ANOTHER school year has come to a close; the candidates for graduation are eagerly waiting for their respective investitures. Some have even started working—good for them. The undergrads are putting the final touches to another school year, smiles evident on their faces as they excitedly hurry to finish all their requirements and tests. It’s a breezy March, and everyone walks along with a smile.

Nice picture, eh? Like a green pastoral field with a babbling brook.

Except it’s not. Heck, it’s during these times that bad hair days and droopy eye bags are the fad, what with all the requirements and reviews that one has to cram into a single night as well as the prerequisites one has to accomplish. Sometimes, the University is not helping at all.

Something that happened not too long ago is a case in point. I find a friend slumped in front of a computer. I ask what the matter is, and she complains about the hassle of paying her tuition. She has to. Otherwise she won’t be issued her exam permit.

Playing the good guy as always, I accompany her to the Faculty of Arts and Letters. After going through a kilometer of a line, we finally reach the window. I sit down to let her transact business. After some blahs with the people behind the window, she comes to me and says they cannot find her exam permit. Keeping cool, I suggest that she try asking them to issue her a new one. She does. They don’t.

Or can’t, because it turns out that the exam permits come from the Treasurer’s Office in the faraway Main Building. So we hop and skip to the second floor of the Main Building. And if the line in AB stretches for a kilometer, the one leading to the cashier window in the Treasurer’s runs a lightyear (baby, you better believe it). But finally my friend has an agreement with the lady behind the window, and she is issued a new permit.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

Firstly, we’re talking about a student’s exam permit here, the one ticket to the only bus going to Graduationville and the people who man the windows should be very, very careful not to lose it.

Which leads to the second point. If they do lose it, is it the student’s responsibility to clean after the mess? The least the administration people could have done was to assist my friend in getting a new permit, and not send us off like it was out of their hands. Better service should be the operational phrase, not bigger burden. Wouldn’t you think so?

Thirdly, where are those promised developments on the digital ID? I thought that contraption would have eliminated queues by now. It has not done more than flash a student’s face on a screen in entrances University-wide. Cute. But I hope that card evolves so that it becomes a sort of a credit card, too. That way, a student can pay faster. And there would be no need for receipts or exam permits; a reader would declare the student clean as he/she enters the classroom.

Ah, but how long will we still wait for this utopian scene? It remains a dream for now.

Calling the University top dogs. You are wanted at surgery. Excise the issues, and stitch the developments in. Soon, please.

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