Constitution of the Students of the University of the Philippines Open University

Last Updated 5 October 2022



We, the students of the University of the Philippines Open University, in order to build a just and humane society, and establish a Student Government that shall embody our ideals and values, promote the common good, encourage social transformation for the benefit of all Filipinos, recognize the vital role of open and distance education in nation-building through the values of democracy, openness, transparency, equity, and liberty, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.



Section 1. Title. — This Constitution shall be formally known as the “Constitution of the Students of the University of the Philippines Open University”.

Section 2. This Constitution shall govern the University Student Council and all students of the University of the Philippines Open University.

Section 3. Definition of Terms. — For purposes of this Constitution, the following terms are hereby defined as follows:

  • (a) “University” refers to the University of the Philippines Open University;
  • (b) “University of the Philippines Open University” or “UPOU” refers to all faculties and degree-granting units offered by the University;
  • (c) “Student Government” refers to the USC and the General Assembly.
  • (d) “University Student Council” or “USC” refers to the body of democratically elected Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Student Councilors of the UPOU;
  • (e) “Student Councilors” or “SCs” refers to the democratically elected student leaders and members of the USC;
  • (f) “General Assembly” refers to all houses for graduate and undergraduate students;
  • (g) “House of Graduate” refers to the body of elected graduate student house representatives;
  • (h) “House of Undergraduate” refers to the body of elected undergraduate student house representatives;
  • (i) “House Representatives” or “House Reps” refers to democratically elected by either undergraduate and graduate students of its constituents; and
  • (j) “Student Body” refers to all students enrolled to the faculties and degree-granting units offered by the University.



Section 1. The University of the Philippines Open University – University Student Council is a representative democracy that exists to serve the needs of its constituents.

Section 2. The University of the Philippines, as the national university supported by the wealth of the nation, should endeavor to carry out its foremost commitment of honor and excellence in genuine service to the Filipino people.

Section 3. The University of the Philippines Open University, through open and distance e-learning, has the responsibility as part of the larger university system towards national development and the improvement of the lives of Filipinos around the globe.

Section 4. The University community should advance a nationalist, scientific and pro-people education: nationalist to advance the aspirations of the Filipino people; scientific to enhance critical and objective thinking that addresses the actual conditions of our society; and pro-people to attune to the genuine needs and interests of the population.

Section 5. The power of the student government resides in the students and all authority emanates from them.

Section 6. The USC shall provide leadership that is responsive to the needs of the students and shall for that purpose be representative, autonomous, democratic, and responsible.

Section 7. The University recognizes that student governments are an indispensable component in nation-building. Towards this end, the issues, problems, and interests of the Filipino people shall be of direct concern of the University Student Council.

Section 8. The student government shall uphold and ensure democratic governance within the University, through direct participation and representation in decision-making, especially on matters relating to student rights and welfare.

Section 9. The student government shall promote and safeguard the rights and welfare of students by defending their right to equitable and open access to higher education.

Section 10. The student government affirms the right of students to organize, free from unwanted restraint or intervention. Towards this end, the student government shall guarantee the establishment of student organizations and a Union of all student organizations that will promote their interests and growth.

Section 11. The student government shall promote programs that advance the development of well-rounded students in all manner of pursuits, be it intellectual, social, cultural, or physical.

Section 12. The student government shall develop social awareness and responsibility geared towards the development of a nationalist spirit and rooted in democratic principles among the students.

Section 13. The student government shall seek and engender educational and structural reforms for the full development of human potential in accordance with the principles of Human Rights.

Section 14. Through collective effort and collaboration, the USC shall forge unity among the students, and with other sectors of the society, towards the fulfillment of these goals.



Section 1. Definition

  • (a) A student is any person admitted to and enrolled in the University, or has cross-registered from another constituent University of the Philippines on a regular or part-time basis.
  • (b) A student shall also include any person who is on an official leave of absence; or has not yet been separated from the University formally through either transfer, graduation, honorable or dishonorable dismissal, expulsion or expiration of the allowable period for maximum residency in the University.

Section 2. The University Student Council shall promulgate these rights and craft the rules for the enforcement and protection of these and such other rights of students.

Section 3. Responsibility and Obligation

  • (a) Students shall exercise these rights responsibly and with due regard for the rights of others.
  • (b) In exercising these rights, students shall have the obligation to promote an academic community conducive to learning and foster unity among all members of the University community.

Fundamental Rights

Section 4. Every student has the right to be safe, to have peace of mind, and to be free from harassment, bullying, doxxing, discrimination, and other acts that may endanger their safety or perception thereof.

