USC to launch org spaces campaign next sem
◢ Rat San Juan
As a response to issues on lack of tambayans, high venue rentals, and stringent org recognition processes, the UP Diliman University Student Council (UPD USC) is set to launch its official campaign to review and redistribute campus spaces to student organizations next semester.
Temporarily labeled the #WeNeedSpace campaign, the UPD USC’s initiative borrows its name from the UP Manila USC’s campus-wide call for student spaces and clamor against venue rental fee increases. Recently, UPD students have also staged several protests against administrative restraints on organizations.
In the College of Mass Communication (CMC), the Faculty-Student Relations Committee (FSRC) Guidelines for CMC-Based Student Organizations has recently been implemented, worsening the already rigorous process of org-recognition in the college. A total of 21 CMC-based organizations were not registered after withdrawing recognition documents in protest for the new guidelines.
Meanwhile, student orgs in the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) have yet to have their own tambayans more than a year after fire razed the Faculty Center, said CAL Rep. Isaac Punzalan. “Yung iba, tumatambay sa may Vargas Museum, pero pinapaalis sila,” he added.
College administrations have imposed stricter policies on student org recognition over the past few months, according to a statement of the Rise for Education – UP Diliman (R4E-UPD), an alliance of student organizations, councils, and publications in the campus.
“Access to tambayan spaces and event venues has been reduced significantly by the continued implementation of rental fees and oppressive measures concerning the acquisition of tambayan spots,” the statement added.
The Basic Student Services (BSS) and Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW) committees started conducting an ocular inspection on the conditions and rental costs of UP Diliman facilities since midyear. Their findings are expected to be published once the data is complete, said BSS co-head Kisha Beringuela.
Other committees involved in the project are the League of College Councils (LCC) and the Committee on Orgs, Frats, and Soros (COFS). LCC will be consolidating local college councils to note all the concerns of each college, while COFS will focus on simplifying org registration process and identifying and distributing available tambayans.
A possible long-term solution is to transfer the org registration process to the students since they are mainly the affected constituents, much like in UP Los Baños (UPLB), said COFS co-head Punzalan.
“Sa UPLB, napagtagumpayan nila na USC mismo ‘yung magre-recognize ng orgs at magpapasa ng documents. Matagal na rin siyang pinaplano sa [UP] Diliman, bagaman madaming promises na binibigay ang admin, hindi talaga siya nagma-materialize so nagkakaroon ng kawalan sa student representation,” he added.
Former LCC head Beata Carolino also proposed a student spaces initiative during the previous USC term but was not fully implemented due to time and resource constraint, said current LCC head Yael Toribio. One of the LCC’s goals is to institutionalize student representation in executive boards across colleges.
Raising awareness on these issues is a crucial step in safeguarding the students’ right to organize, according to COFS co-head Jethro Malimata. The next step is to forward position papers and a general list of demands to respective college administrations and the university administration, he added.
However, more than the USC’s initiative, it will take the student’s “uncompromised” unity to bring the desired change, said Punzalan.
“Dapat kung anong manggagaling sa students, kung ano yung tingin nating just guidelines and policies para ma-recognize ang ating mga organizations – dapat yun talaga ang tuunan ng pansin at pakinggan ng ating administration,” he said. ◢
Short URL: http://www.philippinecollegian.org/?p=12358