RAYMUND CHRISTOPHER CUESICO AILEEN KRISTEL CHAM
PHOTO COURTESYOF FIRA.NET
Owen Park, a South Korean exchange student hail-ing from the Korea Advanced Institute of Scienceand Technology (KAIST), with Dr. Elmer Dadiosof the Manufacturing Engineering and Management(MEM) Department, is conducting research on anew form of Artiﬁcial Intelligence (AI) in the ﬁeldof micro robot soccer.Soccer-playing robots incorporate the latest inelectronic hardware and artiﬁcial intelligence soft- ware. These tiny machines have been in existencesince 1995 with Korea and Japan pioneering theirlatest advancements. This ﬁeld of research is usedas a medium to foster technological advancementsby having opposing robotic teams play in an actualsoccer game. These robots can pass the ball, block,shoot and even set coordinated plays just like realplayers, though in a limited way.It may be recalled that Professor Jong HwanKim of KAIST delivered a talk during the secondHNICEM hosted by De La Salle University Manilalast school year. HNICEM stands for InternationalConference on Humanoid, Nanotechnology, Infor-mation Technology, Communication and Control,Environment, and Management. Dr. Kim is ac-knowledged as an expert in the ﬁeld of robotics.Park explained the two ways by which roboticsoccer works. One way is to have a central computercontrol each independent robot’s movement usingmachine vision or pattern recognition with a camera.The other more complex way is equipping each ro-bot with an independent brain that communicates with other team members.Park’s innovation in this ﬁeld is the introductionof a machine referee. In previous occasions, a humanreferee is required in order to call fouls, take noteof the score and implement the standard rules of the game. Park is devising a way for computers torecognize and judge actual situations through theuse of fuzzy logic.Computers think in terms of ones and zeroes, yes and no, without any gray area. Fuzzy logic as aform of AI enables computers to address ambiguoussituations with numerical equivalents of “maybe.”In other words, a computer could be programmedto understand, say, very far, slightly far, slightly near,and very near.Dr. Dadios teaches artiﬁcial intelligence androbotics to MEM undergraduates, among otherteaching engagements.Through a lot of research and experimentation,Park has almost ﬁnished his study. He estimates thathe will complete his work by January and hopes totest it in actual competition.
SoKor student conducts soccer robot research
Robots battle it out like humans in the soccer robot ﬁeld.
very three years, the Student Handbook (SH) undergoes a facelift. Like amend-ing the Constitution through a conven-tion, representatives from different sectorsthrough the Student Handbook RevisionsCommittee (SHRC) go through discussionsto pinpoint portions of the handbook thatthey deem necessary to revise or overhaul.The SHRC is a venue of “lively” discus-sion where the outcome of the argumentsdetermine the future of the students for thenext three years.Philosophically, the main purpose of University rules is to develop the personaland social dimension of students. Part of thisis to rectify any wrongdoings of a studentthrough the offenses listed in the handbook.But Oliver To, VP for Academics and Researchof Student Council (SC), said that there arestill ambiguous portions in the handbook thatmay be “abused” by the interpreter.
The greatest challenge for the SC is topursue the removal of vague discipline stipula-tions, such as the one written in Section 4.12stating, “student exhibiting unbecomingbehavior automatically brings about an in-quiry by the Director of Discipline.” This isconspicuously mirrored in Section 126.96.36.199, which slaps a student a minor offense for“behavior of unbecoming of a young Chris-tian adult.” The SC calls provisions as “catchall” rules.Nowhere in the SH is unbecomingbehavior ever deﬁned, hence other “viola-tions” may be lumped together under thisgeneric provision. However, the DisciplineOfﬁce considers sleeping in class, writing inblackboard that is not related to academics, asgrounds for unbecoming behavior. In 2002,the SC’s proposal to remove this portion failedto materialize.For the SC, such “are superﬁcial rulesthat infringe on the rights of students” andthe council will still lobby this to the SHRC.It may also be observed in certain parts of the handbook that references are made eitherto the SC or the Discipline Ofﬁce (DO). Forinstance, a student has to refer to the saidofﬁces to see a list of inappropriate attire oractions classiﬁed as Public Display of Intimacy (PDPI).Though the handbook was revised in2002, the SC and DO have the chance tochange the rules on dress code and PDPI. Infact, the policy on slippers was just introducedlast June 2004 that became one of the debat-able provisions. Just this school year, the SCcompromised with the DO with regard to the“inappropriate” slippers.
