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Kilos-Protesta, sumalubong sa pagbabalik ng klase sa Unibersidad

Nagsagawa ng kilos-protesta ang mga progresibong grupo sa Unibersidad kasabay ng Roarientation ng Freshmen kahapon, Martes, ika-13 ng Agosto.

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Kuha ni Christine Annmarie Tapawan

Nagsagawa ng kilos-protesta ang mga progresibong grupo sa Unibersidad kasabay ng Roarientation ng Freshmen kahapon, Martes, ika-13 ng Agosto.

Binigyang-diin sa nasabing kilos-protesta ang mga isyu tulad ng patuloy na pagtaas ng matrikula sa Unibersidad, ang patuloy na karahasang nagaganap sa bansa partikular na sa Negros, at ang inilatag na panukalang militarisasyon ng mga pamantasan sa buong bansa.

Sa isang eksklusibong panayam ng TomasinoWeb kay Angelo Del Rosario ng Anakbayan-UST, kanyang inihayag ang patuloy na hindi makataong mga atake ng gobyerno sa mga mag-aaral.

Over nung bakasyon, hindi tumigil yung iba’t ibang fascist at anti-people attacks ng government natin. […] Yung tungkol sa atake ng edukasyon at tsaka sa kabataan, sa atin,” ani Del Rosario.

Kanya ring binanggit ang inaasahang mas paglakas ng mga atake ng administrasyon laban sa mga kabataang tulad nila.

Ayon sa kaniya, “Sa taong ito ay nakikita natin na hindi titigil yung pag-intensify, paglakas ng atake ng rehimen ni Duterte sa atin. Kaya’t mas tsina-challenge tayo ng panahon ngayon na kumilos, nagkakaisa tayong mga kabataan,”

“Sinasabi natin ‘di ba huwag matakot, makibaka. Dahil doon sa organisado at nagkakaisang pagkilos natin ay kaya natin na maiparating sa government itong iba’t ibang karapatan na dapat tinatamasa natin galing sa kanila,” dagdag pa ni Del Rosario.

Kanya ring iginiit na ang panukalang pagpapasok ng mga puwersa ng estado sa mga pamantasan ay senyales lamang ng takot ng gobyerno sa lumalakas na paglaban ng mga kabataan.

Manifestation siya nung nakikita natin siguro sobrang takot na ng state forces natin tsaka ng government natin sa lumalakas na paglaban ng students, ‘di ba? Kaya gusto niyang pasukin ngayon ‘yung mga schools para supilin at tsaka para pigilan itong mga students na nagpapaingay ng mga issues ng lipunan natin ngayon,” aniya.

“Kaya strongly kino-condemn natin siya lalo na dito sa UST. Magiging form lang ‘to ng pananakot at tsaka intensified na fascist attacks ng kapulisan natin sa mga students. Magkakaroon ng human rights at democratic abuses sa loob ng mga pamantasan kapag nagpatuloy ito,” ani Del Rosario.

Binigyang-pansin din ni Del Rosario sa kanyang pananalita ang pagpasok ng ilang kapulisan sa ginanap na Roarientation sa Quadricentennial Pavillion kung saan ang nahuli’y nagbigay ng ilang tips sa mga freshman para makaiwas sa krimen.

Kabataan vs kawalan ng pagpapahalaga sa karapatang-pantao

Sa pananalita naman ni Lynus Del Mar ng Student Christian Movement of the Philippines – UST, ipinapakita ng mga nangyayaring karahasan sa bansa, partikular na sa Negros  ang pagkawala ng pagpapahalaga sa buhay.

“Ito’y nagpapatunay lamang na hindi na pinahahalagahan ang buhay ng tao dahil sa isang utos lamang. […] Hindi ito ang ginusto ng Diyos para sa bayan. Hindi nais ng Diyos ang isang bayang pumapaslang at walang kinikilalang hustisya,” aniya.

“Ang bayang nananaghoy ay lumalaban na dahil sobra na ang pamamaslang. […] Ang gusto ng Diyos ay maglingkod sa bayan, sa mga maralita,” dagdag pa ni Del Mar.

Binigyang-diin naman ni Danareb Valle, pangulo ng Save Our Schools – UST ang patuloy na pag-atake sa mga Lumad sa Mindanao.

“Ang mga batang Lumad ay nagbakwit dito sa Maynila dahil inaatake ang kanilang mga paaralan, sinusunog ang mga paaralan. Tinatakot ang mga guro, pinapatay ang mga magulang, ang mga estudyante. […] Gustong-gusto na ng estado na ipasarado ang mga eskuwelahan ng Lumad para harangin ang kanilang edukasyon,” aniya.

