VOLUME 35 |
December 15, 2008
Baker Hall to be convertedto Museum Complex
Estel Lenwij Estropia
Plans to build over thevicinity of the Baker Hall upto the Department of MilitaryScience Training (DMST) building a museum complex areunderway.
This is according to Dr.Fernando Sanchez, Assistant tothe Vice Chancellor for Planningand Development.Sanchez said that thoughno target date has been set,the construction of the “EdwinBingham Copeland MuseumComplex” will depend on theavailability of funds. The Baker Hall will becomethe UPLB History Museum, wherethe university’s roots since theestablishment of the UP Collegeof Agriculture as well as thehistorical and cultural backgroundof Southern Tagalog will be traced.Meanwhile, the Departmentof Human Kinetics (DHK) will bemoved to the new gymnasiumbeing built between the VeterinaryMedicine building and Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) building.“As of now, the resources
are focused [on] nishing the
gymnasium for the students, sohopefully by after the school yeartapos na ‘yun [gymnasium],” saidSanchez.Meanwhile, Sanchez said theDMST will be converted into anArts Museum. The DMST wouldthen be moved to the ATI buildingso that there would be no need toconstruct another building.A new complex will also bebuilt in the area that includes thebarracks, tennis and basketballcourt for a Natural HistoryMuseum.
[P]Beads of sweat cloudedKristine Cas’ brow. She fansherself with creased pieces of papers – probably applicationforms. It would’ve been easyyielding to her longing to takea rest, but her desire to getdiscount on her tuition and helpher family made her dismiss thethought of leaving the line, evenif it means waiting for hours,
or even days, just to nish her
application for Student LoanBoard (SLB) and SocializedTuition and Financial AssistanceProgram (STFAP).
Being aware of the loomingend of the registration, Kristinefeels all the more uneasy. Shecould be seen almost every dayfor the whole registration weekat the Student Union building,incessantly heaving sighs asshe waits among the long line of students.Kristine is but one of themany students who rely on SLBand STFAP during enrolmentperiod just to be able to lessen theburden of Tuition and other FeesIncrease (ToFI) on her pocket.
FALLINg SHORT OF STUdENTS’ NEEdS
SLB and STFAP were designed
to provide nancial assistance to
students who cannot shoulder thefull cost of tuition. Last semester,2,068 students applied for STFAP,916 of which are from batch ’08, while 785 are from batch ’07. Only367 students from upper batchesthat were not affected by ToFIapplied for STFAP last semester.Meanwhile, of the 3,384students who availed of SLB lastschool year, 45 percent or 1,515applicants are freshmen. It isfollowed by seniors constituting20 percent of the total applicants with 688 applicants, while 35percent or 1,181 applicants aresophomores, juniors and graduateschool students.In addition, the Scholarshipand Financial Assistance Division(SFAD) recorded that the totalloan granted to students hasamounted to P33, 688,064.35last school year. An amount of P24,680,129.40 has been availedby freshmen, P2,760,746.00 bysophomores, P2,739,645.39 by juniors, P3,024,095.56 by seniors,and P483,448.00 by graduateschool students.Dorothy Litan, head of SFAD,said, “About the same ‘yungnumber ng applicants [compared with last year] pero ‘yungequivalent amount mas malakingayon dahil mas marami angfreshman [at] sophomore ngayonna affected ng ToFI. So maliit nalang na portion ‘yung old rate.”
For the rst semester,
2068 applied for STFAP with anadditional of 113 more applicantsas of Nov. 17 for 2nd semester.Meanwhile, 2,388 studentsapplied for SLB as of Nov.21 for2nd semester.
CALL FOR gREATER SUbSIdY
Despite the temporary
nancial relief offered by STFAP
and SLB, Kristine still believesthat these programs are notenough to prevent her tuition fromconsuming a large portion of herfamily’s income.“Oo, nakakatulong,pero kulang pa rin talaga.Namamahalan pa rin kami [satuition]. Iba ang expectationsnamin [dati sa UP], mas mura [anghalaga ng edukasyon],” Kristinerelated.
Being classied under bracket
C, she is given 40 percent subsidyfor her tuition, saving her frompaying P 1,000 per unit wholesaleevery semester.Describing her previousSTFAP application, Kristine saidthe processing of STFAP was slow.She said it took the whole 1stsemester before discount on hertuition has been available.Although many students were able to avail SLB andSTFAP, many still resorted toapplying for Leave of Absence(LOA) and Absence Without Leave
(AWOL), nding SLB and STFAPinsufcient to back them up withtheir nancial liabilities in the
THE LEAST A SCHOLAR CAN dO
Barely nishing her second
year in the university, KarlMatsumoto, with her eagernessto study hard, never expectedthat she will be out of school thissemester. She decided to applyfor LOA since she was not allowedto enroll this semester becauseshe failed to pay her SLB lastsemester.She applies regularly for SLBfor the past three semestersand has been assigned to BracketC of the STFAP.“Sa totoo lang ‘di sapat angSTFAP at SLB [para sa] mgaestudyante. Sa sobrang pagtaasng tuition, masyado pa ringmataas ang kailangang bayarankahit may loan na at STFAP,” Karlshared.
