The Accounts

The Official Student Publication of University of the Philippines- College of Management, Iloilo City

When a Scholar Claims

by Jan Michael Saniel

I was checking the publication’s email address to look for articles submitted by my staffers only to find the flooding mails from online pharmacy, video professor, find-a-mate and other sites. And I wondered why showing that evil grin with a question “What did my predecessors do when we still have online connection in the office?” Aha, I just knew what they did the last time they use the publication equipment — or the pub’s account at least.

The reason why I was busy checking the online status of our publication is that we are launching The Accounts Online through the web, as a project for UP System’s centennial celebration. This is the alternative way, as the editorial staff agreed, to reach the College of Management students and the community if hard copies of the issues are not enough (as what always happen). This is also another way of keeping up with the trends of online surfing, though our publication has launched it a way later than when other organizations went online. If you ask me why, we might have hours of discussions to talk about. Better see me at our publication office, Second Level, College of Management Building.

What are the advantages of The Account’s online version anyway? Well, one is to give justice to those writers who at times are inspired of writing but are not given popularity (or other benefits) because we have not issued a tabloid or a magazine in due time. Another reason is to make The Accounts responsive to the issues that are affecting us, like bureaucracy not just in the University itself, but also in the government. What I mean of bureaucracy according to my own definition is the time it takes our letters of request to pass through channels from the college to the top level officials. When the approved letter is sent back, we are once again cramming in front of our textbooks for the exam. When we are free again, the response will also come later than what we have expected. It is just like a chasing game, a problem of timing and response rate. So instead of waiting for the certificate of press work commencement to be sent to us, we could post our articles in our site just in time to harvest the rewards of relevance and timeliness — and also to avoid the unnecessary talks against us.

I think by now you are questioning the credibility of the posts in the site. We guarantee that before articles are posted, they have been edited and approved by the staff and adviser. So we solicit your ideas, opinions, or any say on any issue we will be steering. This is not a publication of the few, but a publication for all.

We sincerely want you to reinvest your trust and support to the publication, setting aside the fact that it has been inactive for the past few months. We want our presence, as an important organization, to be recognized or be felt at least. Though we do not major in literature, journalism, or mass communications, The Accounts strongly believes that beyond our being business students, there is a creative, imaginative, and a strong voice inside us awaiting emancipation and expression. These are the versions of ourselves that are sometimes ignored because of the training we get before diving into the business world. We have these draining accounting works, marketing research, management feasibility papers and lots of case studies. Well, what distinguishes the people’s scholars from other students is that after all of these things, we still manage to excel in other areas of our life, like community involvement, fashion, and even in spirituality. Ooops, did I get spirituality right?

Some say that what separates private schools and other universities that try to compete with the University of the Philippines is that they have catechism classes, retreats, and religious guidance and other sorts of that thing. Well, as a response, please give me a chance to boast once again even just for this year of our centennial celebration. (Okay, I’m prepared.) Iskolars ng Bayan don’t need that thorough guidance because we don’t rest our salvation to the works of the teachers, the priests and their sisters, or to anyone else. We labor that hard for ourselves, because even a pastor’s kid cannot go to heaven resting to the fact that his father is a pastor. It is strictly personal, it’s not transmissible or cannot be delegated from anyone and I know we can handle that, or be liable personally without dragging others into our own hell.

Another stone that they throw us is that we are liberated and we lack control. But the fact is, they have just a limited field of vision. They have more of those kinds of person in their schools than we have here. In fact, most of the students are keeping up with a low profile for now in preparation for a prosperous future. Some may have no pair of shoes to wear while trudging the UP campus, some may have no allowance for a day, or some are answering a four-hour exam hungry aside from being sleepy. These are the truth our visitors can visibly see if they visit us. We have no masks to cover our faces; we don’t have to beautify our gardens and school grounds for an upcoming evaluation, or other things that are not uncommon with other schools. Admitting some of those accusations, the best defense we could throw back is that we are still different, because if some of us are really lacking control or are in fact liberated, we are still brainy aside from being promiscuous. And we have nothing to lose after all.

As a matter of fact, we are not completely lacking guidance. Our professors are injecting in our minds the importance or critical thinking and strong stand on an issue so that when outsiders ask us of something, we have something to say about. It’s a misnomer for an Iskolar ng Bayan to let go of any topic without a comment at all, unless it does not obviously deserve one. One concrete example is the political strings of thought told by Prof. Cainglet. Another is the enlightening stories of former college dean and Judge Amolar. These are but few of the instances where we are implicitly guided by our brilliant professors through the inserts they do in the middle of our classes that, in turn, develop our rational thinking.

So before I get lost in these discussions, I want to reroute back my thoughts to your investment — to the publication, to the college, and to the university as a whole. Remember always that a stone an outsider throws us hurts the rest of the Iskolars ng Bayan as well. Thanks to Prof. Torre for her insights while we have an auditing class. She said, “little knowledge is sometimes dangerous. It’s better that they have known nothing at all.” This is in relation to the accounting students who will practice auditing services this summer. (I impart you, in behalf of the publication, our firm desires that you do great there.) This is also in a more plausible relation to the fact that we must think on the margin — knowledge we acquired is not always nourishing our heads. So it is a choice of getting full information, or nothing at all, no other things in between.

Let’s just don’t give outsiders the reason to throw us another stone. Though we might have big heads this year, at least they don’t contain water.

Happy Centennial Celebration to all of us.


Filed under: Columns, Essay, , , ,

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August 2008
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