Inihayag naman ni Michael Jusayan ng League of Filipino Students – UST ang patuloy na panghihimasok ng Tsina sa teritoryo ng bansa.

Ayon sa kanya, “Si Duterte ay tuta ng mga dayuhan. Kinokontrol ng mga dayuhan ang pulitika at ekonomiya ng ating bansa. […] Sarili nating teritoryo hinihimasok ng Tsina.

“Hindi bini-brainwash ang mga kabataan. […] Hindi mo kailangang mabrainwash para makita na ang bayan ay naghirap sa ilalim ng administrasyong Duterte,” aniya.

“Hindi tayo magdadalawang-isip para sa isa pang Quarter Storm. Hindi tayo magdadalawang-isip para ipaglaban ang bayan,” dagdag pa ni Jusayan.

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CSC pushes for online class suspension amid UST guidelines

The Central Board recommended the use of online modules like “handouts, video tutorials, and pre-recorded lectures” which the students can use during the break.

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Eight days after Metro Manila was put under a “community quarantine,” the UST Central Student Council (CSC) Central Board pushed for the suspension of online classes until April 14, 2020 amid the University’s alternative teaching-learning guidelines.  

To make most of the month-long class suspension due to the community quarantine which was later heightened by the government, online classes were introduced to carry on with the semester.

CSC President Robert Dominic Gonzales, however, stressed the differences in the resources of the students to support their online classes.

Students continue to face challenges in complying to these online activities due to factors like internet stability and lack of gadgets like computers and laptops.

A survey was conducted among local colleges to monitor the concerns and statuses of the Thomasian community.

For instance, in the College of Commerce and Business Administration and College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, more than half of the students of each college have no stable internet connection.

The Board recommended the use of online modules like “handouts, video tutorials, and pre-recorded lectures” which the students can use during the break.

Focusing on other matters

In light of the pandemic, Gonzales emphasized the need for the psychological and mental health of the community to be focused on, which is not only limited to the students.

The well-being of the faculty members, non-academic personnel, and the administration is a matter of priority as well in this time of crisis.

Gonzales is with high hopes to the administration’s approval of CSC’s appeal.

“I am sure that the administration listens to our concerns, most especially during these crucial times,” Gonzales said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the backbone of the University amid this health-related crisis.

“[W]e also give utmost gratitude and salute to them for all the efforts that they have exhausted to ensure a holistic approach on the well-being of the Thomasian community,” he added.

When asked if it is most likely to extend the second semester if the administration approves the appeal, Gonzales said that: “The decisions regarding the academic calendar and special terms are to be determined by the administration.”

However, the Board alongside local colleges are “much willing to provide help and support” the endeavors of the University by seeking suggestions from the student body.

 

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UST shifts to self-paced instruction amid quarantine period

The University’s updated Collective Institutional Guidelines on COVID-19 notes that the current state of calamity and quarantine regulations limit the capacity of students and faculty members to participate in regularly scheduled online classes.

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Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

[UPDATED] The University will now implement a self-paced instruction amid the quarantine period in Luzon

In the University’s updated Collective Institutional Guidelines on COVID-19 released on March 20, “[r]egularly scheduled daily online classes shall no longer be required” for both students and faculty members.

The updated guidelines notes that the current state of calamity and quarantine regulations limit the capacity of students and faculty members to participate in regularly scheduled online classes.

Faculty members shall still continue providing learning materials which includes video lectures, readings and discussion sessions for students’ self-paced instruction in preparation for formal instruction once classes resume.

Academic unit heads will also determine which examinations or alternative assessments will be held online, or will require in-campus conduct once classes resume.

ADVISORYIn view of the enhanced community quarantine, we advise all Thomasians to heed the government’s mandate to…

University of Santo Tomasさんの投稿 2020年3月20日金曜日

Preliminary and final examinations may still be be integrated depending on the academic units “provided that there were enough student assessments aside from final examinations.” Students must also be informed of the changes in the grading system of affected courses.

The Office of the Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation also suspended all in-campus and off-campus research data gathering, as well as research-related local and international travels. Researchers were advised to do alternative activities.

Meanwhile, the schedule of moving-up ceremonies and commencement exercises will be determined once classes resume and academic calendar has been finalized.

Last March 13, the Office of the Secretary-General suspended the online classes from March 13-14 to give way for personal and family concerns.

