The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) is a nation-wide alliance of student councils/governments/unions committed to the advancement of the students’ democratic rights and welfare. Since its establishment in 1957, the NUSP has been consistently at the forefront of the students’ struggle for their rights and welfare and in solidarity with the Filipino people’s struggle for genuine freedom and democracy. As such, the NUSP has earned the recognition of being the legitimate student center here and abroad.
The National Union is a patriotic, democratic, progressive alliance of student leaders that upholds and defends the rights and welfare of the Filipino students. It seeks to unite all students in the country through their mandated representative student councils, governments and unions in the struggle for the fundamental right to education and lead them in their struggle for a nationalist, scientific and mass oriented system of education, to fight for an education for genuine national development and free from any imperialist control.
The NUSP links arms with the other oppressed sectors of our society by actively participating in the people’s efforts to attain genuine freedom and democracy. It strives to learn and serve the basic sectors in society through its Edgar Jopson (EdJop) Education and Training Center for Students by providing venues for immersion and exposure to the basic sectors.
History and Struggle of the NUSP
NUSP was first established in 1957 as a breakaway group from the Student Council Association of the Philippines (SCAP). SCAP is a student council alliance formed under strict supervision of the government that served as a mouthpiece in propagating its programs and policies for the youth and the students.
NUSP was formed due to the clamor of the student councils to actively participate in student issues and be independent of and free from any interests aside from that of the students.
Since then, the NUSP was plunged into series of campaigns, local and national in scope, that helped shape the National Union into the progressive alliance we have today. Under the fascist rule of the Marcos regime, the National Union was banned along with other anti-Marcos organizations. But this did not weaken the resolve of the democratic and progressive mass movement to contend against the dictatorship. Even under the fangs of Martial rule in the late 70’s up to the early 80’s, the dictatorship was forced to give in to some of the demands due to the widespread, vigorous and determined struggle of the students and the people. Student councils, publications and other institutions were re-established, thanks to the determined and unwavering strength of the student masses with the vital support of the various sectors. Systematic censorship and repression of student councils, organization and publications however continued.
As a result, student councils and organization revived the NUSP in 1984. The NUSP’s revival came in the midst of the advancement and development of the struggle of the Filipino people against the US-backed Marcos dictatorship. The NUSP became an active participant in the people’s struggle against the US-Marcos dictatorship even at the onset of its reestablishment.
Since 1984, the National Union was successfully re-established in various cities, provinces and regions. This was unprecedented in the entire history of the NUSP since its founding in 1957.
There have been many attempts from the government and school administrations to establish alliances and organizations in the hope of weakening the NUSP as an organization but to no avail. They have even tried direct and indirect forms of suppressing the Union but they have clearly lost.
At present, the Union has 650 member student councils/ governments all over the country supported by provincial and municipal formations. The Union continues to advance the democratic rights of the students through various means from being resource speaker in Congressional and Senate Hearings, launching voters’ education and anti-fraud campaigns during elections to organizing protest rallies in the streets.
From establishing the student alliance in 1957, the NUSP has gone through decades of glorious and unparalled experiences that has fostered it into a patriotic and democratic alliance of students. It has gained the recognition of being the legitimate student center that upholds not only the interests of the students but also of the entire Filipino people. It is continuously reaping the support, respect and recognition of the student councils for its continued struggle for student rights and welfare.
Structure of the NUSP
The organizational structure of the NUSP is composed of the National Assembly, the National Council and the National Executive Board.
The National Assembly (NA) is the highest policy-making body composed of all the officers of the National Council including the national standing committees, all the officers of the NUSP chapters and a minimum of one delegate from each member council. The National Assembly is convened every two years (except for special sessions which can be called upon by the National Executive Board) when election of officers, adoption of policies, programs and projects and other organizational matters are forwarded by the national office or local chapters. It also acts as the constitutional body of the National Union should the need arises.
The National Convention refers to the assembly of student leaders once every two years in between the holding of the National Congress.
The National Council (NC) is the second highest policy-making body of the NUSP when the National Assembly is not in session. It is composed of the National Executive Board and all NUSP chapter representatives elected or appointed by their respective constituents. The National Council meets twice a year to assess the activities and performance of the organization and to adopt such policies and measures, as maybe necessary. In urgent cases, the National President may convene the National Council.
The National Executive Board (NEB) is the implementing and administrative body when the National Council and/or the National Assembly are not in session. It is composed of the National President, Executive Vice-President, Vice Presidents for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and the Secretary General. An expansion of the NEB includes the committee heads.
The NEB is tasked to formulate the rules that will govern the administration of the organization; draw up annual program of activities for the approval of the National Congress or the National Council; to act for and in behalf of the National Assembly and for the National Council on matters that require immediate actions; to prepare the agenda of and convene the session of the National Assembly subject to the concurrence of the National Council; and to define the positions of the NUSP on vital and urgent issues of the campus and national concern.