DURING rainy days or in times of disaster, Thomasians usually complain of delayed announcements of suspension of classes.

Unlike in both elementary and high school levels where announcements are made earlier on radio and TV stations, suspension of classes in the college level is announced much later since the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) often leaves the decision to school authorities.

This becomes a disadvantage and an inconvenience to students who live far from UST since they usually leave their houses early.

“On our way to school in the morning, minsan baha na in the other parts of the city although hindi pa sa UST. Hindi mo tuloy alam kung papasok ka pa o hindi,” fifth-year Architecture student Jennifer Beldia said.

Although they try to call the University to check for announcements, students complained that UST’s trunkline is either busy or unanswered.

Students maintained that the delayed announcements were due to poor information dissemination and University officials’ indecisiveness.

“We still have classes even if it’s raining hard and (then) they (University officials) would suspend classes at 5 p.m. when the flood is already high,” said Architecture student Richard Verano.

Contary to this, College of Nursing Dean Glenda Vargas said that school officials were just being cautious in announcing class suspensions.

“At times, the weather becomes erratic. Classes would be suspended because it was raining hard in the morning but in the afternoon the sun suddenly comes up. Then we would receive complaints that there should have been classes,” she said.

The uniformity in announcing the suspension of classes among different colleges was another major consideration.

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“We (deans) depend only on the official announcement coming from the Secretary General Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P. (That) announcement is applied to the whole University,” said Dr. Armando de Jesus, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters.

He suggested that announcements should be made early in the morning, possibly around 5 a.m., so that those residing far from UST need not go through the trouble of commuting to school only to find out that classes were already suspended.

De Jesus added that the University should “enlarge its connections with other radio stations that are receptive to school announcements and are listened by most.”

“(But) radio stations should be cautious in receiving incoming calls. They should validate if the source is truly an authorized school official,” Dean Vargas said. Frances Margaret H. Arreza

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