By the book
During the last time the SC discussedhandbook revision, some of the resolutionsdecided by the Legislative Assembly (LA) thenmirror some of the resolutions ﬁled now. Forinstance, the attendance policy was targeted tobe removed by the Student Council (Resolu-tion # 2002 - 16) but seemingly, their efforts were in vain. A signiﬁcant fraction of revisions, pastand present, to the SH concerns word play.This involves addition or removal of a wordor phrases. Basing from Resolution # 2002 -18, the LA decided to add the word “violent”to the beginning of section 188.8.131.52, whichreads “acts of subversion or insurgency.” An-other instance is the addition of the phrase“an object, which is primarily used as a deadly weapon” to further describe a deadly weapon.The present handbook does not contain thesetwo modiﬁcations.The inclusion of Student Charter in thehandbook was also an achievement for the SCfor the charter speciﬁed the rights of studentsin the campus such as academic rights, rightto organize, and right to due process duringdisciplinary proceedings.
What to expect now
Currently, the LA is drafting revisionson University offenses, the most crucial partof Handbook revisions. One of the primary concerns is the forms of cheating (Section184.108.40.206). Based on the Student Handbook,cheating includes unauthorized possessionof notes during exams, copying or allowinganother to copy from one’s exams, commu-nication of students during examination ortest without permission of teacher or proctor,and plagiarism.Such conditions maybe interpreted asonly “suspicion” on cheating. The professor’sdiscretion on offense is also a subjective view.Professors also ﬁle cheating when they noticethe similarities of student’s answers during ex-aminiations, especially if the type of question.In fact, this happened in a laboratory examsthree years ago though this was immediately resolved through a settlement.To said that cheating must only qualify if it is “deliberately done” or caught-in-the-act; thus including this in this school year’shandbook revision. An offense on what is known as proselyt-izing (Section 220.127.116.11) is also another policy that some SC ofﬁcers wanted to remove. It isdeﬁned as “an attempt to convert another toone’s faith by attacking or denigrating otherperson’s practices and beliefs, or by offeringspecial inducement.” Yet, the minor offense may affect Born Again Christians, who are enthusiastically driven to share their faith that is fundamentally based on the Bible. The instances categorizedas proselytizing could be considered as limita-tion of religious and possibly even academicfreedom in the University.The SC is currently working on otherportions of SHB, which they deemed neces-sary to revise.
Vague discipline stipulations
PAUL DARWYNN GARILAO
Is DLSU ready forAUN accreditation?
If things go well for De La Salle University (DLSU), theuniversity may soon be at par with the best universitiesof the ASEAN University Network (AUN). AUN is anetwork of the two best universities of each ASEANmember country.DLSU is the only private institution among AUNmembers. Although AUN membership is given only to public universities, “they cannot disregard that LaSalle is the best university in the country so they got LaSalle as a member of AUN together with University of the Philippines,” stressed Dr. Julius Maridable, VP for Academics and Research. As a member of the network, it is expected that DL-SU’s educational standard is as that of other members.To this effect, the AUN will implement the accreditationfor the ﬁrst time.If the university will be accredited, DLSU will beacquiring long-term beneﬁts that could help the studentstremendously. One of the beneﬁts involved is credittransfer, wherein the subject a student has taken up inDLSU will be credited in other AUN members.The university is hoping to work on the accredita-tion immediately and will be starting this month onthe preparation process where the visit is expected tocome early next year. “This is a major accomplishmentof the university to be accredited under the ASEAN,”emphasized Maridable. April 2004, another medical topnotcher, Dr. Emil ReyesJacinto, took a beating when he decided to become anurse abroad instead of pursuing his medical career inthe Philippines. According to bulatlat.com, statistics show that 5,000to 8000 nurses leave the Philippines on an annual basis.Pursuing more lucrative jobs abroad, around 2,000 areformer doctors. Considering that rate of immigrationand the current doctor-to-population ratio – a measly 1 to 26000 – the situation has long been a cause forconcern.One doctor should theoretically be able to attend to6000 citizens. Unfortunately, medical schools produceonly an average of 1000 doctors a year. With several med-ical schools closing over the past ﬁve years, this outputcannot adequately accommodate the needs of Filipinos.Considering the state of the Philippine economy and thesheer practicality of taking up nursing and other ‘care-giver’ courses, it may be understood why the numberof medicine students is declining rapidly.The exodus of physicians heightens the danger of health crises in the immediate future. A UP researchstudy conﬁrms that various hospitals in Mindanao andIsabela have no doctors. “Because of the exodus of doc-tors from the Philippines, ‘
yung mga naiiwang
dito sa Pilipinas ay hindi na ganoon kaqualiﬁed
,” (thedoctors who are left in the Philippines are not that quali-ﬁed) Amora noted. The minority who are considerably competent yet do not migrate choose to practice inlarge, urban and highly-populated areas, as this ensures asteadier ﬂow of income. As a result, rural regions usually become the victims of the maldistribution of doctors.Out of the 2,864 examinees, 1,471 or 51.36 percentpassed the medical board exams. The number that refuseto become what various opinion writers call ‘sell-outs’remains to be seen.sarily equivalent to 0.0 (Section 8.12).