FACEd WITH TWO CHOICES
Students have been giventhe opportunity to choose theirmost convenient way of surviving
nancial constraints inside the
university.Asked how she can be ableto continue her schooling and goback to the university, Karl said,“Sa totoo lang pag-LOA lang angalam kong paraan para makapag-ipon muna ng pangbayad sa SLB.”She said she plans to appeal for
reclassication to a lower bracket
to avail of greater discount, butthen changed her mind, thinkingit would take too long and inthe long run would still prove
to be insufcient to support hernancially.
Kristine on the other handsaid she will continue relying on
STFAP and SLB, nding no other
way to sustain her in a universityhaving a costly education.With high tuition imposed onthem, students face the constant
THroUGH THE LookING GLaSS.
Hopeful students line up in front of the Scholarship and Financial Assistance Divisionwindows to apply for nancial support or le Leave of Absence during one of thelongest registraon periods in UPLB since the implementaon of TOFI.
More students rely on SLB, STFAP for tuition discount
On TOFI’s 2nd year
Rules for SR process set for referendum
UP students will haveto exceed the success of the
plebiscite that ratied the 1984
UPLB Student Council (SC)
Constitution, as the Codied
Rules for Student RegentSelection (CRSRS) is set for asystem-wide referendum on
January 19-23, 2009.
The Student Regent (SR) isthe lone student representativein the Board of Regents (BOR),the highest policy-making bodyof UP. SR Shahana Abdulwahidsaid the referendum poses atough challenge to the studentmovement as its failuremight mean the loss of ourrepresentation in the BOR.Certain provisions regardingSR selection were revised whenthe 2008 UP Charter or R.A. 9500 was signed into law last April 29.Section 12g states that an SRshall be chosen “in accordance
with rules and qualications
approved in a referendum by thestudents.”
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The referendum requiresthat the CRSRS gather a 50percent-plus-one participationor approximately 26,000 votesfrom at least 52,000 UP students,said Abdulwahid. Only when thereferendum has earned a majority“yes-vote” would the selectionof the next SR proceed, similarto the process undergone bythe plebiscite for the UPLB SCConstitution.
HIgHLIgHTINg THE ROLE OF SR
Abdulwahid said the system- wide campaign for the referendumis a chance to highlight the
importance of the Ofce of the
Student Regent (OSR) to UPstudents.“Magandang paraan ito paramaipaabot sa mga estudyantena kung mayroong concerns nakailangang tugunan ang SR atleast alam nila na mayroong nag-eexist na ganitong entity sa BOR,”she said. The SR has voting power indeliberations of university policiesduring BOR meetings. The SRalso conducts consultations inall UP units and coordinates withstudent councils for campaignsand information disseminationsuch as the call for the junkingand immediate rollback of the Tuition and Other Fee Increase.
dEFENd THE OSR
Gathering the required votescalls for extensive support fromstudents since UP units usuallyregister low voter’s turnout duringelections, Abdulwahid said.“Gagawa tayo ng history.‘Yanay base sa kung ano angkapasyahan ng mga estudyante,”she added.UPLB’s successful conduct of
the plebiscite for the ratication
of the UPLB-SC Constitutionattained a 70.54 percent turnout
with 95.5 percent afrmative
vote. This overwhelming successgave UP President EmerlindaRoman the impression that thereferendum is not impossible toachieve, according to Abdulwahid.Meanwhile, UniversityStudent Council (USC)
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Student leaders call all UP units to defend OSR
Chairperson Charisse BernadineBañez said the UPLB USC stands
rm in defending the OSR and
made the campaign part of its ongoing democratic rightscampaign. Through its Students’ Rightsand Welfare Committee, theUSC has coordinated with localCollege Student Councils andstudent organizations to discussthe existing CRSRS and the UPCharter of 2008.
IMPLICATIONS OF FAILEd REFERENdUM
Abdulwahid said a failedreferendum would not onlydelay the SR selection but alsopossibly extend her term until the
referendum satises the required
votes.“Maaaring wala ring SR [at]magbigay ito ng ibang puwangng intervention mula sa externalgroups [administration],” shestressed.In a letter in response toAbdulwahid’s inquiries,
What is the CRSRS?
Since 1997, the Codied
Rules for Student RegentSelection (CRSRS) has laid
out the qualications and
procedures by which thenext Student Regent (SR)is chosen. The GeneralAssembly of StudentCouncils has crafted theCRSRS and opens it yearlyfor amendments.In previous years, theGASC has been conveningtwice a year to revise theCRSRS in October andproceed with the SR Selectionin December. Nominees forSR of respective UP unitsare deliberated, whereautonomous units (such asUPLB and UP Diliman) areentitled with two votes whileregional units (such as UPDiliman Extension Programin Pampanga) are etitled withone.