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Social media, the Internet may be disruptive for political bets

Economist David Barua Yap II warned Thomasians in a forum that social media and internet can both be beneficial and harmful to voters and political bets for the 2016 elections on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

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Economist David Barua Yap II warned Thomasians in a forum that social media and internet can both be beneficial and harmful to voters and political bets for the 2016 elections on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

“Social media and the Internet can prove immensely valuable [because] it provides you with a tremendous amount of information [but] it is important to be mindful of the fact that people in social media want to do the thinking for you,” Yap said.

The UST Sociological Society organized a forum titled “Politeia: What’s on your mind?” to guide students in their use of the internet and social media for politics at the UST High School auditorium.

Labeling and “overcommitment”

Yap said that labeling and value attribution of political personalities, especially when online, are dangerous factors that help shape biased opinions by individuals, citing the “no to Binay” and “no to nognog” as examples of “innocuous and disruptive” slogans.

“It labels him as evil and subtly implies that anyone not named Binay is not evil. This is dangerous thinking [because] it reduces political discourse into a good versus evil narrative, [and] reduces a problem of corruption in a person or a family.”

A study this year found that Vice President Jejomar Binay is the least preferred presidential bet by Thomasians.

Yap also mentioned about the “overcommitment” to a particular candidate or political party of some online users who adamantly refuse to listen to arguments that are contrary to their beliefs.

“Overcommitted people are already convinced that they are right. These people refuse to engage in meaningful discourse. Simply, these people refuse to think,” Yap said.

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A new place of discourse

Meanwhile, political science professor Roland Maglaqui Castillo emphasized that social media has become a new lobby for people to share and articulate their opinions and interests.

“The idea of social media is not just a place for you to get information but for you to spread your own information.”

Castillo said that this new lobby for “political communication” between online users also benefit the politicians who capitalize on social media as a new place of discourse to reach and interact with more people for their campaigns and advocacies.

“All of us are political. Not just a political scientist, not just politicians. But, everyone of us is political because we are all humans and we are all interacting with each other,” Castillo said. -C.M.

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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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