LSC establishes forum series "Tindig" with student leaders and representatives

By: Reigh John Bench Almendras, Aishah Jimenez
October 18, 2023
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RSO leaders meet with the Letran Student Council to address several issues faced by the studentry. Photo courtesy of Eduardo Nollora Jr. of The LANCE.

The Letran Student Council (LSC) officially launched its forum series entitled “TINDIG: A Student’s Forum and Advocacy Network” to address grievances and pressing problems of Letranites today, October 18.

Tindig is a three-session forum to be conducted in October, January, and May with topics and recommendations to be consulted to the Recognized Student Organizations' (RSOs) representatives. 

 

Student Complaints 

In the first half of the forum, LSC discussed matters concerning the paper filing of complaints in observance of the proper exhaustion of administrative procedure. LSC advised to begin addressing a complaint between the concerned parties first, to be followed by interventions of the area chairperson, dean, the Department of Student Affairs (DSA), and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).

 

Facilities of the Colegio

LSC also presented pressing problems of the Colegio such as broken elevator, poor Internet connectivity, and lack of resources for practical assessments. In which the council assured that all determined problems are already reported to DSA and Auxiliary Services Department (ASD).

 

Suspension of Classes

LSC also clarified that the suspension of classes is not incumbent upon the decision of the Colegio, as it is not an autonomous body. The Colegio is dependent on the decision of the Local Government Unit (LGU) and the national government. 

 

Roles and responsibilities

LSC expressed its desire for fast dissemination of information among the students through RSO's group chat. Emphasis were also given on the right of the students to report performance of LSC representatives and senators who are failing in delivering their mandates to programs under their respective canopy.

 

Academic Rest

Clarifications were also provided regarding Letran's Ginhawa Program that provides two day rest of the students post midterm examinations. 

According to the LSC, the program was lifted this year in consideration with the high number of suspended classes that affected the academic calendar of academic year 2023-2024.

 

TOFI

The LSC further discussed the updates regarding the ten percent tuition and other fees increase (TOFI) which was implemented in the current academic year. It was clarified that no updates were given up to this day, and LSC will once again coordinate with the administrators of the Colegio.

The LSC also pointed out that they will request for additional funds for all the RSOs in the upcoming second semester as there was no increase in the subsidy of RSOs despite the implementation of TOFI.

 

Proposed Initiatives

The council also introduced a number of adjustments that would improve and protect students' rights, upholding the Magna Carta for students in the process.

In particular, they have proposed to the RSO representatives an additional wash day, a lenient hair policy for men, reducing the activity ban from two to one week for student organizations, extended open hours of the library, common printing area, as well as the examinations in general education cluster which are to be updated once the LSC discusses said agendas with the school admins.

It was made clear that although an extra wash day may be possible, students would still be required to wear polo shirts that have been approved by the Colegio as they are a part of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP).

The LSC also mentioned that they attempted to enact a SOGIE bill on hair policies, particularly for men, but this effort was blocked by the institution as it was, once again corresponding to the CEAP's standards.

The accessibility for libraries beyond 5 p.m. may be impossible as per discussed, thereby giving rise to one of the council’s flagship projects referred to as “Knight Hub.” This project aims to give the students a conducive learning environment by providing them with a comfortable facility with adequate supplies and resources. 

On the other hand, with regard to the general education examinations, which is thought to be one of the pressing concerns of the student body, the council plans to address the matter and file a request to the DSA that every professor of general education courses should have the right to participate in the creation of examinations.

Other student leaders, meanwhile, have proposed that each professor should formulate the assessment and should be distributed to his/her students alone.

Lastly, the LSC intends to speak with the Information Technology Services Department (ITSD) regarding the taking of new IDs to either extend the deadline or abolish the given limit. This is due to the fact that students, as part of their tuition and miscellaneous fees, have paid for the institution’s services; thus, such services should be available whenever it is most convenient for them.

Remaining Activities and Events for the First Semester of Academic Year 2023-2024

The LSC has reviewed its final assignments for the first semester of this academic year namely: Letramurals, Colegio Week, Adweek: Overflow, and Paskong Arriba. 

Among other things, the Colegio Week, which spans from November 6–11, and Paskong Arriba, which takes place in December, are two of the most anticipated events.

 

Views of Student Leaders

Other student leaders are advocating for an evaluation of the zip grade system that is used to check objective tests.

Aside from this, they are earnestly requesting access to a greater range of signal and research resources.

Nonetheless, for them, it is in the best interests of the students for the LSC and the RSOs to work together more closely. The Letran Peer Facilitators' Association's officer said that both the aforementioned bodies are the ones who entirely represent the students. 

The Letran Future Educators' Society President likewise added that this event is something that should be continued in the future as it is a good avenue not only to voice out queries and grievances but also to validate what other students feel.

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