The UP FORUM Roundtable Discussion on Utak at Puso

| Written by MPRO_admin

Shergina Alicando  Chair, University Student Council UP Cebu
Shergina Alicando
Chair, University Student Council
UP Cebu

 

 

Please share your most memorable story of kindness and compassion on campus.

UP Cebu is wealthy with stories of compassion, not just within the campus, but this richness of empathy and kindness flows to the community. In the most trying times, it is assumed that people become realists, securing themselves first before reaching out to others. In my three years’ stay in UP, I saw students dedicating their time and effort not to themselves but to others even if circumstances challenge them not to. Kindness is not foreign to UP Cebu. Instead, it is the fiber that holds UP Cebu together. Inside the campus, it is always good to see during Hell Week that students remain warm and polite to everyone they meet, because it proves how unconditional kindness and compassion are. I will forever be touched by how the students welcome, embrace, celebrate and fight for diversity. From the simplest act of donating their humblest possessions in donation drives for fire victims, typhoon survivors, and displaced communities to standing with and fighting alongside the masses, UP Cebu students are always reminded to give back to the people.

 

How can UP help students, faculty, and staff deal better with life’s difficult challenges?

Life, or the system rather, is already too oppressive, discriminatory and cruel in itself, thus the least we can do is to be kind. As a student representative, I am here to speak for the students. Being a student is never easy, especially if you have different baggage to carry. Thus, as it has always been reiterated by every student leader, UP could greatly help students if it genuinely listens to their demands and opens its eyes to their struggles.

Students are not unreasonable to demand superficial things. If they demand better school facilities, that is because it is necessary for their education. If the students are protesting, that is because there is a problem and it needs to be solved. We must remember that UP students come from all walks of life, and not all are privileged to have the resources for their education. It would surely take a lot of weight off the students’ burdens if they are provided a wide array of financial assistance programs, more accessible basic student services that are without fees, and mental health awareness programs.

While free tuition is a victory, it is not enough for students to overcome life’s obstacles. If the students have no financial resources to get through their days, have to pay fees just to access equipment and services, and are losing themselves in emotional and psychological struggles, free tuition is futile. The students are the largest stakeholders of this University, and it is about time that the University actually serves and upholds the students’ interest instead of leaving them unheard, alienated, and ridiculed.