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Tag: February 11, 2013

UST fetes Pope Benedict XVI

THE VICAR OF CHRIST. Pope Benedict XVI exposes the Holy Eucharist during the 2011 World Youth Day celebrations in Madrid, Spain. The Pope last Feb. 10 shocked the world when he announced that due to failing physical health, he would step down from the papacy on Feb. 28. Photo by KARLA MIDES C. TOLEDOLIKE the rest of the world, the Pontifical and Catholic University of the Philippines was both shocked and saddened with the sudden abdication of Pope Benedict XVI.

But the University of Santo Tomas expressed profound gratitude to the 85-year-old Vicar of Christ, known as a “teaching pope” and a staunch defender of the Church’s timeless truths amid a tide of secularism and moral relativism sweeping much of the western world.

“We are saddened and surprised but we are also grateful for the service he has rendered to the Church. We wish him well and we should also pray for the cardinals tasked to elect a new pope,” UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. told the Varsitarian.

The Supreme Pontiff announced on Feb. 11 that he would renounce the Throne of Peter at 8 p.m., Roman time, on Feb. 28, ending close to eight years of a papacy that sought to renew the Christian message.

Janine Tugonon pays tribute to alma mater

IN THE end, it was her faith in God that guided her journey towards becoming a beauty queen.

Miss Universe 2012 first runner-up Janine Mari Tugonon has nothing but gratitude to the University for giving her Thomasian values, especially a strong faith. She believes this gave her an “edge” over the United States’ Olivia Culpo, who was crowned Ms. Universe.

“Siguro ‘yung edge ko na lang is ‘yung aura na very happy, very fun, very confident. Kasi iba talaga ‘pag deep inside ay matindi ‘yung faith mo kay God. Sabi nga nila nu’ng nandoon ako sa stage, parang nage-enjoy lang ako, hindi ako tensed,” Tugonon said in a press conference during her homecoming to UST last Jan. 7.

Admin appeals ‘erroneous’ NLRC ruling favoring sacked CFAD profs

UST OFFICIALS have brought a dispute over tenureship to the Court of Appeals, insisting that newly hired faculty members cannot become regulars without earning their master’s degrees within a period of five semesters.

Last October, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) sided with three instructors of the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) dismissed in 2010 after refusing to sign a waiver renouncing their right to tenureship for failing to earn master’s degrees. A motion for reconsideration filed by UST was junked by the NLRC last Jan. 22.

Fireworks explode as ‘V’ turns 85 on Year of Faith

THE VARSITARIAN, the university’s official student publication, reached another milestone in Philippine campus journalism, celebrating its 85th year last Jan. 16.

To cap off the sapphire anniversary celebration, the Varsitarian hosted the “Valik-Varsi” grand alumni homecoming last Jan. 26 at the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City.

Among who attended were National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera; veteran writers Gloria Garchitorena Goloy, Adoracion Trinidad-Gamalinda and Alice Collet-Villadolid, artist Remy Boquiren; and Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Neal Cruz, among others.

Aquinas’ teachings to be included in UST curriculum

THE LIFE and teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas may soon be included in the curriculum of UST.

Philosophy department chair Paolo Bolaños has proposed to the Office of Academic Affairs to include a course on the life of St. Thomas Aquinas to be “at par with Catholic universities teaching more humanities courses.”

“The approach of the Department of Philosophy will be a bit different from Institute of Religion because we are not simply going to focus on his theology,” Bolaños said.

Aquinas’ five-way argument on the existence of God or the Quinque Viae from the Summa Theologica, his most significant work, is already included in the syllabus for introduction to Theology.

Bilang ng guidance counselors, sapat nga ba?

HINDI man sapat ang bilang ng mga guidance counselors sa UST, natutugunan naman nila ang pangangailangan ng mga Tomasino.

Ito ang sinigurado ni Lucila Bance, pinuno ng Guidance and Counseling department ng Unibersidad.

Sa kasalukuyan, mayroong 41 na guidance counselors ang Unibersidad kung saan ang isang guidance counselor ay tumutugon sa bawat 1,200 na mag-aaral sa UST.

“In terms of the ratio of the students with guidance counselors, it is not actually enough,” ani Bance. “The prescribed is 1:500 although we are able to meet this in [UST] High School.”

Aniya, mas kinakailangan ng mga mag-aaral mula sa high school ang patnubay ng guidance counselors kumpara sa mga nasa kolehiyo dahil sa pagiging mas mature nito.

UST information technology school eyed next year

PLANS are underway to put up the Department of Information and Computer Studies (ICS) to improve and strengthen information technology education in the University.

ICS, which has been under the Faculty of Engineering since 2004, is expected to gain autonomy in June 2013, newly appointed Engineering Dean Philipina Marcelo announced last semester.

But the administration has yet to come up with a concrete plan for a “smooth transition” of the department to an institute.

Clarita Carillo, vice rector for academic affairs, said an initial discussion regarding the separation had been conducted to guide the faculty in coming up with a feasibility study, which was to be submitted by the end of January for review.

Admissions office abolishes ‘academic placement’

UST has implemented changes to admission policies in a bid to improve the process of screening applicants.

The academic placement scheme, in which applicants who did not meet the cut-off scores of their chosen courses were given the chance to apply for other colleges, has been abolished.

Faculties and colleges will instead fill up their slots by drawing from wait-listed applicants, considering the huge number of examinees every year.

Office for Admissions (OFAD) officer-in-charge Marie Ann Vargas said the University will give priority to applicants under the “wait-list” status, rather than place applicants in programs “which are not of their choice.”

Reassess laws to curb HIV/AIDS cases, study urges

RE-EXAMINING laws is one way of curtailing the alarming increase of HIV/AIDS cases in the country.

In a forum last Jan. 8, former Faculty of Arts and Letters dean Armando de Jesus and his team of researchers called for a reassessment of the framework and paradigms of Republi Act (RA) 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002, amid the surge in cases of HIV/AIDS in the country attributed to the use of needles.

“[RA 9165] was the product of a situation in 2002 just as the RA 8504 was a product of a situation in 1998,” De Jesus said in his lecture at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex. “But obviously, things have changed since then.”

‘K to 12’ to shorten Eng’g, liberal arts courses

ENGINEERING courses may soon be trimmed to four years, following the K to 12 curriculum imposed by the government.

This is because general education subjects will be brought down to senior high school (Grades 11 and 12), to give way to professional subjects in the tertiary level, said Julito Vitriolo, executive director of the Commission on Higher Education.

The reformed curriculum is aligned to the international standard of 16 years of education, he added.

Half of general education subjects such as social sciences, English, Science and Mathematics will be removed from the college curriculum.

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