Thursday, October 12, 2006
Position Paper on the Selection of the New CAS Dean
The UP Manila College of Arts and Sciences Student Council states in clear and unequivocal terms its criteria for the selection of the new Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences:
- S/He must unite in solidarity with the Iskolars ng Bayan against the proposed system-wide UP tuition increase from 250 pesos per unit to 1000 pesos per unit, notwithstanding the other upcoming laboratory increases in the Department of Biology and the Department Physical Sciences and Mathematics. The basis for this is very clear. By raising the cost of education, the University is in effect depriving poor but deserving students a chance of entering the University just because they have meager finances to fund their education. By imposing a renewed STFAP through the tuition increase, the University shall create milking cows out of the more financially privileged Iskolars ng Bayan, as though their financial status is a penalty for being in the University. In the final analysis, the answer to dilapidated facilities and underpaid faculty and staff is still greater state subsidy to UP education.
- S/He must ensure that the use of college facilities for student activities be free of charge and subsidized by the College. The high costs of renting the Little Theater and very strict and inflexible regulations on the use of classrooms, lobbies and walkways are very significant hindrances in the growth and development of student organizations, formations and groups.
- S/He must ensure that generic tambayans and student organization tambayans be constructed in the soonest possible time. In the last few months, many students have contented themselves in sitting, eating and reviewing on the floor of the lobbies, walkways and steps due to the lack of benches and chairs while waiting in between classes.
- S/He must create a college policy that would allot some time for student organizations to discuss issues and projects during classes without being rejected by the attending faculty. This is in the interest of creating an atmosphere of respect for academic freedom in recognition of the historic role of Iskolars ng Bayan as agents of critical social inquiry and meaningful social change.
- S/He must never be oblivious to national and local exigencies, as the College does not exist only to churn out intellectuals bereft of a social conscience. As such, s/he must create policies that would unite and consolidate the College in facing national and university contingencies, like the creation of monthly College General Assemblies to discuss and debate on the most pressing issues of the day, such as the UP Tuition Increase and the Charter Change.
If the new College Dean shall stand on all of these in the course of his/her term, only then shall the support of the CAS Student Council and the Iskolars ng Bayan be extended. These demands are not based on mere whim or caprice of the student council but premised on the concrete and collective interests of the Iskolars ng Bayan in pursuit of their legitimate rights to education and academic freedom.