NAVAL, BILIRAN  — Student regents from 11 State University and Colleges (SUCs) in the region formally organized themselves into a confederation, and took their oaths of office on Thursday, October 28, during the SCUAA 2016 Paalam Night at Naval State University.

The council presidents took the opportunity to meet in the sidelines of the 32nd State Universities and Colleges Athletic Association (SCUAA) Regional Meet to form their group called the Eastern Visayas Confederation of Student Councils (EVCSC).

They elected Jerome Arcenal of Naval State University as their first ever Chairman, Mark Michael Unlu-cay of Visayas State University as Vice Chairman, and Kevin Jazz Ligutan of Leyte Normal University as Secretary. The rest are members of the Board.

"The sole purpose is to create linkages so that in one way or the other, this will serve as the proper venue for sharing best practices among SUCs. There is a need for unity. There is a need for teamwork because we are in one umbrella. Being so, there is really a need to form an organization to serve as a unifying unit," Chairman Arcenal told Amaranth in an interview.

He clarified that the new organization will not affect the individual autonomy of the student councils:

“We will see to it that every SUC, like what we did here in NSU, independence should be given to students in terms of leadership. However, although given the independence, they must be parallel with the administration. They must go in parallel direction. This must become the support organization of the administration.”

Arcenal said they will find ways to get the organization moving, including initial funding and institutional recognition.

“First, we depend on our individual organization. Later, we are planning to have a membership fee for every council annually. Then as what the National council of the SUC student council is planning, every student is encouraged to contribute a maximum of 5 pesos subject of course to proper audit and accounting in their respective committees.”

In their new setup, every SUC is also encouraged to conduct a series of activities to fund their organization. This time, they will be the one to implement and sponsor seminars, workshops and similar activities either regional or national in scope. In this manner, the council presidents will also be encouraged to participate and register, and the proceeds of the activities through the registration will serve as the development fund of the organization.

The regents are in the process of drafting their constitution and by-laws. They also have initial plans on how to run the organization, which includes getting recognition from the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC).

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