IT’S NEVER too late to return to school or to run and win a seat in student council elections.

For 61-year-old Civil Law Student Council vice-president-elect Rosario Monasterial, age did not matter when she decided to study again and run for a student council position.

“(Civil Law junior) Anatoly Estrella, who was running for president under the Atlas party, invited me to run under their group,” said Monasterial, a Civil Law freshman. “I hesitated initially but I eventually gave in.”

Monasterial said personal legal matters pushed her to study law.

“When my husband died in 1987, I faced some legal problems regarding his properties,” she said. “I hired lawyers to take care of the cases but some of them handled it poorly.”

Monasterial said one of her lawyers even suggested that she should bribe a government official to get what they needed.

“Next school year, I plan to conduct a series of symposia to emphasize moral issues and ethical practices in the field of law,” she said.

A certified public accountant and mother of three, Monasterial said her children found it amusing when she broke the news to them that she was running for student council vice-president.

“They told me I was back to being young again,” she said. “They were very supportive with my endeavors and they also want me to do something that would make me feel fulfilled.”

But she is no beginner in student politics.

“During my college days, I was active in student politics at my school,” she said. “At that time, student activism was reaching its peak.”

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Monasterial earned her Accounting degree from the College of the Holy Spirit (CHS) in 1965, while being a staff member, and eventually, editor, of Veritas, the college’s official student publication. She finished her master’s degree in Economics at the University of the Philippines in 1968 and passed the CPA board exams the following year. She taught in CHS’s accounting department in the 1970s.

Monasterial also worked as executive director for the CHS Alumni Association until last year.

“I thought it would be easy to study since my time at work was flexible,” she said. “But it was hard because there are a lot of readings so I gave up office work to be a full-time student.”

Asked of her thoughts on possibly her being the most senior student in UST today, Monasterial believes that the age is only “a state of the mind.”

“Whenever I’m in class, I feel young at heart and comfortable with my classmates,” she said. “My age is not an obstacle in my studies.” Miko L. Morelos

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