Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) supports the call for amendments of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – University of the City of Manila (PLM) Charter to pave the way in installing a student representative in the Board of Regents (BOR). This is also in compliance with the Higher Education Modernization Act (HEMA LAW 1997 Sec. 2 No. 7) that requires all state universities and colleges to have a student representative to the BOR via student election.
It is of vital importance that the student must be represented at the BOR. Aside from the corporate duty of the BOR, this governing body is entitled to do its functions as policy making body, fixing and arrangement of the school fees/charges and faculty salaries, concerns of curricula and other academic matters, appointment/recommendation of school president and scrutiny and approval of joint ventures and donations for the school (as mandated by the HEMA Law). These are concerns that a voice of the students must be heard and considered.
But since the creation of the said charter, students of PLM have remained marginalized and powerless in asserting their positions and concerns to the governing body. The lack of student representation bred numerous incidents of campus repression which never attained fair trial and justice.
We are for campus democracy, we struggle for student empowerment. Not because we want to rule the campus but because we want to have a voice that will make the authorities listen to our needs and most of all, we are stake holders of these schools. Our parents pay taxes to make this school operational.
Education should primarily work for the emancipation of the individuals, the educational institution such as PLM should teach the students of things that will make the youth understand its role as the future nation builders and make themselves empowered to participate in affairs concerning their future. But the absence of student representation in the BOR only teaches the students to remain marginalized and become apathetic.
August 16, 2011
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