SOME words should not be left unsaid. Miscommunication breeds misinformation, misunderstanding, and mistrust.

* * *

Students are confused. Though UST released a very strong statement calling for the abolition of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), freshmen and sophomore male students still found themselves enrolling in the course for this semester.

Empowered by the statement, however, student activist groups launched protest actions for two consecutive Sundays. Aside from University guards who secured the field, there was little sign of support from the UST administration.

After making such a bold move, it seemed that the University suddenly grew mum and stopped pursuing the issue.

Apparently, UST officials released a statement that sent the wrong signals. They were not able to clarify that the call for abolition didn’t mean that they were not open to reform or alternative programs. That although they opposed the ROTC, it didn’t mean that UST won’t implement the program this school year.

According to University officials, as long as the law prescribes it, ROTC exists. While the law is not yet repealed, students still have to undergo grueling Sunday training.

However, following the law for now does not mean that the University is dropping the issue. The administration assured that it is taking the necessary steps to reinforce their statement. Currently, UST officials are meeting with the sectors concerned to plan their next move. They have also formed a committee to monitor the implementation of the ROTC.

Whether this monitoring system will work remains to be seen. But the administration has to work double time to prove that they will finally accept a responsibility that is long overdue. For a potentially abusive and graft-prone system that victimizes Thomasians, the University should have closely monitored the ROTC from day one.

READ
TIME LINE

* * *

After taking over the grandstand last Sunday, it seemed that militant groups supporting the boycott had made their stand known. But still, many cadets felt the bold move triggered more confusion and chaos.

There were even reports that the protest action had the blessing of the Central Student Council (CSC). Even to the most apathetic student, the idea would be far-fetched. It would be a real surprise (a miracle, perhaps?) for CSC officers to be in such groundbreaking event. Come to think of it, how can something have a shadow if its invisible?

Of course, you would say, this is unfair to the new set of officers since they have yet to prove themselves. Tell that to a student who has been used to the CSC’s “disappearance” when the toughest decisions had to be made for the students.

I believe in ahimsa and I know there is a legal and a safer way to protest against the system. But if the student activist groups got ahead of the CSC in making their stand and organizing mass action, it only means that the student government didn’t act fast enough.

For a society that has lost trust in the legal system, the CSC needs to prove that rules still work. In the face of a heated issue, it needs to ascertain that it can act surely but swiftly to an immediate concern.

* * *

As Mr. Beacon and I were covering the boycott last Sunday, we found out that the Varsitarian had an “honorary” photographer. A security personnel from the Office for Security Affairs was taking photos of the student activists and claimed that it was for the Varsitarian when he was confronted. He was foiled though. I would have respected Mr. Photographer if he had to do his job, but to use the Varsitarian in the name of deception was uncalled for. By the way, sir, if you want to be a legitimate Varsitarian photographer, you may take the qualifying exam on July 8.

READ
Does tuition hike mean quality education?

* * *

We live in a world of lies where distrust abounds. You wouldn’t know if the enemy is in your midst. And one needs to carefully discern between truth and deception. But soon enough, the darkness fades, the light of truth pierces through the shadows.

* * *

Four months ago, a friend went ahead of me to our final destination. Although I know I won’t see you again in this lifetime, I won’t leave these words unsaid – I hope you know how grateful I am to have you in my life even for the briefest moment. Until we meet again.

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.