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Student organizations gain recognition

THE University of Santo Tomas recognized 195 College-based and 37 University-wide organizations for the academic year 2014-2015 in an awarding ceremony, spearheaded by the Office for Student Affairs (OSA) on October 3 at the TARC Auditorium.

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THE University of Santo Tomas recognized 195 College-based and 37 University-wide organizations for the academic year 2014-2015 in an awarding ceremony, spearheaded by the Office for Student Affairs (OSA) on October 3 at the TARC Auditorium.

“The recognition that the University grants to you today is an indication that we believe in your capacity and the capacity of your organizations to implement what you have inputted in your strategic plans,” said Evelyn A. Songco, Assistant to the Rector for Student Affairs.

The Faculty of Engineering has the most number of recognized organizations with 24 which is followed by the Faculty of Arts and Letters with 19 while the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the Faculty of Pharmacy trails behind with 15.

Among the newly established University-wide organizations are the Thomasian Bosconian Youth Movement, and Thomasian Film Society, which serves as the training ground for aspiring Thomasian filmmakers.

Songco also said literature reveals that students who actively participate in student organizations in the campus develop their social leadership skills. They achieve emotional maturity and perform better academically.

“This claim actually is proven by many researchers done in the western universities and I’d like to believe that this is also true in the PH setting,” she added.

She also said that this year is another opportunity for the students and the organizations to create trail blazing programs and projects and another opportunity to pursue noble advocacy.

The elected officers and board members of the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) also took oath with the lead of Henry Tenedero, President of the Thomasian Alumni Leaders Association (TALA) and in the presence of the SOCC Adviser Antonio Chua.

Lessons on Leadership

      AB alumnus Jeffrey Tarayao, President of ONE Meralco Foundation, shared the lessons that he acquired as a leader of an organization during his stay in the university in an inspirational speech.

“Leadership is humility. Every leadership moment, every leadership decision is an act of humility. Once your perspective of leadership is humility then, everything you will do, it will be out of service and love,” he said.

Tarayao underscored that leadership is not about one’s self, but it is about doing something, improving lives and making a difference.

In line with the celebration of the World’s Teachers Day on October 5, he also thanked the teachers that were present in the event.

Hanggang ngayon tinuturuan niyo pa rin kami sa maraming aspeto ng buhay. Little did we know that as leaders of organizations, we become teachers to others and that alone creates an impact that we last other people a lifetime,” he added.

Alumni give back through ‘Sinag ng TALA’

“They (alumni) give back to the university through you and that’s the reason why we have the Sinag ng TALA which they hope will really help you to even more express yourself through community service,” said Songco.

Sinag ng TALA is a proposal writing contest for a community development program in San Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs Parish in Dagat-Dagatan. It is open to all student organizations in UST.

“(It is) not only (about) adopting a community… but we want this to elevate intense mark and best practices so that others who will come after us will follow the pursuit of really sharing what it is to be a Thomasian leader,” Tenedero explained.

He also said that the advisers are there to support and guide the students because they believe that the organizations can individually and collectively make a big difference.
Photo by Adrian Castillo

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Student organization condemn anti-terror bill provisions

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) The Political Science Forum (TPSF) condemned the constitutionality of the “questionable” provisions and mechanisms of the Anti-Terror Law (ATL).

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Arden Esmile/TomasinoWeb

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) The Political Science Forum (TPSF) condemned the constitutionality of the “questionable” provisions and mechanisms of the Anti-Terror Law (ATL).

“[T]he Draconian measures pointed out by critics of the law emphasized on the stifling of dissent and criticism, and the possible danger of disregarding the democratic freedom of every Filipino,” the statement released yesterday, July 4 read.

TPSF also called for vigilance among Filipinos amid the signing of the Anti-Terror Bill into Law last Friday, July 3. 

“Given this turn of events, the Forum calls for vigilance among all Filipinos in ensuring that its enforcement shall be free from disfranchisement of fundamental rights of everyone,” the Forum said. 

TPSF stressed that government critics, student activists, indignant masses, and indigenous groups in the country are the “most vulnerable” in the enforcement of the highly scrutinized warrantless investigations and arrest. 

According to the Forum, the provisions of the law, specifically on the prolonged detention of the alleged violator and lesser liability of law enforcers from erroneous accusations, “may result in power tripping and reckless law enforcement.” 

“[T]he balance of power in handling revolving around terrorism are centered to the executive department whereas the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) shall be comprised of presidential appointees, members who have most likely to have conflict of interest with the state,” TPSF said. 

The Forum also questioned the “practicality and relevance of the bill” during the pandemic.

A group of lawyers and civic leaders, led by Lawyer Howard Calleja, filed yesterday, July 4, the very first petition against the newly signed ATL before the Supreme Court. Jayziel Khim Budino

 

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Students not ready for self-directed learning—EdTech director

Students “may not be really ready” for self-direction and learning independence without “prodding from the teachers,” the University’s Educational Technology Center (EdTech) director said yesterday, June 27.

