THE MEMORANDUM issued by Secretary General Fr. Florentino Bolo Jr., O.P. regarding the approval of a new University seal has agitated some Thomasians.

Honestly, I don’t find the bold colors and the masculine font of the newly approved UST seal fitting for the University’s conservative image, compared to the design of the former logo, which embodies the qualities we uphold—simplicity, elegance, purity, and all that. But it’s not the design of the logo, or the lack of “consultation from the student body” that garnered a solid “tsk” from me.

What appalled me were the remarks; post after post of unnecessary swearing and derogatory statements draped the same page that displayed the beloved University seal. I saw a virtual conference of thousands of concerned Thomasians (though it would be a pleasure to believe that some of them are just fakers with the intention of bringing down our school with their crude behavior and poor grammar) who vented their ire on the new logo.

It’s good that we have an outlet where we get to voice out our thoughts; thanks to the Internet, of course, without which we would have to go out and exercise our freedom of speech in more creative ways. I understand, we’re kids; we ‘like’, we comment, we create fan pages of things that sound extremely important. But there’s a line between expressing dislike and thwacking the dignity of someone, and mind you, it’s not that thin.

I hope I don’t get damned for saying this, but the administration presented a good point. A logo must be consistent with its brand name; it must be identifiable when presented in any part of the world. It would be the ideal situation if everybody would understand, but it would take all of my allotted space here if I would have to explain further. But to put it briefly, designing a logo is not as simple as it looks and there’s a myriad of things to consider besides telling if it’s an eyesore or not.

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One thing about Art is that you should never tell the artist that their work is “ugly”—it could be unappreciated at this age or dimension, but never ugly.

Take Vincent Van Gogh for example, he managed to sell only a single painting in his entire lifetime. Since at that time, impressionism, his way of painting, was treated like some cancer that must be killed. Critiques thought of it as anarchy that will bring about the death of France. It had no depth, no tone, no value, they said; for them it looked like a toddler’s mess. So I could only imagine their humiliation when they found out that few decades after Van Gogh’s demise, he would emerge from obscurity and be named one of the trailblazers of modern art.

Therefore, “ugly” for me is a term more appropriate for describing attitudes, choice of words, or anything as irrevocable. Because if there’s anything that could bring irreparable damage to the University’s image, it wouldn’t be something as petty and as temporary as a seal, it would be those tactless and insensitive remarks. So for those who don’t like the logo, say so but not in hateful terms.

If we love our school so much, then let’s abide by its values and never give anybody the reason to believe that we don’t deserve to be dubbed as the Royal, Pontifical and Catholic.

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The seal is not as hideous as they say. One day, who knows, it could even be called classic, but between then and now, I say we stick to convention for a little longer. Be an angel, and maybe spare the thousands who condemned from a lifetime of disgrace.

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