Section 5. Every student has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Students shall not be discriminated on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and or expression, disability, class, or age.

Section 6. Right to Information —

  • (a) Every student shall have the right to accurate and timely information regarding matters that directly affect their interests and welfare inside the University.
  • (b) Every student shall have the right to file a freedom of information request to UPOU or the USC about any of its offices, officials, programs, or committees within reason and in consonance with University guidelines.
  • (c) University officials and the USC are obliged to present periodically in public reports detailing the state of their offices.

Section 7. Every student has the right to express their individuality and interest, and develop their abilities and identity without undue interference.

Section 8. Every student has the right to a prompt correction of their official records if an error is found and duly proven.

Academic Rights

Section 9. Every student has the right to receive competent instruction and relevant quality education.

Section 10. Every student has the right to be able to contact the faculty members, which the latter is obliged to make time for, and be available for, during consultation hours. This must be also upheld in accordance with the Faculty Code.

Section 11. Every student has the right to access their final grades, which the faculty members are obliged to submit within the submission deadlines specified in the academic calendar.

Section 12. Every student has the right to receive sufficient course information, academic advice, and general guidance from faculty, staff, fellow students, and other members of the University.

Section 13. Every student has the right to be formally informed, in writing, of the academic standards that will be applied in any course of study for which they are enrolled in. The faculty instructor must provide students with the full course description, learning objectives, syllabus, course requirements, evaluation method, deadlines and academic consequences, and acceptable academic collaboration at the beginning of the term.

Section 14. Every student has the right to fair access to University services and facilities. The libraries, major learning hubs, and other resource centers shall be open to all UPOU students, in accordance with approved University rules and regulations.

Section 15. Every student has the right to academic freedom to the extent that they may pursue independent inquiry, free from unwarranted interference and influence, and to express contrary opinions and points of view.

Section 16. Every student has the right to fair, transparent, and objective evaluation of their academic performance in consonance with University guidelines.

Section 17. Every student has the right to the opportunity to objectively evaluate faculty performance and course delivery, curriculum of degree program, and course syllabus without fear of reprisal.

Right to Representation

Section 18. Every student has the right to establish and run structures of self-governance, mechanisms for advocacy, and systems of decision-making that protect and promote their democratic rights and welfare. Towards this end, the University must support and maintain the operation of the student government and student publications.

Section 19. Every student has the right to represent themselves in decision-making, and adjudicatory bodies as well as to participate in or influence the governance of the University. They shall have the right to examine existing student policies, initiate appropriate amendments, and appeal decisions that affect student interests and welfare.

Section 20. Every student has the right to form, assist, join, or participate in organizations, societies, or alliances inside and outside of the University, in the pursuit of common interests and lawful goals. Students have the right to create and decide independently the rules on membership, policies, and actions of the group so long as they are not inconsistent with University policies.

Section 21. Every student has the right to use needed University resources and facilities. The University shall designate and provide proper physical and virtual student centers and spaces that shall be jointly managed by the University and the student government.

Section 22. All publications produced by the students shall be self-regulated. School authorities shall not target or sanction editors, managers, and writers of campus press and media due to editorial policy or published content.



Section 1. As a primarily virtual open university, there shall be an official tagpuan platform supported and provided by the University that will serve as the hub where students can meet and engage with their peers through shared interest and activities including but not limited to instant messaging, discussion forums, events, meetups, games, elections, student organizations, and student publications.

Section 2. This platform shall be known formally as “Tagpuan sa UPOU” with the short name “Tagpuan”.

Section 3. The Tagpuan shall be updated yearly, and relevant groups that represent the organizations, councils, commissions, and committees, where students can participate and join, shall be made available.

Section 4. The Tagpuan shall be maintained and operated by the University with the guidance of a student body, as identified by the USC, who will work to administer the said platform to ensure its sustainability and continuous improvement.

Section 5. The USC and other relevant student leaders shall be provided temporary access to allow the creation of pages, courses, or other online material necessary in the fulfillment of their mandate.



Section 1. Title — There shall be a student council for the University and shall be formally known as “UPOU University Student Council” or “UPOU USC”.

Section 2.The University Student Council shall be composed of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and twelve (12) University Councilors elected at large.

Section 3. General Assembly

  • (a) The General Assembly shall be composed of the House of Graduate with four (4) representatives elected through a vote of all graduate students, and the House of Undergraduate with two (2) representatives elected through a vote of all undergraduate students.
  • (b) Provided on top of this number, there shall be an additional one (1) representative per 2000 students in excess of the first 2000 of the respective house.

