Column: Suspension of Classes and the Student’s Woes
If it rains, it pours.
In UE, if this happens, rain will fall, and negative feedback will pour.
Just imagine the fury of a student living in, let’s say, Rizal or Bulacan, who has to experience the struggle of travelling and battling with a heavy downpour for about 2 hours just to be on time for her 7:30am class – only to find out later that classes will just be suspended.
This scenario may be well related to students who live one to two hours away from UE. Unlike those living in nearby dormitories, they sometimes have to skip breakfast, grab their bags and go the extra mile just to beat the closing signal of the LRT train – all for the sake of that attendance.
Just like what had happened last week where there was an outburst of confusion among students as to whether UE will declare suspension or not.
UE declared, yes. But it was way too late.
Irritatingly, classes were suspended at 12pm when students already arrived at school.
And then there were the guards who, after the declaration of suspension, forced students to leave the campus and would not allow them to re-enter amidst heavy rains outside – causing students to wrestle with the rain, battle the flood in Espana, walk barefooted, and get all wet as they patiently wait for a jeepney.
Now that’s what we call the total student care.
If only the school declared suspension early in the morning, just like what other universities did, we won’t be having a hard time calling the trunkline of UE (which happened to be very busy that time) or watching the morning news, hoping that somehow, UE will appear in the names of schools who declared early suspension.
Suspension of classes, especially if it was too late, will only make a student’s life more miserable
If only Commission on Higher Education (ChEd) Chair Dr. Patricia Licuanan will not leave the decision to school’s administration, then we, students, are not experiencing this confusion during a bad weather. Just like what the Department of Education (DepEd) does in elementary and secondary level, there should only be one authority that would decide as to whether a class must be suspended or not.
Just so these authorities know, college students are also students. We are not far different from those in high school or elementary. The only this is we are now aiming for a college degree. We commute every day, combat the heat of the sun or a stormy weather – no matter what, just so we can attend our more-important-than-major minor class.
No wonder why some brawl their sentiments in UE’s facebook page. However, students must learn to voice out their clamors not in a kanto way but in a diplomatic one (some students’ rants went too overboard for the part of the administration. Oh well, that’s another story.)
This is a call for immediate action from the administration. They should know what we feel during these times. To learn what students have to go through when such weather disturbances occur and to be more sensitive as to what we will experience in case this happens again.
Let’s just hope the UE will get our message and that there won’t be another Juaning or Kabayan that will bring one more bad luck for us.
*This piece has been published years back in my Musings column for UE Dawn, the Official Student Publication of the University of the East Students, where I was an editor.