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SHS student barred from enrollment; admin cites code of conduct violation as basis

According to LFS–UST, Senior High School (SHS) Student Council Head Councilor Shoti Ampatuan was given a show cause notice due to his affiliation with Anakbayan–UST SHS, which resulted in his dismissal from his position and denial of his good moral certification.

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The University barred a student officer from enrolling next academic term after allegedly violating the Student’s Code of Conduct, the League of Filipino Students (LFS)–UST disclosed on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

According to LFS–UST, Senior High School (SHS) Student Council Head Councilor Shoti Ampatuan was given a show cause notice due to his affiliation with Anakbayan–UST SHS, which resulted in his dismissal from his position and denial of his good moral certification.

Ampatuan told TomasinoWeb that the alleged violation pertains to PPS 1027 of the Code of Conduct, which states that “students shall join only organizations duly recognized by the University.”

In his response to the show cause notice released last year Nov. 17, Ampatuan clarified that the evidence used against him was for the movement calling for academic ease in light of the three typhoons that hit the country between Oct. 25 to Nov. 12.

“I would like to clarify that I did not intend to deliberately violate the Code of Conduct of the University. As such, I apologize for any misunderstanding that my post may have caused,” he said.

He also defended his affiliation with Anakbayan, saying that it helped him be fully educated on social issues, and provided him an avenue to speak up against injustice and equality which, according to him, is among the many things the University has taught him.

“I believe that we are in a critical time in our nation’s history, and that due to this, the youth should be given the opportunity to further amplify their voices,” Ampatuan said.

READ  UST Singers bag 14 first prize awards and the “Choir of the World” for the second time

LFS-UST urged the university administration to reverse its decision, firmly stressing that universities “should be an avenue for free speech, and not repression.”

“We call on the admin to overturn their decision and to uphold students’ democratic rights and be one with their students in their fight for quality education, human rights, and accountability for the Duterte regime’s criminal negligence,” the organization said.

‘A form of hypocrisy’

In a statement posted Thursday, Anakbayan-UST SHS described the said rule as “a form of hypocrisy” and questioned the administration’s actions.

“They utterly stated that the student violated the Code of Conduct due to their membership to a mass organization while hundreds of students […] are members of NGOs. Why pinpoint this student and this student only?” Anakbayan-UST asked.

“Why not instead of silencing and filing these resolutions because of the studentry [sic] wanting to be vocal, listen to what they say,” the organization added.

This is not the first time the University prohibited a student activist from SHS from enrolling and receiving good moral certification.

In February 2018, a group of SHS students were denied good moral certificates after staging a silent protest inside the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. (BGPOP) building over the implementation of the K-12 program and the e-books system.

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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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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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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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