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Tag: September 16, 2009

Rector: UST to build 400 villages

De la Rosa. Photo by Paul Allyson R. QuiambaoUST HAS committed to build 400 villages for the poor nationwide to mark its quadricentennial, with no less than Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. calling on Thomasians to contribute in “nation-building” less than two years before the University turns 400 in 2011.

The Rector’s Report for academic year 2008-2009 last September 4 was highlighted by the ambitious project to create 400 villages with the Gawad Kalinga Foundation, the popular shelter movement of the Catholic lay group Couples for Christ.

De la Rosa noted that Thomasian volunteers have been helping the poor build houses under the Gawad Kalinga program, and that so far they have built 30 villages.

“Twelve of the 30 Thomasian villages are located in Towerville, Bulacan, which [served] as a relocation site for the former railway squatters,” the Rector said.  

Printing to be sourced out

RECTOR Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. has assured that operations of the UST Publishing House, particularly the “400 Books at 400!” project, would continue despite reported plans to close its printing division.

De la Rosa said the fate of the printing division would depend on the findings of a study that will come out on September 30.

“We will do what [other universities are doing]: we will outsource the printing,” he told Varsitarian staff members in a courtesy call last September 15.

The Varsitarian reported last August 31 the looming closure of one of the world’s oldest presses, which is said to be losing P30 million annually.

De la Rosa said workers at the printing division of the Publishing House would either be reappointed or given retirement benefits.

De la Rosa disproves Faculty Union study

RECTOR Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. has disputed a Varsitarian report about a recent study commissioned by the UST Faculty Union, which found that five academic units were likely to suffer a faculty exodus due to dissatisfaction with work and “low organizational commitment.”

De la Rosa said there had been no “faculty exodus” in the University, citing data from the Academic Affairs office that only 34 faculty members left UST last year.

The August 31 Varsitarian story “Thomasian pride can’t make profs stay” said faculty in five academic units had high turnover intentions, one of the six variables in the study.

But Academic Affairs figures showed that last year, only 34 faculty members left the University because of migration, early retirement, and the phasing out of the elementary department, De la Rosa said.

Chemistry, MedTech soar in board exams

THOMASIANS have again made their mark in the recent Chemist and Medical Technologist licensure examinations.

Out of 44 examinees, 31 Thomasians passed the Chemistry board exam, equivalent to a 70-percent passing rate and higher than the 39 percent passing rate in the previous exam.

The national passing rate rose to 53.68 percent from last year’s 47.19 percent, with 292 out of 544 examinees making the cut.

Jon Philippe Go, the sole Thomasian in the top 10, placed six with a score of 87.50 percent.

Meanwhile, UST emerged as the top performing school in the Medical Technologist board exams despite a lower passing rate of 89 percent.

Alvin Rey Flores, this year’s topnotcher, tied up with Judea Marie Policarpio from the Manila Central University in Caloocan with a score of 87.50 percent.

Lumbera, two others feted in Palanca

LumberaNATIONAL Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera and two other Thomasian writers were honored at the 59th Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the country’s most prestigious literary contest.

Lumbera, a UST Journalism graduate and a former Varsitarian literary editor, was conferred the Dangal ng Lahi Award during the awarding ceremonies held at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City on September 1. The award recognizes individuals who have significantly excelled in their field of expertise.

“A writer can be truly confident that his winning works are creations that brought honor to his name.  The only expectation from you is you continue creating works that are artistic and meaningful in the days to come,” Lumbera said in his speech.

Campus continues to ‘sink’

WHAT’S still wrong with UST?

Despite road and drainage improvements last summer, the University still “sinks” with the rest of España Boulevard during heavy flooding in the rainy season.

In fact, just last August 22, knee-deep flood greeted parents and entrance exam applicants. The flood subsided just in time for the college entrance test the following day.

OT gains ‘partial’ accreditation

UST’S Occupational Therapy program has obtained “partial” accreditation from the Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines (Otap), Dean Jocelyn Agcaoili of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences (CRS) said.

Otap conducted an ocular inspection of CRS last March 16 and April 17, and based on its initial findings, UST has yet to meet some requirements.

“There are some things that [Otap] wants to see. [One of them] is instruction or teaching,” Agcaoili said.

Otap president Arscille Gozon said the program would be evaluated next semester, but refused to go into details, citing confidentiality.

“[The criteria] are not yet completed, there are other requirements that we still need to see,” she said in a phone interview.

Agcaoili said she was hopeful UST would finally be accredited before the end of the year.

Coro Tomasino reaps medals

CORO Tomasino garnered silver medals in the first National Choral Competition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last August 21.

Led by conductor Ronan Ferrer, the choir won second place in the three-day competition that started August 18. The competition was divided into the sacred, mixed, and folk categories.

Coro Tomasino, composed of students from the Conservatory of Music, bested 32 national groups. Imusicapella of the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Cavite won the gold medal. Darenn G. Rodriguez

ComArts student bags MTRCB screenplay award

A THOMASIAN won the grand prize in the first Metro Manila Student’s Screenplay Contest of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) last September 4 at Gateway Cinema 5 in Quezon City.

Patrick John Valencia, a communication arts senior, bested six other finalists with his entry “Pasyon,” a story about incest set in Pampanga during the Holy Week.

He received a cash prize of P 30,000 and a trophy.

Other winners were Ann Margaret Teves of the Far Eastern University, who bagged the second prize of P20,000; and Mark Ryan Duron of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and Maica Erika Catalan of the Technological Institute of the Philippines, who received citations and P10,000 each. Jilly Anne A. Bulauan

Cadets to launch newsletter

THE UST Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) will launch its first newsletter next semester.

“This would serve as our information drive,” said corps commander Marie Grace Nikko Macatuggal.

Cadets from the Faculty of Arts and Letters and College of Fine Arts and Design volunteered to spearhead the project, and were screened by the ROTC leadership.

In preparation for the newsletter, Varsitarian editors Mark Andrew Francisco and Sarah Jane Pauyo gave lectures on news and feature writing, respectively to the newsletter staff last August 9. Darenn G. Rodriguez