By Justine Xyrah Garcia
Central Student Council (CSC) Auditor Dale Marollano resigned from office a few months before the academic year ends — the first time in more than three years that a CSC official will not finish his term.
Marollano, a three-year member of the University’s student council, publicized his resignation through a Facebook post last night, March 1, airing his frustrations about the CSC’s lack of autonomy to forward pro-student policies.
“Hindi kaya ng aking konsensya na magpatuloy pa sa ganitong sistema. Hindi ko kaya na magpatuloy pang maglingkod nang hindi ko tunay na natutugunan ang interes ng mga kapwa ko estudyante,” he wrote.
In his resignation dated Feb. 28, the third year philosophy major stated that there was a disconnect between the interest of the central council and the University administration, describing the latter as “restrictive.”
“I have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress we have made, and I believe that the competence of all the former, current, and future student leaders will never be enough without a complete overhaul of the system which can only happen once the interest of student leaders and the administrators are aligned,” he added.
His letter, which was addressed to UST Office for Student Affairs (OSA) director and CSC adviser Asst. Prof. Maria Cecilia Tio Cuison and the Thomasian community, also pointed out that the council must be actively involved in proposing improvements in UST.
In an interview with TomasinoWeb, the ex-auditor said that the administration does not really expect student councils — that represents the student body — to help in crafting policies for Thomasians.
Marollano cited the construction of face-to-face policy last year as an example of the administration’s “restrictiveness.”
According to the former UST SHS Student Council President, a University administrator, whom he opted not to name, told him that it was not in the CSC’s jurisdiction to propose policies.
“Sinabi na: ‘estudyante lang kayo, hindi kayo taga gawa ng policies.’ Ang limiting nun diba? Para sa kanila, estudyante lang kami… ‘e dapat nga pakinggan nila tayo kasi tayo ang pinakamalaking sector sa UST,” he said.
“Na-discourage na kami [to propose policies]. May committee ako na ang pangalan ay policy development pero sa meeting na ‘yun, nawalan ng sense,” he added.
With the “questionable” limitations imposed by the administration, Marollano said that the role of the central council has been reduced as mere organizers of events like Paskuhan.
“[N]awawalan [kami] ng way para magawa yung mga gusto naming gawin as progressive student leaders and dahil doon, nalilimitahan kami. Napupunta na lang kami sa pagiging event organizers kahit ayaw naman talaga namin,” he said.
Student leaders as event organizers
Marollano also disclosed with TomasinoWeb that he considers the University-wide Christmas festivity as his tipping point to resign.
As the ex auditor prepared for Paskuhan, he came to a realization that the administration only sees student leaders as organizers of student events, not leaders that represent the student body and push for inclusive policies.
“Na-realize ko na ang peak ng pagiging student leader sa UST ay pagtulong mo sa malalaking events. Pag hindi ka nakatulong dito, hindi ka student leader. Doon nag-umpisa ‘yung mga realizations ko,” he said.
During the start of Marollano’s term as an auditor, it can be recalled that the council initially had an arm of policy proposals for the student body. However, none of these platforms were favored by the admin.
“[‘Y]ung F2F code ‘yung pinaka major namin na nalunsad sa policy and nung hindi pinatuloy yun, nagkaroon ng chilling effect sa amin, kaya wala na kaming sumunod na na propose na policy,” the ex auditor said.
Following his resignation, incumbent CSC President Nathan Agustin said in an interview that the council will be discussing a transitory setup for CSC’s Team Auditor after the Central Commission on Elections (COMELEC) acknowledges Marollano’s resignation.
As of this article’s posting, the Central Board and Editorial Board had already forwarded their resolution, but has yet to be acknowledged by the COMELEC.
TomasinoWeb has also tried reaching out to OSA, but the office has yet to give its comment on the matter.