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CSC appeals for mass promotion, suspension of academic term

Based on conducted surveys and gathered student grievances, the Council cited as the bases of their appeal the accessibility to stable internet, availability of learning resources, conduciveness of learning environment, health concerns, students’ safety, and financial problems.

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The University Central Student Council (CSC), along with the local student councils, submitted on April 17 a petition letter which calls for a mass promotion and the end of the current academic term.

“While we recognize the efforts of the University in ensuring that all academic goals are met, we remain firm with our belief that during these extraordinary times, the welfare of the whole community is of utmost priority,” CSC said in the statement.

Last April 8, the University issued an Institutional Continuity Plan during Extended and Post-Enhanced Community Quarantine which mandates the resumption of online classes amid the extension of enhanced community quarantine.

Based on conducted surveys and gathered student grievances, the Council cited as the bases of their appeal the accessibility to stable internet, availability of learning resources, conduciveness of learning environment, health concerns, students’ safety, and financial problems.

“From the given sets of concerns, we cannot deny the fact that this pandemic has affected a lot of families in more than one way,” CSC said.

“At this very moment, it would not be beneficial for the general population to be preoccupied with the burdens of formal academic learning which may later on also have repercussions on one’s mental or psychosocial health,” they added.

The student councils also urged the University administrators to “halt all forms of disciplinary actions given to students who are voicing out their concerns” as these complaints were only a manifestation of the student body’s demand for revisions in the continuity plan.

“In these extraordinary times, it will be of no help to give disciplinary measures to students who are calling for changes for the welfare of the student body,” CSC said. “Now is not the time for this.”

At the end of the statement, the student councils encouraged the entire student body to remain critical and prudent at the present time.

“Although we recognize the significance of free speech,” they said. “Freedom of speech, however, is not absolute. And like any human right, free speech carries with it responsibilities.”

“In the very essence of the existence of student councils, we are here to uphold your rights and welfare. Trust that your councils stand for what is right, honorable, just, and true,” they added.

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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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Prioritize mental health, youth leaders urge

Youth leaders on Saturday, Jan. 23 called on young leadership aspirants to prioritize mental health and emotional intelligence in service and personal circumstances.

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Asean Youth Engagement Summit Chairperson Josuard Gonzales and former UST Psychology Society President Karen Frances Aquino stressed the importance of mental health during the leadership webinar “SINAG 2020.”

Youth leaders on Saturday, Jan. 23 called on young leadership aspirants to prioritize mental health and emotional intelligence in service and personal circumstances.

Former UST Psychology Society President Karen Frances Aquino stressed that leaders should prioritize their mental health aside from serving their fellow youth.

“[B]ago kayo isang leader, tao kayo. Alagaan niyo [ang] sarili niyo and yung mental health niyo, tsaka mo [niyo] mas maalagaan yung iba at yung komunidad niyo,” she said during a youth leadership webinar.

According to Aquino, youth leaders should also be advocates of mental health to influence their subordinates on the same matter effectively. 

She also stressed the importance of creating projects to generate awareness about mental health. 

“[I]ts very important nga na magcreate tayo ng mga projects raising mental health awareness…[D]oon mo makikita a hindi ka leader lang, ang dami mong pwedeng gawin as a student leader,” Aquino told TomasinoWeb. 

Mental health issues are ‘valid’

Asean Youth Engagement Summit Chairperson Josuard Gonzales urged the youth to validate mental health obstacles as it will hone them as aspiring leaders. 

“[P]eople will lead through emotions and they reason after. Recognize muna natin na totoo ‘to. ‘Wag natin itago,” Gonzales said. 

According to Gonzales, it is vital for mental health issues like anxiety and depression to be a rising topic amid the lack of understanding about it. 

“It’s valid and it’s important that it’s valid. Bakit? If it’s valid then it’s talked about, and if we talk about it, then we can understand […] and then master it,” he said. 

“Totoo ‘to, importante ‘to at kailgnan pag-usapan,” he added. .

The webinar titled “SINAG 2020” is a two-part online leadership camp spearheaded by the University of Santo Tomas Central Student Council with a theme “Pagkilala at Kamalayan sa Sarili Bilang Isang Kabataan Lider.”

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