THOMASIAN students, get ready to be “empowered.”

The central board of students and several student leaders have formally drafted the Magna Carta of students’ rights during the All Leaders’ Meet last Oct. 13 to15 at the San Juan De Dios Educational Foundation in Pasay City.

The Central Student Council (CSC) used the draft prepared earlier by the Political Science Forum and the Arts and Letters student council that included significant provisions like the limiting of a class population, curriculum improvement, and addressing problems caused by the sudden removal of some classes and subjects.

“This is a milestone for the students and the University,” said Dr. Evelyn Songco, assistant to the rector for student affairs. “The initiative (of drafting the Magna Carta) has never gone this far (before),” she added

Also included in the students’ academic rights is the strengthening of their right to appeal to the professors for a change in their grades and avoidance of “unreasonable requirements and deadlines.”

“The time our professors give us (for projects) is not always enough because some (projects) take months to finish,” said Diane Hilary Taar, College of Fine Arts Student Council president. “Plus pa ‘yung expenses at pagsabay ng mga iyon sa finals”

There are also provisions on recognizing the right of the students to participate in the policy-making activities of the University, particularly in the screening and evaluation of professors.

“This (right) is important because most University policies in one way or other affect the welfare of the students,” said Philip Adviento, Civil Law Student Council president.

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In addition, the drafted Magna Carta grants the students the right to know the breakdown of the school fees and expenses, the right to be consulted should there be any tuition increase and the right to the free use of facilities especially of laboratory equipment without extra charge.

Most of the provisions of the Magna Carta are based on the general statutes and other documents of the University, Philippine laws, Commission on Higher Education rules and guidelines, and other relevant documents.

According to Adviento, the Magna Carta will be presented to the different departments and sectors of the University for consultations as soon as they finalize the draft.

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