At This Very Historic Day
June 9, 2008 Leave a comment
NOTE: I write this blog in goodwill, in high hopes and sincere prayers of urgent resolution. May God Bless Us All.
Today, at this very historic day, the University installs its 95th Rector, Rev. Fr. Rolando V. Dela Rosa, of the Order of Preachers. It is very timely that, as our university begins its inevitable countdown to its 400th anniversary, we have been blessed with a Rector of caliber, competence, and commitment with that of Fr. De La Rosa, O.P.
This grand occasion has crowned the colorful Thomasian traditional for more than a century. And what makes this more historic is that a former rector gets to become rector once again.
Fr. De La Rosa’s leadership is one dubbed as the university’s golden age; for those moments were when students had freedom and everybody had everything he could ask for. It was a time when students’ rights were protected and faculty member’s rights were respected. It was a term unforgettable and insurmountable to those who have experienced it.
And on this historic day, we, Thomasian student leaders, begin anew. Today, we shall and must continue to forward the advocacies we have espoused since our formation, rooted upon the teachings of our patrons, St. Dominic and St. Thomas Aquinas.
As I was enrolling last week, I have heard a student, whose name is unknown to me, crying, since she cannot enroll because her family cannot afford to send her to school anymore. Because of financial difficulty, she had to stop schooling and earn money to return to school and finish her degree. She was two semesters away from graduation.
As I was walking through from the gym to Beato Angelico, I have seen a dozen of students, confiding to me because they were unjustly debarred by virtue of misinterpreted technicalities. These students are school-less, not accepted by their colleges of origin.
As I was enjoying a cup of coffee in P. Noval, a student came to me asking for my help since he cannot sustain schooling because his family’s income can barely make ends meet.
On this historic day, as we install our 95th Rector, I hope that our student councils and officials begin to see these issues that plague and beleaguer thousands of Thomasians everyday. Men and women who, due to fee increases cannot afford to go to school and pursue their and their parents’ life-long dream. Men and women who, by chance or circumstance, have been dropped from the rolls because of misencoding of scores, schedule conflicts and poor decision-making skills of the professors, academic and administrative officials. Men and women who, while in an incumbent struggle to pursue the great Thomasian diploma, falls short because no chance or option is provided to him. And these issues, weigh more and pose more relevance than the grand installation and the grand montage our university festoons as it sits its new Rector.
The position of Rector is one of power, but from the standpoint of the Dominican confraternity, being rector is becoming like Christ; becoming the highest example of sacrifice, prudence, and keen sense of judgment. He is bestowed with the highest position because of having these traits. He is the university’s role model.
I applaud the previous student councils who tried their best to posit programs which they think is the Thomasian’s want. But in this of great need, now is the time that our student councils focus on what is the NEED, what is URGENT, and what is NECESSARY. The unnecessary and ill focuses of the previous administrations do not contribute to the total well-being of the university.
I do not wish to blame these people as to why some cannot pursue college in UST anymore. But what they have to do is to ensure that their voters, the students, are well fought for and have their interests protected at all costs, of course illumined by the spirit of dialogue and compromise. Now is the time to put politics behind, convene all sectors involved, and find a solution.
With all the previous ill-feelings I have towards the university because of some rather traumatic experiences, I, together with the Thomasian student opposition will to become part of the solution. We are here, not to incite division, but to ensure that every student from CFAD to CRS are protected, their interests forwarded, and are studying in an environment conducive to learning.
I appeal to the CSC and the Local Student Councils to immediately sit with the academic and administrative officials as to finding a potent and doable solution towards decreasing tuition, fees, other fees, and other charges amounts back to one that can be afforded by Thomasians.
I appeal to the CSC and the Local Student Councils to devise mechanisms to assist students in finding outsourced scholarships, grants, and endowments that may help them alleviate their tuition costs, so they may continue on pursuing the great Thomasian dream — the diploma.
I appeal to the CSC and the Local Student Councils to devise a plan on how to make sure that UST’s funds are maximized to the full benefit of its major stakeholder, the students.
I appeal to the Father Rector to create a plan to make sure that every Thomasian can have his diploma even at the time of great need, that it may continuously extend its habit of charity to my fellow Thomasians in the verge of financial demise.
As UST faces a new academic year with a new Rector and new student council officials, I pray that we all leave the trash of the past; that of politics, disunity, and misunderstanding; and carry on working together towards a future we all deserve. After all, this shot to unity we owe, not to ourselves, but to our constituencies, fellow students, and fellow electorate.
I wish Fr. Dela Rosa a great Rectorship, I wish the newly elected CSC and LSC officials the best of luck, and may we all be Blessed by the Loving Hands of God through Sts. Dominic and Thomas, our ever consistent and ever prayerful patrons.
God Bless You and God Bless Espana!