With ﬂying colors
The most radical modiﬁcations may, however, lie in the SC’s planned restructur-ing of the criteria for honors. Through the LA’s omission of Section 10.5.4, students with failures are given the chance to graduate with honors.The rationale behind this move is a study conducted by To which showed thatstudents with failures are less likely anyway to graduate with honors. To’s inquiry also revealed that many prominent foreign universities, such as Harvard University,largely base the awarding of honors only on students’ cumulative grade point averages.Only academic offenses are to prevent students from garnering graduation awards,according to the LA’s revisions.On trimestral honors, students not found guilty of cheating or academic dishonesty within the term regardless of previous terms can be a Dean’s Lister.The SC also plans to tighten the leash on cheating. According to To, the SC willcontest that a student can only be ﬁled a cheating case when it is done deliberately or caught-in-the-act. Presently, a student may be slapped with cheating even whenthere is just a suspicion. In addition, a student who has committed cheating must becaught by the professor for the case to hold ground. Aside from these adjustments, Balane reported that the Legislative Assembly islooking into deducting from the list of offenses in Section 13. Once the LA is ﬁnishedin coming up with proposed amendments, their work will be turned over to the SCdelegates in the SHRC.Belino received a gold medallion from embattled President Gloria Macapagal Ar-royo last Aug. 30 in the Malacañang Palace, and was awarded a trophy coupled witha cash prize of PhP 200,000 last September 2 by Vice President Noli de Castro at theMetrobank Plaza in Makati. 25,000 of the said cash prize will go to the University for faculty development.Dr. Belino was nominated by DLSU System President Br. Armin Luistro torepresent the University. The Harvard University doctoral graduate advanced to beamong the eight semiﬁnalists in the prestigious search.Criteria for judging included personal qualities and character, instructional com-petence and teaching effectiveness, and professional and community involvement. ThePreliminary Board of Judges (PBJ) determined the semiﬁnalists through documentssent by nominees detailing their accomplishments in the last 10 years. Education ex-perts from Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Education(DepED) reviewed the documents.Qualiﬁed nominees were interviewed and asked to perform a teaching demon-stration to determine teaching effectiveness. The evaluators acted as students in thedemo and even tried to test their patience to assess their knowledge in class. “In theinterview, these people ask you questions that’s hardly dealing with your expertise,”the awardee added.Professors from Ateneo de Manila, DLSU, UP-Manila, and UP-Visayas emergedas ﬁnalists. The ﬁnal judging is an interview conducted by another panel of judgescomposed of representatives from the political, juridical, academic, and media sectors.In the end, it was Dr. Belino and the UP-Manila professor who took the covetedaward.“The ‘ideal teacher for me is someone who plays the multi-faceted role of a mentoras exempliﬁed by Telemachis in Homer’s Odysey. The mentor is described as: teacher.Counselor, advisor, surrogate father and friend,” Dr. Belino shared.
FROM PAGE 1, STUDENT HANDBOOKFROM PAGE 1, MEE CHAIRFROM PAGE 1, LASALLIAN TOPS
After being awarded Level III status, the College of En-gineering (COE) will face reaccreditation this October by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Col-leges and Universities (PAASCU). Level III is the highestaccreditation level that a program can attain, while LevelIV is given only to institutions.Six courses of COE will be reaccredited: Electronicsand Communication, Chemical, Civil, Industrial, andMechanical Engineering. Manufacturing Engineeringand Management will be accredited for the ﬁrst time. Dr.Julius Maridable, VP for Academics and Research (VPAR)and former COE dean, said the college was prepared sinceJuly but PAASCU delayed its visit letting new dean Dr.Pag-asa Gaspillo warm her seat ﬁrst.
