The role of campus publications go beyond the mere reporting of school events or partaking in writing contests. It is an age-long responsibility of upholding the rights of the students and the marginalized sectors. It is uniting the concerns of the student body when their voices are scattered and standing up for the truth with no compromises. The history of The Angelite, the official student publication of Holy Angel University, is tainted with militancy, firmness, and service to the people. This remains true up until this very moment.
We have witnessed the unfiltered grievances of the Angelite community, behind every humorous comment or shared post is the reality that the online mode of learning is imperfect and requires improvement. Many of us have experienced these sentiments first-hand. We are not tone-deaf, unlike others, we heard the clamours and remarks that surrounded this issue. The only way to address these issues in a larger scale is to let the voice of the students be heard in a systematical and fact-based approached.
In line with our mandate, The Angelite proposed a crowdsourcing project through the HAU Speak Now alliance, established by our alumni and former student leaders, as a way to gather information from the student body with regards to their criticisms about the current online learning system. It is a thoroughgoing survey that is meant to tackle different issues that students may encounter which also include recommendations to further improve the learning experience. These collected data are not merely premature, the earlier we detect the issues, the smoother the future online interactions will be. This project does not aim to inflict opposition or antagonism against the university or any formation. In fact, it is the contrary, the goal of this initiative is for the university administration to know the criticisms of the Angelite community, thus, providing space for reforms. We must always struggle to unite.
The pandemic is straining in all aspects. Student leaders can spark change within the campus, not for self-interests but rather to help enhance the academic conditions of every student in the university who are striving hard day-in and day-out. We know that the elected student leaders are compassionate, critical, and are one with the calls of the student body, they have proved it once and we believe they can stand up for students’ rights again.
This all goes back to the question, what is the role of the student publication? It is not publishing news about the greatness of the university, it is exposing the existing shortcomings and putting into light the stories of the people who are in the dark. It is our role to heighten discourse and change the public opinion geared towards the interests of the masses. We do not want the university administration to fail, every critical release is the demand to do better. The Angelite will stand firm in asserting our right as part of the free press and the continuous release of critical reportage. It is not only our responsibility but also the right of every student to know the truth.
If no one will report about these issues, who will?