LOCKED OUT OF UST: Thomasians who arrived at UST past the 7 p.m. cutoff for entry are left waiting outside the UST campus.

UST SHUT its entrances during the Grand Paskuhan Concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, resulting in frustration and disappointment among those unable to enter the campus.

In a notice on X (formerly Twitter) posted at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, the UST Central Student Council (CSC) announced that gates were closed at 7 p.m “for safety and security of the Paskuhan attendees inside the campus,” citing a directive from the Campus Safety and Security Office.

“We regret to inform everyone of this announcement,” the CSC said in a follow-up post. Information was handed out to us spontaneously from the Security Office.”

“Although we coordinated and confirmed this with the right offices, the Central Student Council only amplifies the decisions made by the administration.”

As the 7 p.m. cutoff passed, several individuals, including students and faculty members, were left waiting outside the entrance gates.

Assoc Prof. Juliano Parena Jr., the director for Campus Safety and Security, told the Varsitarian that the University gates were closed to ensure the safety of the attendees.

“We reserve the right as the venue din na i-close natin ng 7 [p.m.]. Sa sobrang dami na ng nasa loob na safe ‘yung occupants, we can actually decide to close, diba? ‘Yun kasi nga, consideration pa rin ng security,” he said.

A total of 39,638 attendees flocked to this year’s Grand Paskuhan Concert. This was not even half of 2019 Paskuhan’s 105,000.

Attendees received wristbands upon entry to indicate inspection completion, yet even those with wristbands found themselves stuck outside as the cutoff passed.

“‘Pag pinapasok ko ‘yun, lahat sila papasok na, diba? Kasi ang problema ko, the system has three steps…Problema ngayon, noong nag-close na ‘yung gates, ‘yung STePs po nawala kasi nagligpit na ang STePs. Wala nang ID tapping which is a security loophole kaya hindi na sila papapasukin,” Pareña said.

STePs refers to the Santo Tomas e-Service Providers, a unit under the Office for Information and Communications Technology of UST.

Kim Dacanay, a fourth-year history student and former president of the Faculty of Arts and Letters Student Council, expressed disappointment, saying it was “unfair” to students as they were not informed about the cut-off.

“‘Yung sinasabi nilang nagcut-off sila for safety and security ng students, paano naman ‘yung safety and security ng mga nasa labas?” she told the Varsitarian.

“CSC released its official guidelines kaninang umaga at wala ito [cut off announcement] doon.”

Kyla Chua, a UST journalism alumna, said alumni faced difficulty meeting the cutoff, as most of them came directly from work.

“Parang walang sense ‘yung inviting alumni to go to Paskuhan then suddenly announcing the 7 p.m. cut-off,” she said. “What’s the point? Alumni nga, so most probably they are going after work.

The pyromusical show commenced at 9:15 p.m.


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