A right, not a privilege: Fight for tambayans still on, says SPT, Kanlungan

Alliances of CSSP-based organizations air a unanimous disagreement with the 2009 Draft of the Student Code, specifically with the clause that states a tambayan is only a privilege, granted by merit to the org.

The Students Pavilion Team (SPT) and Kanlungan, alliances that cater to the different CSSP-based orgs’ tambayan concerns, stand firm in saying that having one is a right which the administration is obligated to provide.

Numerous efforts to consolidate organizations, to improve tambayan conditions and to push these projects to the administration are still ongoing, even with the 2009 Draft of the Student Code posing as a problem to current plans if and when it shall be approved.

Developments within the Alliances

Kanlungan is currently placing its efforts on inviting more members, further consolidating its current member organizations, consulting them of their particular needs, drafting a unified stand regarding the Student Code, and lobbying for financial support from the Congress and Senate.

“Dahil nga ngayon merong KABATAAN party list in Congress,” former Kanlungan convener Rainier Sindayen adds, “sila yung isa sa mga pinakaaktibong makakasama ng Kanlungan kasi very positive yung nagiging response nila in terms of helping us in that direction.” (With the KABATAAN party list now in Congress, they will be one of the most active associates of Kanlungan because they’ve been very positive with their response in terms of helping us in that direction.)

Sindayen also mentions that last year, the alliance was able to produce a site map of Palma Hall where the tambayans could possibly be constructed with the help of the Junior Philippine Geographical Society (JPGS).

“[Right now, we’re more concerned] in really consolidating the members of the alliance, and attempting to make the unification efforts regular in terms of the campaigns, the projects and the services we’re planning to offer,” Sindayen mentions.

SPT head Ranulfo Javelosa III says, “For the SPT, the main priority for this year is to come up with a new design for the tambayans that this year’s SPT and future SPTs will market [since the design marketed in 2006-2007 was subsequently trashed by the new administration of the Office of the Campus Architect (OCA)].”

Javelosa says the first step is to conduct a needs analysis survey with the organizations within CSSP. The survey shall gather facts about the organizations, and include questions relating to what their needs are with regards to the tambayan.

Inputs from this survey as well as new tambayan designs shall be submitted to the OCA. Negotiations regarding the location are going to be discussed until the OCA, the SPT and its stakeholders are finally amenable with all the conditions in the proposals.

The alliance is also bringing up to respective administration offices the problem of some organizations which do not even have an informal location for a tambayan, and is exhausting all efforts to address their needs.

The OCA has a vision for Palma Hall as being one of the hallmarks of the university. There are said to be plans to remove the so called tambayan "ruins" and to landscape the area instead, shares Javelosa.

The Student(?) Code

CSSP Student Council (SC) chairperson Jay Bagcal has recently attended a dialogue between the League of College Councils (LCC) and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Elizabeth Enriquez and her drafting committee. According to Javelosa, the meeting discussed the provisions of the Student Code draft and cleared the details regarding its implementation. The dialogue “became a venue for the LCC to convey the comments, suggestions and opinions [by] its constituents.”

In line with this, the CSSPSC is planning to hold a college assembly scheduled on June 26 to discuss salient matters regarding this matter, and hopes that the students’ concerns with the Student Code will be raised and addressed in the said event. Enriquez and her committee are invited to the assembly.

As for the alliances, they are not providing their consent for its endorsement as long as it does not fully address the constituency’s concerns.

“Nakalagay nga dito sa CSSP Student Council Constitution natin,” Javelosa states, “na tambayan is a right of every organization. Right siya, hindi siya dapat nililimatahan ng merit. Dapat ang organization, basta recognized, ay mabigyan ng tambayan. (It is stated in our CSSPSC Constitution that tambayan is a right of every organization. It is a right, and must not be limited by merit. An organization, as long as it is recognized, must be granted a tambayan.)

“We are still going to talk to the people of the OVCSA, with VC Enriquez and the drafting committee as to how we can reach a compromise regarding the issue,” he adds.

“Isa nga dun sa kaisahan ng Kanlungan bilang alliance ay yung pagjajunk mismo ng Student Code,” Peter Sengson, incoming convener of the said alliance, says. “Bakit natin siya kailangan i-entertain in the first place kung hindi naman tayo kasama at represented doon sa paggawa nung document?” (Kanlungan as an alliance is for the junking of the Student Code. Why do we have to entertain it if in the first place we are not included and represented in its drafting?)

“On that basis, nagkaisa yung alliance na ibasura ang buong Student Code. At panawagan na rin na dapat isama ang mga estudyante sa pagtugon nito,” Sengson explains. (On that basis, the alliance is one in that the whole Student Code should be junked. This is also an assertion that the students must participate in regarding this issue.) ▪

Article by: Marie Julienne Ente