PROBLEM-FREE? Not exactly.

If people think a tolerable working environment is enough to uphold the tenets of competent and responsible campus journalism, many college publications in the University will say otherwise.

Amid a dispute between the staff of Hiraya and the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) administration over finances, The Flame of the Faculty of Arts and Letters has begun questioning why it takes long for the dean’s office to report on how much money the publication has.

“To request for (a report on) our finances, a formal letter addressed to the dean and the breakdown of our expenses is required,” The Flame editor in chief John Lorenze Poquiz said. “We asked the treasurer’s office about our budget but they did not respond.”

Artlets Dean Armando de Jesus however, said that if Flame staffers wanted to know their financial standing, they just have to ask him.

“I don’t remember them having asked me,” De Jesus said. “I usually ask a few questions and (grant) their request easily.”

At the Faculty of Engineering, redundancy seems to be the problem. The college student council has its own publication, E-Cube, but the Thomasian Engineering Media (TEM) is the official student publication.

The set-up appears to be confusing as both publications share most writers. As a result, both publications chase after the same stories and topics.

“When I saw the breakdown of (school fees)… the journal fee goes to the TEM while the funds for E-Cube comes from the council,” said E-Cube editor in chief Prestene Jamie Cobar.

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Engineering Dean Peter Lim said: “The TEM receives (its) funds from us since (it is) the official student paper of Engineering. E-Cube depends only (on) the funds of the student council.”

Engineering Student Council external vice president Reynaldo Monte, Jr. explained that E-Cube is composed of the council’s committee heads.

“They usually showcase the programs and activities of (the student council) and their funds come from us,” Monte said.

The TEM, on the other hand, has no problems, despite having a small pool of writers. “TEM acquires its budget from the dean’s office,” editor in chief Genesis Maglaya said. “Also it is only the publication advisers who get to see the articles before publication.”

Meanwhile, the problem besetting the College of Rehabilitation Sciences’ (CRS) Therapeutic Currents can be attributed to five long years of inactivity.

“Therapeutic Currents was released again last school year after five long years, so many students may have thought that (the publication) was gone forever, making it hard for us to recruit new writers,” editor in chief Christine Lorraine Biscocho said.

Adding to the Therapeutic Currents’ recruitment woes is the lack of resources, which forces writers to spend their own money for computer rentals outside the campus just to print drafts of their articles.

“Actually here in CRS we only have one organization room which all the organizations share, from the student council to the other college-based organizations and academic societies,” CRS Dean Jocelyn Agcaoili said. “Our population and programs are growing but we really lack facilities.”

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Good light

A majority of the college publications, nonetheless, have said operations are running smoothly.

The Nursing Journal, The Propaganda of Commerce, Pharmacy’s Purple Gazette, the Education Journal, the UST Law Review and Vision Magazine of the College of Architecture are on a steady boat in terms of finances. Staffers go through the same process of requesting funds from their deans, and are so far satisfied with the way things are going.

“There was an increase of P40 in the journal fee from P10 last 2004 to P50 now to shoulder the publication’s and the organization’s needs,” Nursing Journal editor in chief Celine Ann Go said. “However, we are experiencing rough roads for two years now since we are not receiving our honoraria.”

College of Nursing Dean Glenda Vargas honoraria are not given, but the requests of the staff are readily approved.

For her part, College of Commerce Dean Helena Cabrera said that she grants whatever the college journal requests. But she said the publication should stick to the academic disciplines.

“I advise them that their articles should always be related to the world of business,” Cabrera said. “Their literary folio which they plan to publish has no connection with their respective courses.”

The Propaganda editor in chief Fidel Antonio Medel said most of the articles are business-related, but many Commerce students are keen on literary writing.

Although Architecture’s Vision Magazine has no problem when it comes to the budget, staff members point to tight supervision of administration officials when it comes to content.

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“The dean and the adviser review each item in the publication to avoid errors and copyright problems,” Vision Magazine editor in chief Venna Resurrecion said.

The Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management’s newsletter, Voyage, wants to have more staff members. “We have 27 staffers. Thirty-five would be more sufficient,” Voyage editor in chief Najmah Dingcong said. Jonathan Eli A. Libut and A. L. E. Alfonso

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