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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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Classes resume as NCR Plus shifts to MECQ

Classes remain to be delivered under Enriched Virtual Mode until the end of the academic year and subject to extension depending on the University’s decision.

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Photo Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb

The University announced the resumption of classes, both synchronous and asynchronous, starting Monday, April 12 after the national government reverted the ‘NCR Plus’ bubble back to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine. 

Onsite work, however, will remain suspended according to the Office of Secretary-General. 

The University halted its classes last April 5 after both the UST Central Student Council and UST Faculty Union sought for a “health break.” 

“[W]e realized that the number of COVID-19 cases is not only increasing in number but is now turning into names of people who are very familiar and dear to us,” the Faculty Union petition stated.

Classes remain to be delivered under Enriched Virtual Mode until the end of the academic year and subject to extension depending on the University’s decision.

As of April 11, the Department of Health announced a total number of 864,868 with 146,519 active Covid-19 cases in the country. 

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UST Hiraya blasts Duterte’s attempt to grope maid, Roque’s defense

An advocacy-based organization in the University denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s actions toward a female house helper during his birthday celebration on March 28, as well as Malacañang’s defense on the incident.

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Photo from UST Hiraya's statement posted on their official Facebook page last April 1.

An advocacy-based organization in the University denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s actions toward a female house helper during his birthday celebration on March 28, as well as Malacañang’s defense on the incident.

In a now-viral video posted by Sen. Bong Go, Duterte was caught attempting to touch his house helper’s crotch area. Palace spokesperson Harry Roque, however, defended the president by saying that there was “no malice” to it since the woman is already used to Duterte’s humor. 

In a statement posted on April 1, UST Hiraya said that acts of harassment should not be normalized, as a woman’s dignity is “just as valuable as a man’s.”

“In a country in which the patriarchal culture has gotten the best of society’s prejudice and […] justice system, such acts shall not be condoned and normalized. A woman’s dignity is just as valuable as that of a man’s,” they said. 

UST Hiraya president Judy Borja explained that rape jokes and other forms of sexual harassment are normalized because of people who enable this kind of behavior. 

“[This is] because of people like Harry Roque who continue to make excuses for people who commit sexual harassment like Duterte. As long as there will be enablers, such acts are still ‘normal’ for some people,” she told TomasinoWeb

According to Borja, Duterte’s misconduct subjects women to more “heinous” acts by influencing “misguided” children and adults to continue doing such despite the existence of the Safe Spaces Act. 

Under the Safe Spaces Act or RA 11313, sexual harassers or those who commit unwanted sexual advances are penalized.

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“They will feel like they are above the law and will less likely follow. Due to this, more and more women will be subjected to such heinous acts,” she said.

The organization also urged Thomasians and Filipinos to stand against rape and sexual harassment, and to help break the “boys will be boys” stereotype.

According to Borja, speaking up against harassment allows offenders to take accountability for their actions and stops victims from blaming themselves.

“Speaking up against sexual harassment lets one hold the perpetrator accountable for the wrongful act that they did because if they have the heart to listen and learn, they will learn from it…[A]lso, victim-survivors of sexual harassment will not longer feel alone nor blame themselves,” she said. 

Borja also highlighted the importance of putting trigger warnings when discussing topics like rape and sexual harassment, as these issues could affect some people’s mental health. 

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Pharma remembers ‘longest-serving’ prof, Jacinta Cruz

Assoc. Prof. Jacinta Cruz, MHPEd served as a mentor to generations of medical technologists from Faculty of Pharmacy. She was recognized as an “Outstanding Professional in Medical Technology” by the Professional Regulation Committee in 2009. 

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Late Assoc. Prof. Jacinta Cruz. Photo from UST official Facebook page.

The University mourned the loss of one of its longest-serving professors from the Faculty of Pharmacy (FoP) yesterday, March 26. 

Before her retirement, Assoc. Prof. Jacinta Cruz, MHPEd served as a mentor to generations of medical technologists from FoP. She was recognized as an “Outstanding Professional in Medical Technology” by the Professional Regulation Committee in 2009. 

The FoP also expressed their sympathy and gratitude to their departed colleague online. 

Mark Angelo Ngu, one of her former students, recalled how Cruz changed his life and how he discovered that he was diabetic through her laboratory experiment. 

He also said that she was a “strict” professor but for accountable reasons. 

“[S]he was strict, and she scolds students, but there is a reason for this one, in order for us to ready ourselves in the real world, [..] her philosophy was to hone our emotional stability as early in order to prepare us for the real world,” Ngu told TomasinoWeb.

Cruz, however, also never failed to show her “kwela” side to her students as well, which makes her unforgettable for Ngu. 

“[D]espite her strictness, she also has her “kwela” side. Once you get to know her “kwela” side, you will surely be happy with her around. Kaya hindi namin makalimutan si Ma’am Jannie,” he said.

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