AROUND 7,000 students and faculty members volunteered to serve as a human barrier for additional security during the Pontiff’s visit at UST last Jan. 18.

PNP officers and volunteers were positioned behind metal barricades set up around the University last Jan. 10.

Ian Bautista, Central Student Council vice president, said the volunteers served as crowd managers, medics and ushers as well.

The Office for Student Affairs and the Office for Public Affairs headed the organization of the volunteers while local student councils led the recruitment that started last November.

In order to become a volunteer, students and faculty members had to send an application form and a 2×2 ID picture. Aspiring volunteers must be 18-years-old and above, physically fit, and bona fide members of the University.

Those who applied were required to read a primer on Pope Francis and later answered a 10-item examination using the University’s Blackboard Mobile Learn, according to Junior Philippine Computer Society-UST Chapter President Haidy Santos.

Applicants were required to take a 10-item examination, attend an orientation and the papal visit dry-run last Jan. 16 to acquire their volunteer IDs.

Guillo said they encountered several problems during the dry run, including the late printing of volunteer IDs.

“It was chaotic because all the volunteers wanted to be positioned nearest to where Pope Francis will pass by.” she said. “But, enduring the heat and the rain was worth it because we will be able to see the Pope up close.”

Student volunteers were allowed to stay overnight inside the campus as long as they had written consent from their parents or guardians.

Mechanical engineering student, Justin Patrick Millare said he applied because he wanted to give his part as a Catholic and to see Pope Francis in person.

Joseph Buluran, a professor at the Institute of Information and Computing Sciences said he felt blessed to see a living saint in the flesh,” he said. Mary Gillan Frances G. Ropero


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