In response to the Office of the Student Regent’s (OSR) call to repeal the Freshie Recruitment Ban (FRB), the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) held a consultative meeting with student formations on Monday.

The Freshie Recruitment Ban is legitimized in the 2012 University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Code of Student Conduct, which classifies the following as an act of Harm to Persons:

“Accepting a student who has not completed a one-semester residency in UP Diliman for membership in a registered student association, except in the case of a fraternity or

sorority for which the residency requirement is one academic year.”

The University Committee on Student Organization Activities and Welfare (UCSOAW), a group in the University Council in charge of all projects involving the students, met last Friday, April 26 to discuss the repeal forwarded by the OSR.

“There were a couple of recommendations, including the possibility of amending the provision in the code that bans the possibility of having freshies inducted in organizations,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jerwin Agpaoa said.

He believes that it is about time the Student Code is reviewed since its release in 2012.

“We have to actualize certain possibilities to allow students to also explore other ways to grow,” he said.

OVCSA is set to submit their recommendations to the Office of the Chancellor today, May 1. They plan to conduct local college research as well.

Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Coordinator Dr. Althea Enriquez explained that the code was made to allow freshmen to adjust inside the university.

“Ang naging justification for this was, of course, kapag pumapasok ang isang freshman in [his or her] first semester dito sa loob ng university, nasa process siya [ng] pag-adjust sa UP life,” she said.

Professor Jane Vinculado from UCSOAW added that organizations have different application processes and there have been concerns regarding “fraternity-like hazing” procedures which may affect freshmen’s overall well-being.

“The code was initially for fraternities and sororities lang, pero napag-alaman na dahil may mga student organizations na merong bad application processes, na may frat-like hazing or soft hazing. Idinagdag nila yung mga organizations na hindi fraternity or sorority in nature,” Agpaoa said.

Student organizations countered that because of the K-12 program, freshmen of legal age  should be allowed to make decisions regarding their own student life.

“Given that we’re in a new context where students are more equipped when they come into college, I think this is a better situation for them to be able to join organizations [immediately],” University Student Council (USC) Councilor elect Hernan Delizo said.

“Organizations’ main aim in the application process is for the applicants to have a more holistic formation. It gives members of the UP community, most especially our freshies, [the ability] to participate in opportunities that expand their skill set,” he added.

USC Councilor elect Lucia Silva stressed that some freshmen have a greater willingness to contribute and take up responsibilities in organizations than some long-standing members.

“Yung freshies, kahit bina-brand sila as freshies or baguhan sa university, mayro’n silang capacity na sumali sa mga organizations at hindi lang basta sumali, kumbaga mag-contribute greatly sa organization,” Silva said.

Former USC Councilor Jethro Malimata said that if freshmen can be trusted to choose their degrees, they should be trusted to choose their organizations.

“I think the fact that they are able to choose their own degree and university to go to and invest their time in for the next four to five years is enough proof [of their capacity] to also be able to decide what organizations they want to invest their time in,” Malimata said.

Organization heads stressed that joining student formations can help freshmen adapt to university life, especially in case of provincial organizations where members become family.

There are currently 14 provincial and regional organizations this school year.

Silva said that freshmen have the sentiment of feeling “less of a member” of an organization when they undergo an application process but are not inducted.

Consequently, these freshmen are not able to enjoy the rights members have such as the right to vote and the right to participate in organization elections.

Student formations also called to strengthen the campaign on the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 instead of inhibiting freshman from organizing.

“Harmful application processes will still be harmful regardless at any point of their life,” Delizo said. He suggests that the administration look into the application processes themselves and see how these can be improved.

Other organization heads argued that freshmen need to be inducted to reach the required number of members for organization recognition.

College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Representative to the USC elect Joshua Dy explained despite the perceived influx of freshmen from the K-12 program, formations may still not have enough members to sustain themselves.

Dy stated that in almost all departments in CSSP, besides Psychology and Political Science, the number of freshmen are going down.

In his batch in History, they were only four freshmen, not including shiftees and transferees. The succeeding batch had no freshmen, the current has nine, while the incoming batch has six.

“It hinders the rights of orgs to organize because what happens is if you stop freshies from joining these orgs, the orgs are threatened with not being able to cope with the standard of 15 members plus execomm based on the population of the departments alone,” he said.

OSA is still accepting position papers from organizations regarding the matter.