Section 4. The representatives of the House of Graduate and Undergraduate shall be elected separately by students of their respective houses. These representatives shall serve as liaisons between the University Student Council and the student body.

Section 5. Every candidate for membership in the USC or General Assembly must, before the election

  • (a) Have at least one (1) semester/trimester residence in UPOU;
  • (b) Be a bonafide student of UPOU;
  • (c) Have a good academic standing;
  • (d) Not have been found guilty of any disciplinary case or any act involving moral turpitude in the University; and
  • (e) Accomplish an Affidavit of Undertaking (for graduating students).

Section 6. All SCs and House Reps cannot hold office as an editor in chief of a university publication or head of a student organization in the university without first forfeiting their seat in the council.

Section 7. All SCs and House Reps shall hold office for one (1) academic year. In the case of SCs or House Reps who fill vacant seats, they shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Section 8. Resignation

  • (a) Any officer who wishes to resign shall submit a letter of resignation and shall be considered resigned upon the acceptance of the Council members through a simple majority vote excluding the officer concerned.
  • (b) In the case of the Chairperson, the resignation papers shall be submitted to the Vice-Chairperson. They shall be considered resigned through a simple majority vote of the Council members excluding the Chairperson.
  • (c) The Chancellor of the University and the Office of Student Affairs shall be informed of the impeachment, suspension, or resignation of any officer/member.

Section 8. Vacancy

  • (a) A vacancy in the Office of the Chairperson shall be filled by the Vice-Chairperson.
  • (b) In the case of the vacancy of the Office of the Vice-Chairperson, the Councilors shall choose from among themselves the successor through a plurality of votes by the remaining Council members.
  • (c) In the case of the vacancy of the Office of the Councilors, the General Assembly shall nominate from among themselves a successor to be affirmed by the remaining SCs. In the case where the nomination is rejected, the General Assembly shall repeat the nomination process until such time a successor is accepted.
  • (d) In the event of vacancy of the General Assembly, the respective house shall call for a special election to replace the vacant position.
  • (e) A seat shall remain vacant until the next general election if such vacancy falls within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the next general election.



Unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, a simple majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of its activities. Proceedings and decisions finalized at a meeting where a quorum is met shall be valid as an act of the entire body.



Section 1. The USC is an independent body that shall serve as an active forum for student ideas and sentiments.

Section 2. The Chairperson shall:

  1. Lead the student council as the chief executive;
  2. Supervise its policies, resolutions, plans, and all activities concerning the process of making decisions in serving the student body;
  3. Represent the student council and the student body;
  4. Promote the engagement of the USC in external affairs to organizations in which the USC is a member; and
  5. Prepare the agenda and preside over the meetings of the USC.

Section 3. The Vice-Chairperson shall:

  1. Take over the functions of the Chairperson in their vacancy;
  2. Assist the Chairperson in all matters related to USC;
  3. Facilitate cooperation between the USC and the General Assembly.

Section 4. The Secretary shall:

  1. Manage the documents and records of meetings and activities of the USC;
  2. Certify all official records of the USC; and
  3. Produce the minutes of the meetings and all reports and make them available to the public.

Section 5. The Treasurer shall:

  1. Lead the Committee on Finance;
  2. Act as Custodian of the Council Funds and the Consolidated Fund; the process of making decisions in serving the student body;
  3. Review and approve submitted budgets for the use of student council funds;
  4. Make all financial records and reports open source for the purpose of transparency; and
  5. Disburse consolidated funds in accordance with council resolutions.

Section 6. The Public Information Officer shall:

  1. Lead the Committee on Student Affairs;
  2. Release announcements of the activities of the USC;
  3. Promote good relations with student publications and public; and
  4. Answer inquiries from the student body regarding the acts of the USC.

Section 7. The Technical Officer shall

  1. Assist in the management and operation of the Tagpuan platform;
  2. Manage the databases used by the student council;
  3. Promote and adopt cybersecurity measures and best practices for the USC;
  4. Serve as the point of contact for technical issues and concerns of the students;
  5. Research and evaluate new technologies that may benefit the student council.

Section 8. The Councilors shall

  1. Conduct consultations with the student body and gather information for the basis of the specific plans and actions of the USC regarding the matters discussed;
  2. Recommend the creation of committees when deemed necessary;
  3. Head the operation of the established committees and facilitate all dealings and procedures, including but not limited to project proposals, progress reports, and activity assessments.

Section 9. The House Representatives shall

  1. Serve as the bridge between the students and the USC;
  2. Discuss updates, findings, and recommendations from their house to the USC;
  3. Forward and pursue pertinent issues of their respective houses to the USC for appropriate action;
  4. Answer inquiries and address concerns from the members of their house;
  5. Disseminate all documents to all its constituents.

