Graduating, but still without Artlets summer uniform

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THERE is always a nostalgic and bittersweet feeling every time I try to reflect on my four-year stay in college.

I tend to look back on my experiences from when I was a regular college student to when I joined the Varsitarian and I could not help but have regrets because of all the things I could have done differently.

For one, I could have used my voice louder to reach out better to our Artlets Student Council (ABSC). Since I stepped into the dim halls of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, I had not received my Type B uniforms that I ordered back when I was a freshman. Instead, I opted to ask for one piece of an old Type B uniform from my senior which I washed twice a week. Where did the money for my Type B uniform go?

I still remember the time when former ABSC president Ma Jann Lazo pushed for the Type B uniforms opting for a cheap yet fast production of the shirts. Lazo then disappeared and around the time of her disappearance, it was found that ABSC funds worth P50,000 had gone missing. The Artlets administration then promised to withhold her records but after one year, her papers were released. But the P50,000, that served as funding for other activities of Artlets, was still missing.

Everything could have been helped if only the following student governments were constantly reminded of this dark incident. Sadly, I failed to voice out my thoughts again when Jan Dominic Castro and Ysabela Marasigan became ABSC presidents. So for the next three years until this graduation, many Artlets like me remained without their Type B uniforms.

I tried to fight back in my third year in college when then-presidential candidate and Grand Alliance for Progress standard bearer Reymark Simbulan promised those who paid would be given their uniforms. Sadly, I was a fool to believe in politicians and liars.

Who knew that the unresolved issue of the Type B uniforms would go stale and now die down simply because the local Student Welfare and Development Board (SWDB) did not allow the whole Artlets community to know what happened with the shirts? Earlier this year, SWDB Director Fleurdeliz Albela reportedly called all presidents of classes who did not receive their Type B uniforms to discuss the matter. After that, no word has ever been heard of it. She supposedly even requested that the attendees of the meetings keep mum on whatever was talked about.

I should have also reached out better to the involved offices regarding this issue—and all AB-related issues, for that matter.

It is truly disappointing how this issue was never resolved and how very few people seem to remember. What is even more disappointing is how disorganized the entire faculty was from the beginning. Not one of the three student governments that followed Lazo’s disastrous governance were able to resolve the issue despite their promises back when they were campaigning.

As I leave UST, I am hopeful that the students who come after me would do things differently. May the experiences of the graduating batch be a wake-up call to the Artlets community to fix what may be wrong in its administration, official and student.

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