February 15, 2019 (10:42 AM)

4 min read


TOSFI, dress code, and university facilities rent fee were among the concerns tackled during the ViewFinder held at Finster Auditorium last Friday, Feb. 13.

Photo by Hannah Lou Balladares

In this year’s ViewFinder Summit, the data gathered by the SAMAHAN Central Board (SCB) showed that students were most concerned about enrolment and tuition and other fees increase (TOFI).

SAMAHAN President Jerry Huerbana, Secretary General Mina Limbaga, Research and Development Department Director JV Velasco, and Students Rights and Welfare Department Director Hazel Pilongo presented their data and interpretations to the school administration.

Under Section 2 entitled ‘The Importance of Issues Identified’, issues such as Academic Issues, Security Issues, Student Services, and Enrolment were classified. The results showed that Enrolment was described as important, in terms of the purpose of pre-registration and deletion of subjects prior to enrolment.

The SCB recommended proper information dissemination of the pre-registration, finalized subjects offered in the pre-registration, and lifted enrolment blocks, among others.

Under Section 4 entitled ‘The Importance of Other University Concerns’, concerns such as Student Welfare and Rights, Religious and Socio-cultural Concerns, Leadership Formation and Social Development, TOFI, and Ecoteneo Initiated Activities were classified. TOFI, particularly its reasonability, was described by the SCB as having the greatest concern.

However, University Research Council Director Dr. Lourdesita S. Chan questioned the variables used in the survey and the interpretations thereof.

Chan pointed out how the SCB should be more precise with the variables they use and to make sure that they properly interpret the data based on the variables they use.

“It seems to me that you are concerned about the transparency [of TOFI]. In your [Huerbana] interpretation earlier on, you said about ‘unjustifiable’. You kept on using the word ‘unjustifiable’. Nowhere in the statements here was there a question whether TOFI is justifiable or not. Reasonability does not imply justifiability… Let us be very precise in the variable that we are using and in the interpretation of data, we go back to the variable,” Chan commented.

Other Concerns

SCB allowed the students to lobby their questions to the admin, and most of the concerns were regarding the dress code and use of school facilities.

One student asked if students were prohibited to wear civilian and sports attire during activity periods because of guards calling them out.

“If you are going to wear civilian or sports attire during activity period, just come to the OSA to secure a pink slip. So from 9 to 10 we actually release pink slips to students who requested they wear civilian or sports attire during activity period. So we presume that if guards call out your attention, it means that no pink slips were requested from the OSA,” Office of Student Affairs Director Theresa Eliab answered.

With regards to the use of school facilities, Executive Vice President Jeremy Eliab said that the rent for outsiders was expensive because of the utilities expense, but there was no charge for legitimate student-related activities.

“With the Finster Auditorium and Martin Hall, we charge, especially external users, for use of these because this is a 6-tonner air conditioning. That’s P10,000 per hour. We conclude that base on the load of the air conditioning and base on their usage also of utilities like restroom. For student uses, usually this is not charged. All you have to do is ask permission, especially if it is a legitimate activity of students,” Eliab said.

University President Joel E. Tabora supported Eliab, saying that he never denied a request for free use.

“Relative to student use of the Martin Hall, I have never denied a request for free use. The PPO is angry at me. But I really feel that if it is a legitimate student activity, we’re not charging the students. But we should be allowed to charge others because of the cost concern… There are some outside activities that we don’t charge because we consider them mission activities,” Tabora said.

The ViewFinder Summit is an effort of the SCB to settle and resolve student concerns and issues experienced by the student body by directly lobbying them to the school administration. It was held at the Finster Auditorium, February 13.

End the silence of the gagged!

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