March 14, 2015, 5:58 p.m. – THE CENTRAL Student Council (CSC) denounced on Friday the “unity walk” led by left-leaning students opposed to the 5- to 8-percent tuition hike next academic year.

In a statement released Friday, the CSC clarified that it had nothing to do with the unity walk, which was organized by a non-recognized student organization.

“The UST-CSC respects the thoughts of the group and [its] stand regarding the increase, but we greatly disapprove [of its manner of expressing its] goals and sentiments,” the statement read.

The CSC added that the unity walk was “unnecessary” because several dialogues were held with the administration to address the proposed
tuition hike.

The CSC also said it was against “any left-leaning groups who take advantage of the tuition and other fees increase issue.”

More than 50 protesters, mostly from the College of Commerce and Business Administration, Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets), and Faculty of Engineering, joined the unity walk dubbed “Thomasians Roar against Tuition and other Fees Increase.” The protesters marched from Quadricentennial Park to España Boulevard where a short program was held.

Artlets student Albert Montesa, one of the organizers of the unity walk, claimed the annual increase in tuition amounted to a “commercialization” of education in the country.

“Last January, nagpunta pa dito mismo sa USTsi Pope Francis to teach mercy and compassion. [The administrators] teach mercy and compassion. Pero wala [silang] awa sa mga estudyante,” Montesa said during the program, referring to the proposed tuition increase.

The Plaza Mayor, the original venue of the unity walk, was closed for general cleaning, which was the administration’s way of “repressing”  students’ right to express their complaints, claimed Montesa.

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“Tingin ko isang way ito ng administration para iligaw ang mga estudyante kasi noong mga nakaraang araw maingay na ‘yung calls na may unity walk na gaganapin dito sa UST,” Montesa said in an interview.

Montesa also criticized CSC officers for not participating in the event.

Under the proposed schedule of fees released by the Office of the Vice Rector for Finance last Feb. 18, students will have to pay 5 to 8 percent more per unit.  The proposed rates are P1,415 per unit for students in the first and second year, P1,381 for third-year students, and P1,344 for fourth-year students. R. A. Vergara, Jr.

1 COMMENT

  1. The CSC deemed this TOFI unnecessary because they are the underdog of the Administration themselves. Dismissing this issue and merely just embracing it is not okay. They say they disapprove of the manner of expression of spreading the goals, how else will the students be heard if not by making noise?

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