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Screengrab from the Learning in Focus webinar

Students “may not be really ready” for self-direction and learning independence without “prodding from the teachers,” the University’s Educational Technology Center (EdTech) director said yesterday, June 26.

“With or without pandemic, no single tool really and no amount of technology would be the solution to all our instructional problems,” Asst. Prof. Anna Cherylle Ramos, president of Philippine e-Learning Society, said during a webinar about shifting from classroom to online term.

Virtual monitoring sessions and centralized e-learning support unit, according to Ramos, was provided by the University to the teachers for the implementation of an online learning system.

“For the context of the University of Santo Tomas that has been using online technology for almost 20 years since 2002, we had the edge of implementing our continuity plan for teaching and learning right away after the declaration of the lockdown,” she said.

Ramos mentioned that in a survey conducted by the University, 98-percent of the faculty and 94-percent of the students have no stable internet connection.

“Out of our survey, we were able to locate the students with no internet connection and with our partnership with major telecom companies who were able to deliver the devices and the pocket wifi devices, so that they are able to finish the semester,” she said.

“I guess for me, COVID-19 also provided some positive contribution because it has unleashed a revolution in our education,” Ramos said.

Challenges ‘more psychological’

The bigger challenge in taking the education online, according to De La Salle Lipa College of Information and Engineering Dean Jorge Bacobo, is more psychological than technical.

“Those [technological problems], we know what the solutions are,” Bacobo said. “It’s getting the people who are involved for example in our schools, teachers, parents, administrators, to adjust to a revolution that’s forced [on] us by pandemic.”

“It’s really the evolution of people and how they have to change their relationships with each other in order to address the new needs of a new normal,” he added.

Bacobo emphasized that the pandemic changing the whole world challenged more the relationship between the students and the teachers and between the teachers and their teaching platform.

“Teachers suddenly realized they’re not anymore the sages on the stages. They’re now set aside. They’re more like guides on the side…They are no longer the medium of instruction,” he said.

Bacobo explained that the digital infrastructure has become the new medium and the teacher’s “avatar” or representative.

Department of Education Undersecretary Nepo Malaluan also said that online learning is “a very potent tool.”

“When we talk about the learning continuity in this time of COVID and doing distance learning, online learning is only one of the modalities,” he said. 

“Our viewers and our parents and learners and the public and sometimes even policy makers equate distance learning with the online learning platform,” he added. 

Technological challenges of online learning, according to Malaluan, are the capacity of teachers in delivery of large-scale online learning, conversion of classroom-based learning resources to distance learning resources, and the cost of online learning to the students.

Ramos urged the students that despite the teachers being “converted into text,” students should be more understanding as the issue of bandwidth impedes the online availability of the teachers.

“Online technology or online instructions would just be one of the many things we can do to be able to deliver that content,” Ramos said. “[Students] must realize that while we are doing something like this, we still have your teaching presence.”

“The learning activities themselves and the step by step procedure being given by the teachers is in fact the teaching presence themselves. There should be that understanding on both parties,” she said.

The webinar, “Learning in Focus,” was organized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inq To be You, and INQUIRER.net.

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CSC decries ‘unlawful arrest’ of ‘Pride 20’

The University Central Student Council (CSC) condemned the “violent and unlawful” arrest of 20 protestors who participated in the Pride March held in front of Mendiola Peace Arch, Friday morning, June 26. 

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

The University Central Student Council (CSC) condemned the “violent and unlawful” arrest of 20 protestors who participated in the Pride March held in front of Mendiola Peace Arch, Friday morning, June 26. 

“[It] is a clear abuse of undignifying power against our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters,” CSC’s statement read.

The protestors who were arrested called to junk the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which is set to lapse into law on July 9. 

Different progressive groups who joined the rally were dispersed by the police, despite observing health protocols such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks.

“Our expression of dissent will never be an act of terrorism. Pride is a protest. #FreePride20!” CSC said. 

According to reports and posts circulating online, several police were seen “hijacking” one of the demonstrators’ private vehicles to bring them to the police station. 

The police nabbed 20 people, 10 of which are members of Bahaghari including its spokesperson Rey Valmores-Salinas, eight members of Gabriela, and two drivers.

Salinas took to Twitter to express her concern on their arrest: “Hinuli man kami ngayon, walang pandemiya, walang lockdown, at mas lalong walang mga pasistang baboy ang makapipigil ng pagsinag ng Bahaghari. #SulongWagPatinag.” 

#FreePride20

The arrested protestors were not informed of their violations and were not read of their Miranda rights, which angered the netizens.

The #FreePride20 trended on Twitter as netizens called for the immediate release of the ‘Pride 20,’ which were currently detained at the Manila Police District headquarters.

Miss Universe 2019 Catriona Gray as well as groups such as Gabriela Women’s Party, Bahaghari, and Metro Manila Pride also condemned the arrest. 

Three minors were already released, but the remaining are set to spend the weekend in detention as inquest proceedings resume on Monday.

The Metro Manila Pride March was originally set on June 27. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event was cancelled and will be held via virtual gathering instead. 

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