PAASCU is a private, voluntary, non-profit, andnon-stock corporationofﬁcially recognized as anaccrediting agency by theDepartment of Education(DepEd). It evaluateseducational quality touplift the standard of localeducation via self-evalu-ation and judgment by academic peers.Institutions or pro-grams are accredited if ac-cepted standards of qual-ity or excellence are met.“The good thing aboutthe PAASCU is that youare forced to evaluate yourself,” stressed Den-nis Beng Hui, IndustrialEngineering DepartmentChair.
Short on cash yet prepared?
The VPAR said that COE administrators studied whatthe college had done after the last accreditation, appliedrecommended practices, and followed suggestions toimprove the college. However, he admitted lack of funds,seen most evidently in acquiring equipment.In spite of being ﬁnancially shorthanded, COE hasbeen acquiring equipment it needs to educate studentsefﬁciently. Mechanical Engineering (MEE) departmentshared that whether or not there is reaccreditation, they have new state-of-the-art equipment for demonstrationpurposes.Moreover, two million-peso Spanish lathe machinesare already in the Machine Shop replacing some oldermachines. MEE Chair Dr. Belino stated that the plan isto replace the 3-decade-old machines, two per year. Thesaid machines are so expensive; while it is still serviceable,it is still used. But persistent servicing inevitably prejudicessafety. “
[Kahit] magagagamit pa pero kung hindi na [ligtas] sa gumagamit dapat palitan na natin kasi sobrang luma na
,” (The machines may still be usable, but they have to be replaced since old machines make for unsafeuse) Dr. Maridable explained. According to
article, Are we worldclass?, Dr. Ma Yong Sheng stated that in National Univer-sity of Singapore (NUS), equipment is replaced every ﬁve years. In a related article about ASEAN University Net- work Accreditation (see related article on page 2), NUS isalso part of the network. Dr. Maridable conceded that tui-tion alone can never pay for equipment acquisition unlessstudents agree to a very high tuitionfee increase. How-ever, sharing of labbudget among de-partments helps toacquire expensiveequipment.One source of funding for theCOE is throughthe research ef-forts of faculty.For instance,equipments of Sci-ence and Tech-nology ResearchCenter came fromexternally fundedresearch projects.“The faculty atDLSU have come into a level that they can ask for supportfrom external funding agencies,” declared Maridable.
The real deal
Dr. Maridable has high hopes for COE. DespiteCOE’s distinct limitations, the college has displayed crea-tivity in getting to where it is now, an esteemed positionin the local engineering landscape.
, for Are we world-class?, conducted asurvey asking Lasallians to assess the “world-classness” of DLSU. Interestingly, majority of negative answers camefrom COE.
COE to face reaccreditation
AILEEN KRISTEL CHAM
Proper tune up.
The COE's residence, Velasco Hall gears up.
il prices are not the only ﬁgures shooting up; legal casesin DLSU do too.
A Staggering Increase
Baylon Bañez, president of DLSU Employees’ Association(DLSU-EA), explained that during Br. Rolando Dizon’s time aspresident of DLSU, only 10 labor cases were ﬁled against DLSU.The EA president attributes the low number to the effective griev-ance procedure the school implemented.Under Br. Rolly’s leadership, the Administration and EA suc-cessfully devised a procedure to prevent the ﬁling of labor andcriminal cases outside DLSU’s walls. The cases included unfairlabor practice, illegal suspension and harassment.Bañez revealed that the EA was givenrepresentation in the Discipline Boardand “free will to exercise our(EA) prerogative to ap-point the ofﬁcial andauthorized representa-tive of the union to thatparticular board.”Since then, cases have dou-bled. According to Dr. Car-melita Quebengco, DLSU-EVP, “From 1996 to thepresent time, the University was sued and is facing around22 labor cases that are pending beforethe Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the National LaborRelations Commission, the National Conciliation MediationBoard, and various Labor Arbiters.”On the contrary, Bañez claimed that the EA has already ﬁled28 cases against DLSU as of September 2005.
