by Angely Joyce Calle
Sociology professor Gerardo Lanuza is giving the University of the Philippines Diliman residence halls an extreme makeover.
After his appointment last July, the new director of the Office of Student Housing said he aims to make dormitories an organized venue for learning, discussion and assembly.
“As a second home, [dormitories are] supposed to allow students to develop holistically all the aspects of their academic life – spiritual, religious, economic, including health,” he said.
One of the director’s first projects was to improve security at the International Center and Ilang-Ilang Residence Halls by setting up barbed wire fences and hiring roving night guards.
Lanuza and Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Melania Abad also discussed the possible installation of CCTV cameras around the dormitories.
Amidst criticisms on dormitory application, the sociology professor plans to revise the dormitory admission process to include consultations with dorm heads, managers, councils and residents for “transparent and democratized” results.
Meanwhile, the OSH inspected and cleaned the university residence halls and held a seminar about dengue to reduce the risks of the disease.
The office is also coordinating with the University of Food Service, Office of Counseling and Guidance, Office of Scholarships and Student Services, and the Diliman Learning Resource Center for future projects.
“Our [duty] is to nourish; yours is to participate. We require no less,” Lanuza said, encouraging students to actively participate in making the dormitories conducive for learning.
Lanuza added he wants to rename the OSH to Office of Residential Life and Living Recreational Center.
Dormers have so far been happy with Lanuza’s reforms.
“Mr. Lanuza has a more progressive outlook and point of view. There are a lot of issues that need to be dealt with and I know that with his background as a sociologist, he has the capacity to best address the aforementioned issues,” said Kamia House Council chairperson Edna Fe Ramirez.
“He is more open to opinion. Sir Lanuza is radical unlike last year’s administration, which had a more conservative approach,” said Molave House Council chairperson Eladio Anino V in Filipino.
The OSH was previously directed by Ruby Alcantara.
The Office of Student Housing, which operates under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, runs ten residence halls: Kalayaan, Ipil, Molave, Yakal, Ilang-Ilang, Kamia, Sampaguita, Sanggumay, International Center and Kamagong.