STILL reeling from controversy, the Office for Student Affairs (OSA) plans to start a series of dialogues with student organizations starting in April to guide its review of student-related policies.

OSA Officer in Charge (OIC) Jaezamie Ong, former assistant principal for student formation at the UST Senior High School, told the Varsitarian that she would convene a technical working group to assess student-related policies and guidelines after the Easter break.

“The main agenda there is we would like to listen. If these are pressing or major concerns, it’s best that we talk about them na—‘wag na nating patatagalin.”

The group, led by Ong and consisting of four deans, is tasked by the Rector with holding discussions with representatives of “recognized” student organizations, starting with University-wide ones.

Ong emphasized that the group, formed after UST approved the medical leave request of OSA Director Maria Cecilia Tio Cuison, would focus on the future rather than the past.

Ong said she was open to discussing “common concerns” to be raised by students during the dialogues.

“[I will] listen to the students, the organizations, and the student-leaders, and then the committee assigned by the Rector could probably check on the students’ concerns, and then review policies, just like students’ requests,” she said.

If students seek changes to the Student Organizations Recognition and Requirements, a demand of the Student Organizations Coordinating Council, Ong said she would be open to reviewing the accreditation process.

“Pwede nating i-review ‘yun,” she said. “If there should be changes, and go tayo doon, padaliin natin.”

However, Ong said the review would also look into the rationale behind existing policies and practices.

“I have to understand bakit nga ba ganoon ‘yun kadami, for sure may reason ‘yun,” she said. “Kung gusto natin padaliin, pwede naman habang hindi tinatanggal ‘yung reasons kung bakit nandoon ang requirements na ‘yon,” she said. 

UST announced Ong’s appointment and the formation of the technical working group on March 14, almost a month after the censorship controversy involving student media organization TomasinoWeb. with reports from Hannah Joyce V. Andaya and Jenna Mariel A. Gonzales 


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