Maanne Ilagan Lopez

Student file complaints against BnS issue

Blue and Silver January-February 2007

Student file complaints against BnS issue

“Ngayon lang talaga ako nakakita ng may nag-complain sa lampoon issue, kasi hindi aman malaking bagay yung lampoon para ireklamo.”

This was the statement of Biyaya Quizon, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) secretary general and Tanggulan Network spokesperson, in concordance to complaints of some students against the Blue and Silver (BnS) lampoon publication recently.

Thirty students from different colleges aired their dissatisfaction, through a complaint letter addressed to Dr. Oscar Suarez, University President, against the Blush and Shimmer, the BnS lampoon issue saying it was “a [form of] mockery of the school publication in our University.

Prof. Beatriz Almero, External Affairs Office director, said that most of the student complainants came from the College of Education and Allied Programs (CEdAP) and they personally consulted her regarding the BnS Lampoon issue.

Almero stressed that the complaints did not only come from the students but the administrators, faculty and staff shared the same sentiment. “I would like to emphasize the feeling (of dissatisfaction). It is not only the students, but (it is also) the feeling of the admin, even the faculty and staff.”

The students, as stated in the December 19 letter, also said that they find the BnS lampoon publication to be “inappropriate in expressing their (BnS) sentiments.”

Moreover, Arra Kamil Rubio, University Student Government (USG) president, said that e had also received complaints regarding the lampoon issue. Thus, she, together with other officers, decided to write a complaint letter against the BnS lampoon issue because according to her, she never intended to neglect the complaints of the students. “May mga nag-complain na students na hindi ko rin iniintindi yung complaints nila (There have been students complaining, as an officer, I do not like them to feel that I do not give a look at their complaints.)”

The USG president enumerated some of the complaints that she has been receiving since the release of the lampoon issue. “Yung mga ginamit na words ay hindi nila nagustuhan like yung “estupidents” (The students did not appreciate the use of words like “estupidents”).”

Meanwhile, Claudio Pineda, College of Arts, Sciences and Social Work (CASSW) governor, said the complaint letter was made after Almero summoned them in her office. “Nagsimula ang lahat nung pinatawag kami ni Ma’am Almero. Sinabi niya sa amin na may mga complaints yung ibang mga estudyante regarding sa lampoon issue at kailangan daw kaming mag-act dun (It all started when Ma’am Almero called us. She said that there have been complaints coming from other students regarding the lampoon issue and she told us to act on the complaint.

Almero, on the other hand, said that upon learning about the complaint letter concerning the BnS lampoon issue, the University President called her attention and told her to tell the students to write a letter for them to act on the issue. “He told me to tell the students to write a letter and that I should do something about it.”

Admin in action

Dr. Greg Melchor de Lara, Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), upon the getting a copy of the complaint letter from the President immediately called a discussion with the BnS editors. “I was given a photocopy of the complaint letter by the President, so nung nabigyan ako ng copy, pinatawag ko agad yung mga taga-BnS (upon receiving the copy, I immediately called the BnS) to settle the problem.”

He also said that the complaint was legitimate even with 30 signatories and as such, there is a need to resolve the issue. “We need to settle the problem because it was a legitimate complaint of 30 students and we couldn’t just close our eyes. Kahit kokonti sila dapat sila pakinggan (Even if they are few, we still need to listen to them).”

Raisa Austral, BnS editor in chief, confirmed that the VPAA called for two meetings to address the complaint of the students against the lampoon issue. “The first one was last January 11 when I was called for a meeting with him and Mr. Briones. The other one happened last January 25, this time with the entire BnS editorial board and staff.”

Rev. Samuel Briones, Student Services Office (SSO) director, relayed that it was in the second meeting that both parties consented to have a dialogue between the BnS and the complainants. “In the meeting with the editorial board, VPAA and I, with the BnS decided to patch things up and have a dialogue with the students to resolve the complaint.”


The dialogue, between the students and the BnS editorial board and staff, was held lat January 25 at the University Auditorium. However, majority of the 30 signatories in the complaint were not present in the said student discussion.

Briones said the dialogue was organized to allow the complainants to air their sentiments and comments against the lampoon issue. “This is the time where the students can openly say their comments in the lampoon issue.”

The SSO director facilitated the one hour and a half dialogue with around 40 students discussions between the BnS people and the complainants.

Meanwhile, Rubio said that the complainants failed to show up at the forum because of some unforeseen reasons. “Yung iba, merong klase tapos hindi talaga naming akala na magkakaganung aberya. Tapos hindi naman talaga kami nag-uusap na pumunta doon. (The other students had their class and we did not foresee those setbacks. We did not really agreed to go to the forum.)”

However, according to Austral, the complainants failed to substantiate the complaint they have against the BnS lampoon issue. She even said that the students who were present in the forum symphatized with the editors. “I’m very happy with the result of the forum. The student sided with us and they even validated the use of lampoon publication.”

Quizon’s statement at the forum affirmed Austral’s statement. She cited that lampoon writing is a form of style of writing. “Ang lampoon ay isang porma at arte ng pagsulat at hindi lang ang Blue and Silver ang gumawa ng ganito. Maging ang CEGP, ang pinakamatandang organisasyong pang-estudyante at ang ibang publikasyon ng iba’t ibang unibersidad at naglalabas nito. (The lampoon [issue] is a form and art of writing and the Blue and Silver is not the only publication that does this. The CEGP, the oldest student organization, and even the other publications of various universities publish this.”

Issues raised

The BnS editor in chief shared her sentiments against all the sanctions that the administration gave to the BnS because of the impending result of the complaint. “The release of our funds was delayed.”

She also said that the administration has no right to withhold the BnS funds as stipulated in the Campus Journalism Act of 1991 and the appendix of the student handbook. “In no instance shall the Department of Education, Culture and Sportsor the school administrations concerned withhold the release of funds sourced from the savings of the appropriations of the respective schools and the other sources intended for the student publication. Subscription fee collected by the school administration shall be released automatically to the student concerned” (Student Manual Revised June 2003).

The VPAA attested that the fund was not released immediately but he explained that it is not, in any form, an act of withholding the money. “We met with Raisa and we simply told her that the budget for the BnS is available; only we cannot immediately release it until the issue is resolved.”

Austral explained that the issue was resolved and the students present in the forum understood the essence of lampoon publication. “We left the Auditorium having instilled in the students that lampoon publication is style of writing and is not a waste of money.”

Also, upon learning of the forum’s resolution, the VPAA, immediately requested for the immediate release of the BnS funds.

Maanne Lopez, Dave Oscar Ili


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