Online classes from March 17 to 21 were also cancelled to “allow faculty members and students to attend to personal and family concerns,” “give faculty members time to revisit their course plans,” and “allow students to attend to pending tasks and submissions that were given in the past week.”

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the National Capital Region on a community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, with regular class suspensions in the region extended until April 14.

The code alert system for COVID-19 was raised to code red alert sub-level 2 which indicates evidence of community transmission.

All land, domestic air, and domestic water transportation to and from Metro Manila were barred, and only workers coming from nearby provinces were allowed to enter Metro Manila. Mass gatherings were also prohibited.

As of March 20, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country is now at 230, with 18 fatalities.

On support staff, faculty evaluation, and admission process

Work for all staff shall “remain suspended until further notice” including skeletal workforce arrangement. Only selected on-site workers were allowed to perform work, according to the University’s Human Resource Department memorandum. 

Social distancing should also be observed during the work and all staff are “enjoined to observe work from home arrangement […] to maintain productivity.”

University admission activities for A.Y. 2020-2021 (reservation, confirmation, and enrollment) shall be scheduled once the classes resume. 

Academic units shall also coordinate with the Office of Admissions “to release the appropriate announcements to their respective applicants”.

Meanwhile, the faculty competence evaluation for the second semester will be scheduled once classes resume. It was encouraged “to provide qualitative comments” in the faculty evaluation to highlight their strengths, and help them [address] areas of improvement amid the regular class disruptions. A. Basa with report from J. A. Pangilinan

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CSC president clarifies University hair policies

Robert Dominic Gonzales, the incumbent CSC president, noted the vagueness of the provision in the student guidelines, hence the decision of the administration to clarify the said rule.

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Veronica Besario/TomasinoWeb

After garnering varied reactions from students, the University’s Central Student Council (CSC) president explained the clarification of guidelines regarding hair color and hair cut.

Robert Dominic Gonzales, the incumbent CSC president, noted the vagueness of the provision in the student guidelines, hence the decision of the administration to clarify the said rule.

“Nakalagay lang kasi dito ‘students’ hairstyle should be clean, combed and neatly trimmed or fixed. Unconventional hair colors are not permitted,’” Gonzales said quoting from the student’s handbook.

It was the clamor from the students and college deans alike that they sought to draw the line between conventional and unconventional hair colors.

“Basically, there were a lot of clamors from the past few years regarding sa portion dito about unconventional hair colors. So this year they sought to clarify the matters kung ano ba talaga ang tinutukoy na unconventional,” Gonzales expressed.

He reiterated: “When this handbook was released, they did not post any color palette or color shades of those unconventional hair colors.”

He also emphasized that the decision came from the college deans themselves, elaborating: “Majority if I’m not mistaken of the deans voted for the conventional hair colors which was released recently. Yung mga darkest black to darkest brown.”

When asked whether he’s for or against the said policy, Gonzales stated that such rule has no relationship with the students’s academic standing.

“With regards naman if we’re pro or against it, of course, personally speaking, it’s about personally expressing yourself ganoon I’m against the hair policy,” he said.
He further added, “For me, it has no direct relationship whatsoever with the academic performance ng tao.”

Students’ reactions

Meanwhile, this implementation of policy gained varied responses and backlash among the students of the University.

For a student from College of Science, it has been a matter of students subjecting themselves in following institutional guidelines upon enrolling to the university.

“Kasi like kahit ako, I want to color my hair din pero kasi at the same time sinabi ko na sa sarili ko na UST ‘to alam kong medyo hindi nila bet ‘yun, so kumbaga I mentally prepared myself for it like ‘di na ako nag-expect masyado from them,” the student stated.

However, Arts and Letters student Gwen Forones questioned the implementation of the policy, saying “[I don’t know] what are they trying to prove in implementing similar cases just like this when in fact hair color does not hinder academic standing and competence.”

She further added: “[H]indi ba sa panahon ngayon, it is more reliable to pay attention on building students’ drive and character rather than nitpicking their appearances.”

Forones also took a swipe on the conflicted priorities of the system, saying “[O]ur education system seems to be persistent in promoting personal growth.”
She elaborated, “and yet they keep on implementing a policy which restrains the students’ rights to express themselves without causing any harm.”

On a circular dated Feb. 19, the Office of the Secretary-General released a clarificatory announcement regarding acceptable hair style and colors to its students.

According to the guideline addressed to the University administrators, students must be limited to the prescribed spectrum of colors from Level 1 (darkest black) to Level 5 (dark brown).

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