by Carmela Banuelos

Sudents attend Upheaval: Defending the Right to Education, Forgoing Unities in Struggle at the School of Economics Auditorium on 28 June 2011. Afternoon classes were suspended to make way for the event. MICHELLE ANGELICA SORIANO

The University Student Council presented Tuesday a draft of a handbook meant to be an alternative to the 2010 Student Code of Conduct, which has been criticized as anti-student by several student groups.

USC Chairperson Jemimah Grace Garcia said the Student Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities focused on student rights, rather than penalties for delinquency because “[under] normal circumstance[s], UP students are in UP to be iskolars ng bayan and not to do wrong.”

During the Diliman Student Summit, an annual meeting of student groups, Garcia said the Student Review Committee decided to draft its own handbook as a “counterproposal” to the 2010 Student Code of Conduct, which did not undergo student consultation.

May mga sanctions na kung hindi dumaan sa mga estudyante, kawawa naman tayo (If the code wasn’t reviewed by students, it would have included oppressive sanctions),” Garcia said.

Excluded from the new handbook are the strict guidelines for student organization recognition, one of the contested policies in the current administration-drafted code of conduct.

If approved, the handbook will give college councils leeway in creating rules for organization recognition. Under the current setup, organizations must apply for recognition before the Office of Student Affairs.

The handbook was drafted over the summer by the Student Review Committee, headed by Garcia and composed of the USC, League of College Councils, Office of the Student Regent, and student councils from the colleges and schools in the university.

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