THE OWL Magazine, the official student publication of the UST Faculty of Philosophy, was named Best Student Paper by the Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) last Oct. 24 at the Ateneo de Manila University.

The magazine, which is published twice a year, contains articles on philosophical, religious, socio-cultural, and political issues.

Meanwhile, the Ustetika Folio, a compilation of the winning entries in the Varsitarian-sponsored Ustetika Annual Literary Awards, won the Best Student Literary Publication. Former Varsitarian photography editor Stephen Succor Patricio also received the Best Student Photojournalist Award.

Other UST student publications that were finalists in the Best Student Paper category were Internos, the official student publication of the Faculty of Sacred Theology, and Vision, the official student publication of the former College of Architecture and Fine Arts. On the other hand, the Varsitarian’s literary publication, Montage was also nominated in the Best Student Literary Publication category.

The Varsitarian was not nominated for Best Student Paper. As a result, it withdrew all its entries from the CMMA citing “certain actions” of the CMMA that were “prejudicial” to the Varsitarian.

In a letter submitted to the CMMA Secretariat, the Varsitarian said the CMMA failed to fulfill its promise to divide the Best Student Paper category according to school levels. It added that the CMMA instructed school papers to submit their issues for the past two years, only to change the number of submissions on the deadline.

The Varsitarian explained that it had thought that the CMMA had wanted “a representative number of issues enough to give the judges an idea of the content, variety, and look of the paper.”

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But when the Varsitarian submitted its entries (10 issues per year), the CMMA Secretariat “appeared irritated” and instructed the paper to limit the entries to two issues per year.

“The decision was prejudicial to us – and other school organs of relatively greater frequency, in tabloid format, and in newsprint,” the Varsitarian said. “The school organs that were named finalists were published only once per semester or per school year, in journal-magazine format, on glossy paper, and in color, and as such, were standouts. True enough, not a single school tabloid was nominated.”

The Varsitarian also said that for a big number of categories in both print and broadcast, the CMMA only provided one set of judges that was dominated by the broadcast sector.

The Varsitarian also got “shabby and nasty treatment” from the CMMA. The Secretariat failed to provide it with the official notice of nomination for its two nominated entries. The invitations to the awarding ceremony were sent only after the publication up. All the other nominees had received their invitations by then.

Despite the Varsitarian’s withdrawal of its entries, the awarding still went on. The Varsitarian did not send any official representative. Girard R. Carbonell

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