Br. Dante responds to students’ grievances in town hall

To create a dialogue with regard to the present status of operational and institutional adjustments happening in the campus, De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) President and Chancellor Br. Dante Amisola FSC  initiated a town hall meeting with student leaders, Sept. 12, at Sen. Jose Diokno Auditorium.

Amisola addresses students’ concerns in the town hall meeting held last Sept. 12 at the Sen. Jose Diokno Auditorium (R. Lumban).

The meeting began with the student representatives’ presentation of the recent and upcoming projects of their organizations including the Council of Student Organizations (CSO), the Student Government (SG) and student leaders from the Integrated School.

Afterwards, Amisola addressed the grievances and other relevant issues forwarded by the student representatives.

Poor internet connection

The Brother president began by acknowledging the issue on Wi-Fi accessibility in campus as majority of the complaints raised were about the poor internet connection which affects the activities done inside the classroom, especially the access to the online learning platform, Canvas.

“The system [Internet infrastructure], while we have paid for some of it already, there are [still] parts of the system na hindi pa tinu-turn over sa atin,” DLSL president explained.

He mentioned that more than fifty percent of the system underwent a change due to factory issues and that the full system has not been received until now.

“If you can be patient with us, we’re trying to push them [the contractor] to work on it but it is beyond our control at this time. We’re as frustrated as you are, but we’re keeping them under post,” Br. Dante said.

Canvas utilization

When asked about a probable solution regarding the difficulties and confusions over the use of Canvas, Amisola suggested having student digital officers in the classroom to respond to such issues.

According to Amisola, the concept has been implemented in the Junior High School Department, but has not reached the surrounding areas of Grades 7 and 11, as well as the grade school and college students.

Br. Dante said that the student digital officers should be expected to help everybody within the classroom including their classmates and teachers who have struggles with the connectivity and use of Canvas.

“That’s what every classroom is supposed to acquire, including the college. Kapag wala pa kayo, make sure you elect a student digital officer who will attend a seminar,” Br. Dante said.

Christine Perez, SG executive president, also appealed for an official issuance of guidelines concerning the use of Canvas that must be followed by the teachers.

“We did a model matrix for them before the beginning of the school year. Unless your professors are [working] part-time, they should not have the reason [for not complying]. I know for a fact that there is a format,” Amisola reiterated.

The Brother President also criticized the instances of teachers who were requiring the students to photocopy lectures or print handouts for classroom discussions.

SG officers among the attendees of town hall meeting (R.Lumban).

“Dapat wala nang nagpapa-photocopy kasi may kopya na sa Canvas diba? Download it a week before your class or download it on your hard disk, “Br. Dante said.

Amisola also emphasized on the reason behind the withdrawal of projectors for classes’ respective classrooms, citing the importance of maximizing the use of the Learning Management System (LMS).

“Bakit kailangan niyo ng projector? Kaya nga may Canvas,” Amisola said.

Allotted activity periods

Perez also raised their concerns on the lack of a fixed schedule for the activity period. The SG president added that since the implementation of Canvas, students were informed that the allotted time for organizational activities should be at 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. during Wednesdays but was not abided by all the members of the faculty.

Br. Dante addressed the issue by reiterating that no formal classes should be held during Wednesdays as the the school has been following the principles of an Outcomes Based Education (OBE).

“It’s no longer the time that’s the key element about classes. What I’m saying is, there is nothing that your teacher can teach you, that you cannot learn online,” Amisola said.

According to the DLSL president, all teachers have been well-oriented of the school’s direction and as members of the institution, the faculty should support it.

“Otherwise, sanctions are to be given. We are [also] trying to convince your teachers that the way of teaching in the past years are now changing,” Br. Dante said.

Unmet Next-plus ID features

Christel Medrano, SG executive secretary, mentioned the students’ concerns for the Next+ Card service which had already been paid for by the students, but whose features such as V-money and use at the turnstiles, are not yet fully operational.

Similarly, she also put forward the possibility of granting a refund if the promise of the ID cannot be put into practice to compensate for what the students paid for.

SG Executive Secretary Christel Medrano forwarded their concerns on regarding the many fees paid for by the students (R.Lumban).

“All of these are general services. Hindi ito isa-isang binayaran ninyo.You are paying for a system,” Br. Dante said.

“When you’re paying for a system, it could take several years to do that [quick measures]. This is what you call the ‘commons’. Everybody owns it,” the DLSL president stated.

The president elaborated that there are things that the students need to pay for because it’s  common for everybody.

“It’s not the individual turnstile, it’s not the individual CCTV that they are paying for, it’s a system that we’re looking at,” Br. Dante stated.

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Regardless of the forwarded issues, Br. Dante urged the participants to become more open and supportive to the changes being implemented in school for the benefit of all the members of the Lasallian community.

“We have to balance the needs of one sector with the needs of the other. Don’t see yourselves as adversaries. We should be partners,” Amisola said.

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