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Why is the Student Regent Issue a Big Deal

Mar 30, 2010

I’ve been lurking on several discussions about the recent paint-throwing incident, and what I’m hearing from the other side is that their patience is at its limit, and that it was justified since it was the UP Administration who cast the first die. Then comes the accusations of not joining their rally when the administration raised tuition fees unjustly, that those who condone the barbaric acts are anti-student, that we are not thinking of the students who cannot continue their education because of lack of funds.

Yes, I am well aware of that. And that just makes me more frustrated because from my point of view, it is all the Student Regent’s fault.

Why was she removed from office in the first place? Because during the meeting of the Board of Regents, she is not even enrolled. This account made by people from CAS seems believable enough, and not “black propaganda” as the activists want to believe. It states that the last day of enrollment was November 20, but she only filed her application for residency on December 16.

Makes you wonder where she was during enrollment? I looked for her statement and found this. (Quite difficult to read because it was written in all caps and gray font against white background. Gah…) Looking through all the conspiracy theories that came with her statement, I finally found what I was looking for. The bottomline was she was conducting dialogues on the issues that needs to be addressed, doing research on the topics that will be discussed in the BOR meeting, and joining the protest rallies. That was why she wasn’t able to enroll. And now she’s complaining that the UPLB Chancellor has something to do with the delay in her LATE application for residency.

Excuse me, but that reason is not enough. It only takes half a day to finish applying for residency ON TIME. Hell, you don’t even have to be there, you can ask someone else to do it for you if you just make a letter of authorization.

A mere technicality, they say. But that is exactly the reason why the BOR found a reason to expel her. If this was a game of chess, she just committed a blunder. And she could just pray that the enemy didn’t see the blunder she made, but she can’t exactly cry foul when the enemy took advantage of her weak move.

And for the issues that were raised after she was removed? Yes, they are catastrophic, for it led to the chaos in PGH, having two directors because the one sworn in to office after the BOR meeting last December was removed due to the status of the student regent. That effectively nullifies her vote and allowed the BOR to assign another director.

You can cry “conspiracy” all you want, but the fact remains that it was her fault. I’m sorry, but I see it as a betrayal of the trust given to her by the student body. She was the voice of the students in the Board of Regents, she could have fought the tuition fee increase and all the issues being raised while being a member of that board. She gave them a reason to remove her. When facing an enemy, you don’t show your weak points and accuse your enemy of cheating when they exploited your weakness.

And the paint-throwing incident? The activists just showed another weakness that the BOR could exploit. Who knows where this will lead to? More budget cuts because it is a “waste of time” to invest in “barbaric” students, which in turn will force the administration to raise tuition fees because of lack of funds? The cycle never ends.

Activists were saying that we don’t have alternative solutions for the problem. Yes, that’s true. But complaining to the administration is not working either. What do we do? I wish I had an answer to that problem…

P.S. I find it revolting that some people who joined that rally are regular visitors of the Ayala Technohub. Hey I thought you guys are against commercialization of education? Hypocrites.

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