LIVE simply, don’t party.

The Office of the Secretary General has banned acquaintance parties and other student-organized events outside the University, instructing student councils to practice “simplicity of life” in collecting membership fees and even in selling “identity” shirts.

In a memorandum issued last May 28, Secretary General Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. said the University needs to conserve resources amid economic difficulties.

“Students, through the local councils, are allowed to sell only one college shirt starting academic year 2009-2010 priced at not more than P150,” the memo stated. “Membership fees to be collected by recognized student organizations must (also) not exceed P200.”

The Students Organizations’ Coordinating Council (SOCC) said it had notified all university organizations prior to the release of the memo.

“We have actually discussed these new guidelines during our Leadership Training Seminar held last May 18 to 20 in Laguna. And although some may not agree with the guidelines, (the organizations) really could not do anything about it,” said SOCC President Maria Cecilia Cruz.

Cruz said outreach programs by individual organizations, although not strictly prohibited, were also discouraged since the University had its own community development program.

Recognized student organizations may only hold two minor and one major fund raising activities. A fund raising activity is considered minor if the amount to be raised will not exceed P9,999.99. Otherwise, the activity is a major one.

The ban on student events outside the campus was ordered after a Thomasian committed suicide last March during an affair organized by a student organization at the Fernandina Suites Hotel in Cubao, Quezon City.

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Mixed reactions

The new order drew mixed reactions from University organizations.

Joyce Reaño, Journalism Society president, said it would be “a relief” for the society not to have acquaintance parties anymore given economic conditions.

“There are other ways to hold acquaintance parties without exhausting resources too much,” Reaño said in a letter to the Varsitarian. “An alternative would be that the general assembly and the acquaintance party be rolled into one event to save funds.”

But Reaño expressed dismay on the ban to sell society shirts. “When you apply the principle of economics in the current crisis, the ideal set-up is that students should purchase. I do not think there is anything wrong with selling shirts because the students always have the choice of not buying them,” she explained.

Diane Agutaya, a member of the Elementary Education Society of the College of Education, said it would be convenient not to buy shirts anymore.

“Considering the present economic challenges, it will be a good way to lessen unnecessary expenses,” Agutaya said.

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