The student sector of the Philippine Normal University (PNU) System may not be represented in the highest policy making body of the university, the PNU Board of Regents (BOR), this coming May 2012 meeting. But what seems to be a mere technical issue of the outgoing Student Regent’s (SR) status as a student of the university takes on a political twist.
The PNU administration has directed incoming Student Government (SG) presidents all over the PNU System to select amongst them an interim SR. This move undermines the role of the Pambansang Pederasyon ng mga Lider-Estudyante ng Pamantasang Normal ng Pilipinas (PPLEPNP) to officially elect the SR, said Hon. Arnold-John S. Bulanadi, outgoing SR and PPLEPNP President. The said federation annually elects a National Executive Body where the chosen president also becomes the SR.
“Now, more than ever, there is a need to defend the Office of the Student Regent. The PNU administration’s said directive lacks mandate and attacks the very core of democratic student representation. The PPLEPNP has the mandate and the responsibility to elect the interim and the new SR. What the PNU administration is doing, needless to say, is sheer intervention in purely student affairs,” decried Bulanadi.
Bulanadi received a call from University and BOR Secretary Mr. Alpheus Eugenio V. Ferreras last April 20 informing the former that he won’t be allowed to sit in the May 2012 BOR meeting because he is no longer a student of the university since March 21, 2012. Bulanadi said that the PPLEPNP would have submitted a petition for Bulanadi to serve as the official representative of the PNU student sector in the BOR until such time that the PPLEPNP would have elected a new SR.
The said petition would have been in consonance with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 3 Series of 2001, Rule II Definition of Terms, Section 3h, on the Student Regent(s)/Student Trustee(s): “the duly elected student representative to the GB of a chartered SUC, who may also be the President/Federation Head thereof, provided, the student may be represented by a duly elected representative who may sit as regular member of the Board in the interim period when the student representative loses his status as a student such as but not limited to graduation, transfer, expulsion and other similar causes.”
“It is also alarming that the PNU administration hasn’t given me any written and formal notice or correspondence as regards my status as Student Regent,” added Bulanadi. “The PPLEPNP stands firm that the student sector should and must be represented this May 2012 BOR meeting, and that the student representative should and must be elected by the PPLEPNP,” stressed Bulanadi.
As provided in Article VII, Section 1 of the PPLEPNP’s constitution, the federation is set to elect its National Executive Body for 2012-2013 this coming May.