File photo.

CLASSES in UST resume today, May 11, after the Office of Secretary General (OSG) rejected the request of UST student leaders to suspend classes for a week and move submission deadlines until May 14 in light of the country’s political situation.

The student leaders requested the break due to “election anxieties” after results of the partial and unofficial count showed former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio holding big leads.

“In line with the current state of the country that haunts all of our fellow Thomasians during the national and local elections, we sincerely seek to be heard,” the UST Central Student Council’s (CSC) Central Board said in a letter addressed to UST administrators.

“All those who took part in the national and local elections are physically and mentally exhausted, including the Thomasians who have volunteered in poll watching,” the board continued.

The CSC also posted a publication material urging the University to conduct “no classes under a Marcos presidency,” joining calls of student governments of other UAAP schools.

UST Secretary General Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. told the student leaders in a letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Varsitarian, that suspending classes could be “counterproductive as this may lead to overlapping timelines for the submission of the remaining requirements in order to comply with the academic calendar.”

“[T]his may cause even greater anxiety for teachers and students alike,” he added.

Coronel however praised the “extreme effort and dedication” exhibited by the Thomasian community during the elections.

“Indeed, this historical event brought all Thomasians together to do what we think is best for our beloved country, regardless of our political preferences,” he said.

The secretary general also assured that the University had “existing policies and procedures to accommodate those who may communicate beforehand that they may not be able to return to work or study for valid reasons.”

The University suspended classes and office work on May 9 and 10 to encourage Thomasians to participate in the 2022 elections.

“We may not know what the future holds after these elections, but what we do today will definitely determine the change that we want for tomorrow. We find ways to balance our academic responsibilities with our volunteer activities. We remain vigilant in promoting the common good and protecting the interests of our country and the people we serve. May we remain discerning of all information we encounter, and distinguish facts from opinions,” Coronel said.

The national elections were held on May 9, and votes are still being manually counted and validated by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in their command center at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.


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