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University Student Council 2014-2015 STUDENTS RIGHTS AND WELFARE Committee Proposal Pola Lia Celina Lamarca Councilor-Elect

Why a STRAW Committee? There is a clear mandate from the Constitution of the University Student Council (USC) to strive to defend and promote the rights and general welfare of the University studentry and the Filipino people. The story of a UP student is formed both inside and outside the classroom, molded by experiences as freshmen, organization members, athletes, dormers, advocates, leaders etc. Thus, when we speak of students rights and welfare, it is clear that these different aspects of the students life must always be taken into account. The STRAW committee is the realization of the pivotal role of a student council, particularly the University Student Council as a defender, advocate, and promoter of the rights and welfare of its constituents. With respect to students rights, such duty includes strengthening the rights that are already in place, protecting those that are constantly impinged upon, and identifying those that have not been previously recognized. With respect to student welfare, the duty means actively seeking out the specific concerns and sentiments of its constituents and striving to address them for and in behalf of the students. It is incumbent upon the USC to ensure that the students are provided opportunities that will complement and supplement their needs and goals throughout their stay in the University. In all cases, the STRAW Committee must strive to create campaigns and activities that are concrete, relevant, and student-oriented. It must also be borne in mind that the efforts for students rights and welfare are undertaken for the betterment of students and the Filipino citizenry in general. Thus, our campaigns and activities must always be envisaged with the goal of creating lasting change and of expanding our victories to other colleges and universities in the country. The Mission: 1. To be student-oriented The STRAW Committee will establish connections through regular org visits, attending STRAW-related events of local councils, being responsive to student concerns in the implementation of its projects, and following up students who come to the USC for assistance. 2. To be proactive The STRAW Committee should be at the forefront of innovative and multileveled campaigns that will effectively forward the students agenda. 3. To be inclusive STRAW is not only for UP students but for students in general, thus, when practicable, we will expand our campaigns and projects outside the campus and engage councils and organizations from other schools and communities. STRAW Organizational Structure The STRAW Committee members will be distributed into 3 subcommittees. In addition, 3 of the members of STRAW will be designated as deputies who will serve as point persons for the specific concerns pertained to. Upon the creation of STRAW, internal rules will be promulgated to determine the number of members for each subcommittee. Designations:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Chairperson Deputy for Freshmen, Shiftees, Transferees, Graduate and International Students Concerns Deputy for Organization, Fraternity and Sorority Concerns Deputy for Concerns on Academic Rights

Sub Committees 1. Students Rights and Welfare Center 2. Team for Students Legislative and Reform Agenda 3. Special Advocacies Committee

Plan of Action: I. Students Rights and Welfare Center Objective: To stand as the students grievance and consultation mechanism. The primary goal is to seek out incidents of the obstruction of students rights as well as the challenges in achieving students needs. Action: Conduct regular dialogues with organizations and concerned administrative offices and ensure accessibility of USC to both affiliated and non-affiliated students. 1. Vinzons Hall Renovation the goal is to transform Vinzons Hall into a functional student center to create a venue which embodies the vision of a USC that is accessible and studentoriented. Vinzons Hall will become the hub of student activities, special events, org fairs, sign-up booths, grievance and consultation desks, educational discussions, forums and the like. 2. STRAW Caravan STRAW booth will be deployed in different events such as enrolment and the UP FAIR and for designated periods of time in the different colleges and dormitories. It may be used to generate grassroots support for STRAW campaigns, obtain feedback and suggestions for the USC, collect and address STRAW concerns, answer STRAW questions, disseminate any STRAW-related information or materials by the USC, make students more aware of existing or planned STRAW efforts by the USC, bolster STRAW committee volunteer corps membership. 3. STRAW Hotline - to ensure that students will always have an emergency contanct number to refer to if they have urgent grievances or concerns involving STRAW. 4. Ugnayan para sa Karapatang Ganap - Compile list of offices that are/may be related to STRAW, or that may be coordinated with for STRAW matters (e.g. DLRC, OASH, OSH). This includes the release of a list of offices that may be approached, what institutions and offices may aid them should any STRAW concerns arise. Under this project, we may hold periodic dialogues with offices to maintain relations and to raise any possible concerns 5. CA-Org (Comprehensive Assistance for Organizations) The USC will spearhead assistance programs which will allow the simplification of requirements, streamlining of recognition process, and mapping of spaces for tambayan. Furthermore, this project will serve as the mechanism for regular org visits and dialogues which have for their purpose an opportunity to inform orgs of USC campaigns and to gather their specific org concerns and stands on different issues. 6. All Leaders Conference establish a regular schedule as well as an efficient mechanism to convene emergency ALCs for pressing and timely issues that need to be consulted with the students. 7. VolCorp bring together STRAW and human rights advocates (students and organizations) and give them opportunities to volunteer, assist and even head projects under the STRAW committee.