Cause behind the swelling
Being EA President for more than a decade, Bañez observedthat as the new administration came in, the grievance board waschanged and led to increased cases.“They (Administration) created a Discipline Board, whichhears the discipline cases of employees, without the representationof the union,” the EA president related, furthering that it was cre-ated in the guise of “exercise of management prerogative.”The EA perceives this as beyond the bounds of the law and theCollective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CBA is a documentthat deﬁnes the relation between DSLU and the Employees withregard to employment regulations.Bañez maintains that the Administration, under the new system, has abused its exercise of management prerogative. Afterthe Administration suspended normal relations with the EA, itunilaterally changed the procedure, claimed the EA president. Asa result, the EA no longer had the opportunity to participate in themodiﬁcation of discipline boards. “They went as far as exercisingtheir management prerogative by authorizing themselves to ap-point the representative of the employee to that Discipline Board.So they went out to the extent of exercising their prerogative,and at the same time exercising the prerogative of the union,”Bañez lamented.On the other hand, Dr. Quebengco reasoned that theincrease in cases is beyond their control, explaining that“whether a case will be ﬁled or not depends on the com-plainant and not the university as a respondent.”
Legal wages from tuition fees?
The school spends about two million pesos a year onlegal cases, Dr. Quebengco revealed. The money spent forlegal fees, the EVP asserted, are taken out of DLSU’s contin-gency fund, which is part of the University annual budget.Dr. Quebengco admitted that the student's tuition isused to pay for a signiﬁcant portion of legal expenses. “Tui-tion, other school fees, plus other revenues are the sources of our annual budget, and part of that is the contingency fund, from which court case expenses are paid,” she explained.
obtained a document from Branch and Met-ropolitan Court , detailing that the University had spent PhP800,000 in a theft case involving a former female employee. Theemployee was accused of 13 counts of theft worth PhP 18,000.The employee was acquited on 11 counts and ﬁnally faced PhP3,000 theft case.In another case based on court transcript dated Sept. 3,2003, ACRA law charged "us (Administration) on hourly basis, attorney'sfees, and all out pocket expenses shall be charged with Dela SalleUniversity." Another supporting document stated, "This is offeredin connection with Criminal Case Nos. 280700-12 to prove that ACCRALAW has so far billed DLSU for legal services renderedin the criminal case against the accused in the total amount of PhP807,591.00."
Bañez believes that the cases are not beyond settlement.Through an effective grievance machinery and constant dialogue, abetter relationship between the DLSU administration and DLSU-EA could be fostered.“It’s simple—let the grievance machinery work. Re-establishthe old Discipline Board to hear cases. If they (Admin) have already taken action, they should not repeat it again so as not to exacer-bate the situation. We have to sit down and we have to follow theprocedure,” the EA president said.Dr. Quebengco, on the Administration's part, believes thatin the end, harmonious relationship between the administrationand the Employees’ association is not beyond the realm of pos-sibility.The EVP remains optimistic about the resolution of all case,concluding, “If all of us have the same frame of mind and attitude,a labor dispute or even a student’s grievance can always be resolved justly, and its resolution should settle the dispute or grievancepeacefully and quickly.”
A legal dilemma brews
ROYCE ROBERT ZUÑIGA
What can two million pesos do?
As stated by Dr. Quebengco, the University annually spendsapproximately two million pesos to pay for legal cases ﬁled by the DLSU-EA. This is an indication that students are also af-fected on Admin-EA diputes through the years. Assuming a student population of 10,000, two million pesosmeans every student shells out 200 per year in payment to the ACCRA (Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz) and theLGCM ofﬁces, the law ofﬁces DLSU avail.2M pesos is enough:1). To waive the ID fees of 3,752 incoming freshmen (PhP533 per freshman).2). To give 667 students 1 month free board and lodging atthe Lasallian Center (3,000 per student per month).3). To waive 471 students’ miscellaneous fess for one term(4242 per student).4). To purchase 50 computer sets (PhP40,000 pesos per set).5). To pay the tuition fees of four students for their entirestay in DLSU (assuming tuition of PhP40,000 per term and4 year courses).SC’s intentions were then made clear, and the issue wasresolved.SC President Army Padilla also disclosed that priorto their meeting to address Atty. Caraan’s formal protest,concerned SC ofﬁcers also met with the DO for the purpose of clarifying guidelineson slippers inside campus. She furthered that the SC and DO “try to maintain a dip-lomatic and a collaborative relationship in order for both ofﬁces to fulﬁll their rolesin better serving the students.”
FROM PAGE 1, SC, DOFROM PAGE 2, SC, DOSEE SC, DO, PAGE 3
15 September 2005215 September 20053