Section 10. There shall be a Joint Session consisting of all the members of the USC and the General Assembly including all the house representatives which shall convene at least twice a month to discuss policies, resolutions, and updates, and to formulate and execute plans of action.



Section 1. The University Student Council has the sole authority to form ad hoc committees that serve to operationalize resolutions passed by the student government.

Section 2. The USC has the authority to deliberate and appoint the committee heads through a simple majority vote within the council.

Section 3. There shall be a permanent Executive Committee consisting of the officers of the student council, which are the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Information Officer, and the Technical Officer. The Executive Committee shall

  • (a) Head the operation of the general and specific plans of action of the student council;
  • (b) Formulate policies, create resolutions, and coordinate with its members and other parties involved in executing its plans of actions;
  • (c) Affirm the ultimate decision of the student council.

Section 4. There shall be a permanent Committee on Finance that is responsible for overseeing and auditing all financial transactions and making it available to the public.

Section 5. There shall be a permanent Committee on Student Affairs that is responsible for addressing student concerns and the promotion of student engagement.

Section 6. A committee may become a permanent committee through an amendment to this constitution. Permanent committees may only be dissolved through a constitutional amendment.



Section 1. Public office is a public trust. Student leaders as public servants must, at all times, be accountable to the students and serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency. They shall at all times promote the ideals of openness and transparency.

Section 2. The student government shall strictly follow the rules and regulations set forth in the USC Code of Conduct as drafted and passed by the University Student Council through a unanimous vote.

Section 3. A member of the USC and the General Assembly may be disciplined on the grounds of culpable violation of this Constitution, gross neglect of duty, abuse of authority, and similar acts that undermine the integrity and trust of the student government.

Section 4. A written complaint for disciplinary action may be filed by any individual student against a member or members of the USC and the General Assembly, with the specific charge or charges and any supporting evidence and information to the Office of the Secretary.

Section 5. The member charged shall be notified of the charges brought against them and shall be given fifteen (15) calendar days to respond. After which the USC shall decide to dismiss the case or open a formal investigation.

Section 6. In the event of the USC dismissing a case, the complainant may refer the case to the General Assembly where a simple majority vote of all its members shall compel the USC to open a formal investigation.

Section 7. Any student government member may be impeached or suspended for any of the following reasons:

  • (a) Any willful violation of this Constitution and the USC Code of Conduct;
  • (b) Neglect of duty as a member of the student government;
  • (c) Any harmful or disorderly conduct within and outside of the council;
  • (d) Falsification of documents and malversation of funds;
  • (e) Any other forms of misconduct which undermine the integrity and trust of the student government.

Section 8. All members of the student government have the right to vote in any of the disciplinary proceedings.

Section 9. No member shall be subjected to disciplinary measures without due process of law. Where the process of sanctioning includes three (3) levels:

  • (a) Delivering of two (2) written warnings from the Chairperson;
  • (b) Depending on the repetition or severity of the violation, the USC may choose to impose a suspension the duration of which will be determined on a case by case basis;
  • (c) Impeachment or dishonorable discharge subject to the student government’s evaluation.

Section 10. Any suspension or impeachment shall take effect immediately after a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote from the student government.

Section 11. Any suspension shall not exceed a period of sixty (60) calendar days.

Section 12. The results of any formal investigation shall be made public by the Office of the Secretary and posted on University bulletin boards and other prominent spaces.



Section 1. All constituents of the Council shall pay a fee in the amount specified by the Committee on Finance and approved by the University Student Council upon enrollment. The collected funds shall be referred to as the Student Council Fund.

Section 2. The Student Council Fund shall be held through a fiscal host in conjunction or in lieu of a bank account held in custody by the Treasurer. The choice of fiscal host and or banking institution shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer and shall be subject to approval by the Committee on Finance and the USC.

Section 3. In addition to collecting a fee from students, the USC is empowered to seek means of fundraising through alternative means such as but not limited to events, concerts, fundraisers, donation drives, merchandise sales, and ticket sales.

Section 4. The Committee on Finance shall keep a public ledger of all transactions following the principles of open source accounting and is responsible for displaying this public ledger in official school publications and on virtual platforms.

Section 5. Consolidated Fund —

  • (a) All revenues and other funds raised or received by the USC shall be paid into a Consolidated Fund.
  • (b) The Committee on Finance shall have full discretion regarding the collection, safekeeping, and disbursement of such funds.

Section 6. No monies shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund except in pursuance of an appropriation resolution passed by the USC.

