November 6, 2021 (7:05 PM)

4 min read


The establishment of the Student Judicial Court (SJC) has been pushed to a date between November to January, the SAMAHAN Students Rights’ and Welfare confirmed.

In a meeting last November 2, the SAMAHAN Central Board and Student Assembly voted for the postponement of the establishment of the SJC for a better timeline and more thorough proceedings.

“Trying to establish the Court in such a limited time would be challenging because, one thing is that, there is no dissemination of information to the student body in the more recent context about the Student Judicial Court other than the previous call for its establishment,” STRAW director Vincent Campos said.

According to Campos, following the timeline in the proposed Rules of Appointment for the First SJC, which compressed the establishment of the SJC within the semestral break, posed time constraints for gathering enough applicants to represent the clusters and studying for the constitutional exam.

“If by bad luck, if walang makapasar sa isang cluster, that would mean na we would have to retake or have different people undergo the appointments,” Campos said.

The latest proposal for the timeline of the appointments starts from November and ends in April to have a “proper flow of the appointments” and help the magistrates prepare for their duties. 

Although SAMAHAN president Karlo Torreon agreed that there was a need to extend the timeline, he emphasized that postponement should not be until April. 

“Reasonable naman that we move but it’s not reasonable that we move too much. Reasonable that we move for the simple reason that bago lang nag sem break. People might not have the energy to apply,” he said, also adding that by the end of sem break or start of the second semester, the application might be more feasible.

Torreon also suggested that the application process will be simultaneous with the preparation for the examinations and the consultations with the law office.

“Legal documents, like this, have to be consulted with the legal office of the university since we are going to decide on student affairs,” he said.

Political parties pushed for SJC formation

Last October 20, political parties Ateneans for Governance, Innovation, Leadership, and Service (AGILAS) and BAHAGHARI called to hasten the establishment of the Student Judicial Court in accordance with Article VI, Section 1 of the revised SAMAHAN Constitution.

Because of the ‘unprofessionalism’ demonstrated last October 17 by a member of the Office of the SAMAHAN Treasurer when she sent a letter with sexual innuendos to notify a grantee of the REVERSE Financial Aid Program with the letterhead of SAMAHAN, the Office took heavy flak from the student body.

“In countless campaigns and advocacies, we clamor for changes in the social realities that exist within and beyond our campus and digital spaces, but what is the point of all that if our student government is gradually resembling the very systems we are trying to change in our society?

Without a student judiciary, perpetrators can merely resign to save face without bearing the full consequences of their actions in office,” BAHAGHARI emphasized in their released statement.

On the other hand, AGILAS emphasized in their statement that “transparency, accountability, and proper checks and balances” through the creation of SJC should be the priority of SAMAHAN.

According to the 2020 SAMAHAN Constitution, the Student Judicial Court is the body responsible for “settling controversies involving student rights and those involving the SAMAHAN as an organization.” Furthermore, Article XVII, Section 3 states that it will also “handle the impeachment proceedings and shall be the presiding body for such.”

The first Student Judicial Court will only take effect upon the approval of the SAMAHAN Central Board and Student Assembly. The call of the political parties compelled SAMAHAN to revisit the Rules of Appointment of the department.

Until now, some provisions on the Rules of Appointment for the First Student Judicial Court remain to be subject for clarifications, edits, and revisions

End the silence of the gagged!

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