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UP Board of Regents uphold Student Regent’s holdover term

On August 14, the UP Board of Regents (BOR) officially upheld the holdover term of the incumbent Student Regent Isaac Punzalan.

“After weeks of waiting and leaving us in an ambiguous position, the BOR has finally responded to our bid to continue serving in a holdover capacity,” the Office of the Student Regent (OSR) said.

Initially, the incumbent SR’s term was set to expire last August 1, 2020, but it unanimously resolved at the General Assembly of Student Councils (GASC) that Punzalan would have a holdover term during the pandemic. This would be in-effect until a successor was found.

The resolution mentioned is the Resolution 2020-16 or “A Resolution to Ensure Continued Student Representation in the Board of Regents and Student Institutions of the University of the Philippines in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Adopted in the online eGASC last July 8, the resolution granted the Student Regent a holdover term until a successor could be found, and would allow for nominations of a new Student Regent in the first semester of A.Y 2020-2021, with selection in the second semester if circumstances allowed.

The resolution was unanimously adopted and was co-authored by the University Student Councils (USCs) of University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB), Cebu (UPC) Diliman (UPD), Manila (UPM), Mindanao (UPMin), and Tacloban (UPTac).

“The GASC, the body in charge of selecting the Student Regent in the final stage of the process, unanimously adopted this resolution and was presented to the BR for the sole purpose of informing them, not for further deliberations. After hesitancy from the administration, we were able to achieve this favorable outcome,” the OSR said in a Facebook post.

Moreover, the OSR pointed out the legalities of the resolution, referencing Article II, Section 3 of the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) that says that the selection process is an exclusive student affair and that no external element can be involved. According to the Codified Rules for Students Selection (CRSRS), both the Office of the President and the Board of Regents are not permitted to be involved.

The OSR thanked the students for their continuous support throughout the entire process, and said that the fight for our democratic rights and autonomy will continue even through the pandemic.

“Now, the challenge remains for us to stay united in our pursuit for the full recognition of our well-deserved rights,” the OSR said. “As the University of the Philippines enters its most challenging academic year in recent history, we will be steadfast in calling for free, quality, and accessible education with genuine compassion to not leave any student behind.”

The OSR turned its attention to the selection processes for the Chancellors of UP Manila, UP Visayas, and UP Los Banos, and the various selections of the Deans and Directors all over the colleges.

“With the selection process for the next Chancellors of 3 UP units and for Deans/Directors across the UP System now ongoing, we will strongly demand for pro-student, pro-people administrators for the university’s leadership.”

Previously, the OSR called attention to the silence from the BOR regarding the holdover term that stretched from the GASC onwards. [P]

Photo from Philippine Collegian

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