Section 7. The Committee on Finance shall have open access to all books, records, returns, and other documents.

Section 8. The accounts of all offices administering, using funds, and other expenditures disbursed from the Consolidated Fund shall be audited at the end of each council’s term by the Committee on Finance and reported to the USC.

Section 9. At the end of each term of the University Student Council any and all remaining funds in the Student Council Fund and Consolidated Fund shall be transferred to the succeeding council. This includes the transfer of any pertinent books, records, account information, and login information including email, usernames, and passwords.



The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs shall be the ex-officio adviser of the Council.



Section 1. General elections shall take place at the start of the first semester/trimester of the academic year. There shall be two separate elections for the House of Undergraduate for undergraduate students and for the House of Graduate for graduate students.

Section 2. Committee on Elections —

  • (a) There shall be an independent Committee on Elections appointed by the Office of the Student Affairs and the Office of the Student Regent.
  • (b) The Committee on Elections shall have the full authority to conduct and arbitrate elections and will be responsible for drafting the University Election Code.

Section 3. The schedule of these elections shall be determined by the Committee on Elections but must take place no later than 35 calendar days after the start of the first semester and no later than 28 calendar days after the start of the first trimester of the academic year.

Section 4. General elections shall strictly follow the rules and regulations set forth in the University Election Code and the University System Code.

Section 5. Voter Roll —

  • (a) A student is entitled to vote in General Elections held in the university or faculty if they are a bona fide student of the faculty.
  • (b) All students of the University shall be automatically registered to vote and the summary list of voters shall be provided to the Committee on Elections from the University Registrar.

Section 6. The positions of the Student Council Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall be elected through a plurality vote of all qualified votes cast in both house elections.

Section 7. The positions of the Student Council shall be elected at large using a multiple non-transferable voting system where

  • (a) A student may vote for up to twelve (12) candidates;
  • (b) The twelve (12) candidates with the highest number of votes are elected.

Section 8. The positions of General Assembly shall be elected by the constituents of the house using a multiple non-transferable voting system where

  • (a) A student may vote for as many times as there are representative seats available;
  • (b) A student may only vote for a candidate once;
  • (c) The candidate with the highest number of votes is elected as a House Rep and the candidate with the second-highest number of votes is then elected as another House Rep and so on and so forth until such time that there are no House Rep seats left available.

Section 9. The members of the council shall be elected at the start of the first term of every academic year in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Committee on Elections and provisions of the University Election Code.

Section 10. All election results must be published publicly by the Committee on Elections no later than 36 hours after the polls close.

Section 11. The Committee on Elections shall certify the results of the election and submit the results to the Chancellor no less than seven (7) days after election results have been publicly published.

Section 12. The induction of the council members shall take place within seven (7) days after their proclamation by the University Committee on Elections. The oath shall be administered by the UPOU Chancellor or their duly authorized representative.



Section 1. Members of the USC who have been impeached from office in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution are barred from holding or acting in any office provided for in, or created pursuant to, this Constitution, the USC, and the General Assembly.

Section 2. Challenges relating to the validity of election results or appointments, and qualification of students holding or acting in any office shall be decided solely by the Committee on Elections whose decision shall be final and binding.

Section 3. Provisional Committee Sunset Clause, The Provisional Committee upon the ratification of this Constitution shall become functus officio.

Section 4. General Student Elections —

  • (a) The first general election for members of the first USC shall be held within eight (8) months from the ratification of this Constitution or during the first semester/trimester of the following academic school year, whichever may occur first.
  • (b) The Committee on Elections may conduct student elections for the USC in any manner or digital platform insofar as they are consistent with the provisions of this Constitution.



Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by

  • (a) The University Student Council, upon a vote of three-fourths (3/4) of all its acting Members; or
  • (b) A constitutional convention.

Section 2. A constitutional convention may be called directly by any student through initiative upon a petition containing at least ten per centum of the total number of registered student voters, of which every faculty must be represented by at least ten per centum of the faculty’s registered students. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within four years following the ratification of this Constitution nor more frequently than once every four years thereafter.

The Committee on Elections shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.

Section 3. Any amendment to, or revision of this Constitution under Section 1 a and b shall be valid when ratified in the same manner as the adoption of the Constitution provided in the succeeding section.



This Constitution shall take effect upon its ratification in a university-wide plebiscite called for this purpose, by a majority vote of all the votes cast by students qualified to vote under the University Election Code. It shall take precedence over any and all existing policies, rules and regulations.

We the undersigned, as active members of the UPOU Provisional Committee, certify that we have reviewed this Constitution in its entirety and hereby submit for consideration this draft to the student body.