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Columnist to Thomasians: ‘Be critical, not cynical’

“Be critical, not cynical.”

That was the advice of blogger and Manila Bulletin columnist Tonyo Cruz to Thomasians in “Suri at Pili: A Media and Election Forum”, a campaign that aims to help the youth discern election messages made by the media, held last Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Tan Yan Kee Auditorium.

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“Be critical, not cynical.”

That was the advice of blogger and Manila Bulletin columnist Tonyo Cruz to Thomasians in “Suri at Pili: A Media and Election Forum”, a campaign that aims to help the youth discern election messages made by the media, held last Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Tan Yan Kee Auditorium.

During the forum, Cruz stressed how media became an effective tool for politicians in the coming elections.

“Politicians make use of digital [media] to fool you. The ads are paid media. Yung pag-like niyo at pag-share niyo, natutuwa sila dun. So the first of the business is to be critical,” said Cruz. “Magbantay tayo sa mga nakikita natin sa paligid.”

“Get involved in the process. If you are alone, you will become cynical,” he added.

Cruz also encouraged the students to take advantage of social media to persuade other youths to vote intelligently. “Sana makaisip kayo ng paraan to make this election meaningful to you and your parents.”

Cruz said that signing petitions, attending forums, launching campaigns, creating Facebook pages, and even “Secret Files” pages can be ways to start discussions on issues.

“Maraming opportunities and tools ang youth and students para gawin nilang relevant ang eleksyon. May opportunity ang kabataan, lalo na ang mga Thomasians, to tell the candidates and ask them what are their plans to the issues that are close to young people. You could do it in so many ways. Many issues are not discussed, so make them known,” he said.

Other speakers in the forum were Out of the Box co-founder Marlon Nombrado and University of the Philippines-Manila college instructor Cleve Arguelles.

“Suri at Pili” is a series of election forums presented by media literacy organization Out of the Box, together with the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.

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UST acquits senior high student who violated code of conduct

A Senior High School (SHS) student accused of joining the progressive organization, Anakbayan, was acquitted by the UST-SHS administration on Thursday, Feb. 25.

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Rohm Bautista/TomasinoWeb

A Senior High School (SHS) student accused of joining the progressive organization, Anakbayan, was acquitted by the UST-SHS administration on Thursday, Feb. 25.

In a letter dated Feb. 15, the UST-SHS Student Welfare and Development Committee cleared Grade 11 student Lance Avery Alo of his case due to lack of sufficient evidence. 

“I welcome the decision of UST with open arms as it is a victory for students who stand true to their principles,” Alo told TomasinoWeb.

According to the UST-SHS Code of Conduct and Discipline, recruitment of students to unrecognized organizations, both on and off-campus, as well as membership in illegal organizations, are prohibited. 

However, the code failed to specify what constitutes being an “illegal” and “unrecognized” organization. 

Alo stressed that the student body should be empowered instead of condemned for having progressive views. 

“Our fight does not end here. We still need to review and remove old policies and practices that serve as a hindrance to the fundamental formation of the students,” he added.

Last Jan. 30, SHS Student Council member Shoti Ampatuan revealed that the University barred him from enrolling in the following term due to his affiliation with Anakbayan UST-SHS.

The League of Filipino Students-UST accumulated over 2,500 signatures, as of writing, urging the SHS administration to overturn its decision on Ampatuan’s dismissal. Paolo Alejandrino

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UST issues memo on online etiquette amid flak

“While we understand the benefits of social media as a source of information and an efficient avenue for communication […] we also recognize its ill effects,” the memorandum read. 

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TomasinoWeb/Aliah Danseco

The University released a memorandum on digital etiquette yesterday, Feb. 19, following the dissent of some Thomasians on the emergency shift of classes to online mode. 

“While we understand the benefits of social media as a source of information and an efficient avenue for communication […] we also recognize its ill effects,” the memorandum read. 

UST Secretary-General Fr. Jesus Miranda Jr., O.P., reminded both the students and the faculty to “remain consistent” with the University’s catholic identity, which is to “promote compassion and understanding” instead of “discord and hate.”

Miranda also warned the Thomasian community about sharing unverified information, stressing the need to be constantly mindful of their actions as it may affect them as an individual and as members of the University. 

“Exercise best judgement in discerning whether the material that we intend to post or share is inappropriate or harmful to our loved ones, peers, and/or the University,” Miranda said. 

“Refrain from posting comments, contents, or images that are defamatory, pornographic, propriety, harassing, libelous, can trigger psychological reactions, or that can create a hostile work or study environment,” Miranda added. 

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UST bags 21 awards in 18th PH Quill

Twenty-one student organizations bagged awards in the 18th Philippine Quill Awards and 8th Philippine Student Quill Awards on Wednesday, Feb. 19. 

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Twenty-one student organizations bagged awards in the 18th Philippine Quill Awards and 8th Philippine Student Quill Awards on Wednesday, Feb. 19. 

Among the winners are The Varsitarian, Tiger Media Network, UST Minecraft team, Tomasian Media Circle and Talents, and some journalism and communication arts students. 

According to the UST Minecraft team, they did not expect to win two entries under the student entry division for communication skills. 

“It was not that easy to conduct and prepare a virtual campus tour, but it was met with a wonderful result,” UST Minecraft Tours Executive Producer Ashley de Mesa told TomasinoWeb.

Like De Mesa, Charles Nobleza,  founder of the UST Minecraft, felt the pressure of the requirements in meeting the criteria for the awards.

“We would like to continue remaking our traditional events on the server such as holding a Baccalaureate Mass for our graduates as a token of gratitude for their completion in UST, ” Charles Nobleza, founder of the UST Minecraft, said in an interview.  

“Maybe reopening the server as well for the USTAR applicants to see UST inside a game,” he added.

The awarding ceremony, which is annually hosted by the Philippine Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, will be held virtually in March 2021. Ian Patrick Laqui

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