II. Committee for Students Legislative and Reform Agenda Objective: To establish students and the youth in general as a legitimate sector of society whose rights are enforceable before the administration and whose sentiments on local and national issues that concern them are given due recognition. Action: Equip students with the basic tools for enforcing their rights and strengthen student involvement in the policy-making processes that concern the University. 1. SIP the STRAW (Strengthened Initiative for the Protection of STRAW) This will be a banner campaign comprised of different activities and initiatives to uphold the protection of students rights and welfare. REFRESHENT (Rights Education for Freshies, Shifties, and Transferees) Being new to the university or to their colleges, freshies, shiftees, and transferees are some of the most vulnerable to STRAW violations Include student rights education in FOPs Provide handouts on STRAW during enrollment and FOPs, or through coordination with local councils STRAW Releases - In cooperation with the EdRes Committee, the regular release of primers, infographics or short videos on specific STRAW issues. STRAWnline A STRAW portal in the USC FB page or website which will aid in more effectively informing more people of STRAW issues and matters. It will serve as an archive for STRAW related material like online versions of pubmats, primers, and infographics. Student Code Review update the student body of its progress and status UP STRAWng a night of music, performances and art at the Vinzons Hall grounds which will be dedicated to commemorating student activism and celebrating the youth initiatives to protect students rights. National STRAW Movement bring STRAW campaigns, activities, and services to another level. Raise awareness on STRAW issues that occur outside of the University (e.g. increase in private school tuition, anti-student provisions in student handbooks, discrimination, etc.) and act on them when appropriate. Coordinate with other student councils to extend the STRAW Caravan, STRAW Releases and STRAW Handbook to their respective colleges and universities. Students Rights and Welfare Handbook - It will establish and formalize the rules with regards to the students academic, extra-curricular and personal rights during the length of his/her stay in UP. The goal is two-fold: to draft an instrument that is ratified by the students, the faculty and the UP administration, thus making it binding amongst them. To extend this draft as a model handbook for other colleges and universities interested in undertaking the same endeavor

2. Budget Check UP aim for a higher budget allocation through a multi-level approach which includes: forwarding a call for higher budget that is informed and specific, taking advantage of entry points in the budgetary process to increase participation, engaging NGOs and other SUCs to widen the scope of the movement, and employing different forms of concerted activities to raise awareness and strengthen the clamor. 3. Check the OSR This will serve as the independent auditing function for the SR who represents all UP students in the highest policy making body of UP. The initiative aims to assure the students of the SRs performance and compliance as a student and a government

official. It will guarantee that the students inputs on policies made by the BOR are forwarded to the said body. III. Special Advocacies Objective: To address issues which require a contextual approach or which call for special expertise or knowledge. Suggested Projects: 1. Students Anti-Fraternity Violence Watch Alliance (SAWA) serve as the specific point persons who will head the USC effort to address the issue of fraternity related violence. 2. CREED The Cooperation for Religious Expression and Empowerment in Diliman aims to foster religious freedom in the University. It will be a formation for all religions that will ensure that all faithful and non-faithful students get to co-exist in a peaceful and respectful atmosphere. Ultimately, we aim to be able to establish places of worship for more religions being practiced with UP (e.g. mosque). 3. Initiatives against Human Rights Violations - Time and time again, students have been subjected to various human rights violations. The initiatives under this project will include: Pressuring the UP administration to take responsibility for the safety and security of UP students outside the university, especially for those on field trips, camping trips, or field work Coordinate with departments that regularly send students out in the field in an effort to formulate guidelines to aid in the safety and security of students Coordinate with the SLAAC and other legal offices to address future cases of human rights violations. Raise awareness for those who have been subject of enforced disappearances and illegal detention. Incorporate in the STRAW Caravan opportunities to encourage students to report or help provide information regarding human rights violations which they may be aware of. 4. PWDe ka na ba? - There is a need to review the policies of the university in terms of the needs of our students and members of the community who are part of the PWD Sector.