievances.
  25. Shall coordinate with the Director on Research and Extension and the USSO for the schedule of seminars and workshops.
  26. Committee on Information (CI)
  27. Shall manage and disseminate information regarding projects and activities of the USSC Board.
  28. Shall publish the outcome of the activities conducted by the USSC in coordination with the recognized school publication.
  29. Committee on Student Organization
  30. Shall provide supplementary training or education programs to all student organizations at least once a semester.
  31. Shall have the duty to motivate any organization to participate in any decision making process affecting their interest.
  32. Shall support interested group of students to form an organization without any kind of discrimination provided that it follow rules and regulations of the University.
  33. Committee on Sanctions (CoS)
  34. Shall be responsible to lead the deliberation/s pertaining to complainants/allegations proposed by the complainant/s as per determined by the Committee on Justice.
  35. Shall be responsible for charging sanction/s as per determined by the USSC Constitution and the University rules and regulations.

 

ARTICLE X

GENERAL FUNDS

Section 1         The USSC shall manage its funds accordingly.

Section 2         The general funds of the USSC shall source out from the local funds coming from the USSC Membership Fee and other income-generating activities.

Section 3         The USSC shall agree to matters relevant to general funds.

 

ARTICLE XI

ACCOUNTABLITY OF THE USSC OFFICERS

Section 1         The USSC Office is a student trust. Its officers must be accountable to its members, serve them with utmost responsibility, honesty, integrity, efficiency, loyalty and impartiality; and lead them academically and socially.

Section 2         The USSC Officers may be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of any culpable violation of this constitution, bribery, graft, betrayal of student’s trust, and two consecutive unexcused absences from regular meetings and sessions.

  1. The USSC Officers and leaders of any University Registered Student Organization shall have the right to submit an impeachment complaint to the USSC Board, as long as they can provide substantial evidence against the accused USSC officer.
  2. The USSC advisers and the Board members except the accused officer shall deliberate the impeachment complaint and decide whether an impeachment trial is needed.
  3. The impeachment trial must be conducted as soon as possible as long as the USSC advisers, USSC Board Members, USSO representative, accused officer, and the complainants are present.
  4. If accused officer failed to attend two consecutive impeachment trials, he/she will be charged to contempt of court.

Section 3         Judgement in cases of impeachment shall extend further than removal from office and disqualifications from holding any office/position within the USSC and CSSC in the future.

Section 4         The USSC Board shall promulgate its rules on impeachment.

 

ARTICLE XII

TERM OF OFFICE AND FILLING OF VACANCIES

Section 1         Term of Office

  1. The newly-elected set of officers shall assume their office first semester of the succeeding school year after officially proclaimed by the Student Election Board (SEB).
  2. The term of office of the USSC Board shall be one (1) year or until their successors are elected.
  3. No USSC Board Officer shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

Section 2         Filling of Vacancies

  1. If the office vacated is that of the President, the Vice-President shall automatically assume office as President.
  2. If the office vacated is office other than that of the President, the Vice-President of his/her respective CSSC shall automatically assume the vacated officer.

 

ARTICLE XIII

SYSTEM OF ELECTIONS

Section 1         Election in the CSSCs shall be held on Friday three weeks before the scheduled final exam of the second semester for the external campuses and Saturday for the main campus or as scheduled by the Student Election Board in case of fortuitous events.

Section 2         USSC election shall be held on Saturday two weeks before the scheduled final exam of the second semester.

  1. Only the CSSC Presidents are allowed to vote for the USSC elections.
  2. The chairman of SEB shall preside over the USSC elections.

Section 3         Election for the First Year Representative shall be during the second week of the first semester of the succeeding school year.

Section 4         There shall be a USSC Election Code, which can be revised by the USSC Officers and the currents SEB Officials.

 

ARTICLE XIV

PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Section 1         The USSC may adopt the rules contained in the Robert’s Rule of Order (Newly Revised) in all cases which they are applicable. It may adopt any special rules of order in cases where rules contained in the said book are not consistent with this constitution.

 

ARTICLE XV

CSSC CONSTITUTION

Section 1         Each CSSC shall have the free hand to formulate and ratify its own constitution provided that its content shall be contrary to this constitution.

Section 2         The CSSC constitution shall be reviewed and amended if necessary by means of Constitutional Convention right after the ratification of the USSC Constitution and By-Laws.

 

ARTICLE XVI

AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS

Section 1         Any amendment to or revision of this constitution may be proposed by the USSC Board, acting as the consultant assembly, by two thirds (2/3) vote.

Section 2         Any amendment to this constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the USSC constitutions through initiative upon the petition of at least thirty (30) percent of the total number of the undergraduate enrollees, wherein each CSSC must be represented by at least three (3) percent of its population.

Section 3         Any amendment to or revision of this constitution may likewise be made by a Constitutional Convention.

  1. The USSC Board shall appoint capable delegates of the Constitutional Convention through a resolution.
  2. Under representation and misrepresentation of the delegates for the Constitutional Convention shall make it null and void.

Section 4         Any amendment to or revision of this constitution proposed by the USSC Officers or a Constitutional Convention shall be valid when ratified by fourteen (14) days or not later than twenty-one (21) days after the approval of such amendments or revisions.

Section 5         Any amendment to or revision of this constitution directly proposed by the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite shall be held not earlier than fourteen (14) days or not later than twenty-one (21) days after the certification of the sufficiency of such petition by the Student Election Board.

Section 6         Any amendment to or revision of this constitution which exceeds the allotted time shall not be honored.

Section 7         No revision of this Constitution shall be authorized within one (1) year following the ratification of this constitution, unless there are changes in the name or the structure of the colleges of the Visayas State University System.

 

ARTICLE XVII

ADVISERS

Section 1         There shall be a Board Advisers of the USSC consisting of three members coming from the Faculty.

Section 2         The USSC Board of Advisers shall be selected by the newly elected USSC Board with the approval of the faculties they have chosen.

Section 3         The Advisers have no part in the USSC Policy Law Making.

Section 4         Duties and Function of the USSC Advisers

  1. To give advices to the USSC Officers on the area of appointments, planning, budgeting, implementing and executing the USSC programs and projects.
  2. To help settle internal disputes between and among USSC Officers.
  3. To countersign any pertinent document when needed.

 

ARTICLE XVIII

TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

Section 1         The President and other elected officers shall commence their term of office first semester of the succeeding school year as stated in Article XII, Sec. 1a.

Section 2         All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letter of instructions, and other executive issuances consistent with this constitution shall remain operative unless amended.

Section 3         The Provisions of this constitution shall take effect on the first semester of the school year 2011-2012 after its ratification and therefore shall remain effective unless amended.