pulitika, some days in my life as a law student

reactions ko lang sa mga blog entries / posts re: the deanship issue

pinagsama-sama ko lang in one blog entry:

1.  from someone who has heard both sides of the story…both parties have their own points, sir, and i hope that both eventually come to a point when they’d all be conciliatory about this.

a couple of days back, a professor called me up to ask what the official LSG stand re: the issue is. i replied, “we’re neutral.” indeed, we are.

come december 7, we will be holding a forum on deanship wherein students, the primary stakeholders of this entire deanship selection process, could ask the nominees their positions on issues, and could perhaps make clarifications on the vision paper that the nominees will be releasing. we’ll try to create transcripts based on students’ questions and forward them to the BOR, through the SR. after all, that’s where the selection process will take place. the real battle field is over there…not in the college, not in the midst of the students.

i just hope, sir, that this mess would be fixed soon and that the student body won’t be dragged / used by any party throughout the duration of this issue. (gaya ng nabalitaan kong nangyari several years back)…gusto rin po sana namin ng oneuplaw…not just among the students, but also among the professors.

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2.  being neutral is not tantamount to kawalan ng pakialam. the professor in his phone call asked the LSG stand on the deanship issue, that was what i said we were neutral about.

there are two separate issues surrounding/related to the deanship issue here: the political feud and the quality of legal education and policies in the college. let us not confuse one with the other.

while we do care about the quality of education in the college, and the academic policies, as well, we deem that there is a better way of responding than getting caught in this political issue, and perhaps in the process be used by either of the two sides.

there are many different ways to skin a cat. The alternative we choose is one that hopes to capture students’ viewpoints as regards the merits of the plans and programs of the deanship nominees. that is precisely why there will be an initiative, a deanship forum wherein the nominees will be asked questions based on the merits of their vision/mission/plans. inputs/questions in the deanship forum, will be summarized in comments to be given to the BOR, as inputs from the students. Such forum is envisioned to be a venue where we could obtain the students’ thoughts, and put them in black and white. if students’ inputs to nominees’ plans will be put into writing, we deem that it would be a more productive, merit-based / issue-based approach to participating in the deanship selection. For us, that would be a more proactive (not reactive) approach. we invite both sides to cooperate with us in this initiative, and of course appreciate sir te’s offer to help us with this effort.

however, if we take sides as regards the personalities involved, just how exactly would that help?

to participate in the bickering and bashing, to get caught in professors’ (with all due respect to them, still) feuds – feuds which, after all, involve two different points, is something else. while one party alleges that the other side is too power hungry and disrespectful of a mentor to allow the Dean Carlota to finish his term till the end of the school year, the one party’s points are: why be a stickler for rules when you make the rules bend if it works for you, why say that the petition is from the entire UP Law Faculty, when we weren’t even consulted? the two sides, clearly are taking on two different positions. yet i believe that deep down, they have the same interests.

yes, i agree, power, is the driving force here (and well, yes, also a desire to improve the manner of teaching law in the grand manner). but to take sides, and say that one side is more power-hungry than the other…i don’t believe we are in a position to adjudge that. that is why joining in this political feud of sorts is just not our cup of tea. note that a selection process, not an electoral process is involved with the deanship. (of course if this were an electoral process, it might be an altogether different matter)

because that’s precisely it, at the end of the day, it’s the students who will be at the losing end if this feud were to continue (and it will continue if the parties, and even we – students, alumni, who are not really COMPLETELY privy to the issue) don’t allow it to die a natural death. taking sides would just fuel the fires when our appeal is to focus on what matters: the quality of education and policies in the college.

As for the ones who came before us, it wasn’t that they did not do anything as regards the deanship issue…from what I hear, the student body was definitely involved, even divided, taking sides. They say it is insanity to do the same thing and yet expect different results. And that is why we do not wish to tread the same path that was trodden years back during that bitter deanship battle between Dean RCP and popo lotilla. Precisely because we want different results.

so at the end of the day, while we are passionate and are doing something positive and concrete as regards our complaints re: the quality of education in the college (e.g. deanship forum, revitalizing the academic reforms committee, which we have just constituted and will initiate annual dialogue with the faculty in the faculty student conference, bar ops & complimentary initiatives – as i said, many other ways to skin this cat), we choose to be neutral, as regards this political feud. now, those are two different things indeed.

may pakialam kami sa kahihinatnan ng kalidad ng edukasyon sa kolehiyo natin. ayaw sana naming maging mas divisive than it already is itong issue na ‘to.   that is precisely why we are choosing which battle to fight.

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3.  on a different note, i would like to give Dean Carlota a lot of credit. in the midst of all this, he is the one who is staying silent, being the apolitical person and good example of decency that he is. i could see why my father looked up to him (my dad was his former RA in the late ’70s). such respect has been passed on to the next generation.

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