In response to the Office of the Student Regent’s (OSR) call to repeal the Freshie Recruitment Ban (FRB), the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) held a consultative meeting with student formations on Monday.

The Freshie Recruitment Ban is legitimized in the 2012 University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Code of Student Conduct, which classifies the following as an act of Harm to Persons:

“Accepting a student who has not completed a one-semester residency in UP Diliman for membership in a registered student association, except in the case of a fraternity or

sorority for which the residency requirement is one academic year.”

The University Committee on Student Organization Activities and Welfare (UCSOAW), a group in the University Council in charge of all projects involving the students, met last Friday, April 26 to discuss the repeal forwarded by the OSR.

“There were a couple of recommendations, including the possibility of amending the provision in the code that bans the possibility of having freshies inducted in organizations,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jerwin Agpaoa said.

He believes that it is about time the Student Code is reviewed since its release in 2012.

“We have to actualize certain possibilities to allow students to also explore other ways to grow,” he said.

OVCSA is set to submit their recommendations to the Office of the Chancellor today, May 1. They plan to conduct local college research as well.

Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Coordinator Dr. Althea Enriquez explained that the code was made to allow freshmen to adjust inside the university.

“Ang naging justification for this was, of course, kapag pumapasok ang isang freshman in [his or her] first semester dito sa loob ng university, nasa process siya [ng] pag-adjust sa UP life,” she said.

Professor Jane Vinculado from UCSOAW added that organizations have different application processes and there have been concerns regarding “fraternity-like hazing” procedures which may affect freshmen’s overall well-being.

“The code was initially for fraternities and sororities lang, pero napag-alaman na dahil may mga student organizations na merong bad application processes, na may frat-like hazing or soft hazing. Idinagdag nila yung mga organizations na hindi fraternity or sorority in nature,” Agpaoa said.

Student organizations countered that because of the K-12 program, freshmen of legal age  should be allowed to make decisions regarding their own student life.

“Given that we’re in a new context where students are more equipped when they come into college, I think this is a better situation for them to be able to join organizations [immediately],” University Student Council (USC) Councilor elect Hernan Delizo said.

“Organizations’ main aim in the application process is for the applicants to have a more holistic formation. It gives members of the UP community, most especially our freshies, [the ability] to participate in opportunities that expand their skill set,” he added.

USC Councilor elect Lucia Silva stressed that some freshmen have a greater willingness to contribute and take up responsibilities in organizations than some long-standing members.

“Yung freshies, kahit bina-brand sila as freshies or baguhan sa university, mayro’n silang capacity na sumali sa mga organizations at hindi lang basta sumali, kumbaga mag-contribute greatly sa organization,” Silva said.

Former USC Councilor Jethro Malimata said that if freshmen can be trusted to choose their degrees, they should be trusted to choose their organizations.

“I think the fact that they are able to choose their own degree and university to go to and invest their time in for the next four to five years is enough proof [of their capacity] to also be able to decide what organizations they want to invest their time in,” Malimata said.

Organization heads stressed that joining student formations can help freshmen adapt to university life, especially in case of provincial organizations where members become family.

There are currently 14 provincial and regional organizations this school year.

Silva said that freshmen have the sentiment of feeling “less of a member” of an organization when they undergo an application process but are not inducted.

Consequently, these freshmen are not able to enjoy the rights members have such as the right to vote and the right to participate in organization elections.

Student formations also called to strengthen the campaign on the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 instead of inhibiting freshman from organizing.

“Harmful application processes will still be harmful regardless at any point of their life,” Delizo said. He suggests that the administration look into the application processes themselves and see how these can be improved.

Other organization heads argued that freshmen need to be inducted to reach the required number of members for organization recognition.

College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Representative to the USC elect Joshua Dy explained despite the perceived influx of freshmen from the K-12 program, formations may still not have enough members to sustain themselves.

Dy stated that in almost all departments in CSSP, besides Psychology and Political Science, the number of freshmen are going down.

In his batch in History, they were only four freshmen, not including shiftees and transferees. The succeeding batch had no freshmen, the current has nine, while the incoming batch has six.

“It hinders the rights of orgs to organize because what happens is if you stop freshies from joining these orgs, the orgs are threatened with not being able to cope with the standard of 15 members plus execomm based on the population of the departments alone,” he said.

OSA is still accepting position papers from organizations regarding the matter.

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