Many say that Lasallians are “proud”. And although being “proud” often comes across as something negative, most of the time, there is nothing wrong with being proud. For instance, De La Salle University takes pride in creating achievers for God and country, and producing the best and the brightest students who honor the Lasallian core values.
Thankfully, though, the University does not pride itself on being efficiently run or highly informative.
Let me recount my first memorable experience in DLSU. I received my college acceptance letter, which came with a couple of other papers that should guide me in enrolling into this prestigious University. As I read the papers, I remember thinking how precious they were, and how they would help me become a fully enrolled freshman student.
I was surprised to find out during enrollment that I was not allowed to enrol since apparently, I was an “international student”, and all international students were required to pass xerox copies of their passports for enrollment. Since I had lived and studied in the Philippines all of my life, I hardly considered myself as an “international student,” though I was born abroad.
I thought to myself that DLSU was telling me that I was one; I had no choice, but to head back home and enroll at DLSU another day. It was because of my ignorance. And while most people say that ignorance is bliss, they will not not tell you that once you stay ignorant, things tend to be less than blissful, especially for certain Lasallian students.
Those who have been forced to shift courses, since they did not know that they had to apply for their majors program already; those who have garnered minor offenses for eating in the conservatory, when they were not aware that it is against school policy; and those who have wasted valuable hours sitting in line at the Registrar’s office, since they did not know that buying a parking ticket would take so long; have all fallen victim to their own ignorance in a less than appealing way. And of course, when these unfortunate things happen, the students are the ones to blame; not the University.
But are the students really to blame when at times, the University is just as ignorant as we are? Students may not know the proper procedures in applying for a leave of absence, or the use of a laptop pass, but the University does not have/ know an effective means to tell the students what needs to be done.
Instead, the University takes an easier alternative method by flooding MyLaSalle email accounts with messages from the help desk, and publishing a lengthy handbook with the expectation that every Lasallian will read and abide by it faithfully for the rest of his or her stay in La Salle.
Though students have faults, the University should not be stingy in giving information to the students. After all, it is willing to charge a student 75 pesos to have an EAF reprinted, while it spends millions on large celebrations and new fingerprint scanners – most of which students are unaware of. If La Salle believes that it already has good teachers, good policies and good facilities, it should focus on creating good systems, to create informed and educated students. After all, the University was created to educate.
The real issue here is not the lack of information presented, nor its poor dissemination. It is the lack of curiosity and self-inflicted ignorance that is plaguing the University. What is bothersome about the whole situation is that Lasallians themselves seem to have lost the University’s real pride – the pursuit of knowledge.
For the world outside La Salle will not share knowledge; everyone is expected to abide by the rules and regulations of society. The University should do its part in releasing information, but sparking curiosity among the students as well. At the same time, students should do their part in questioning, wondering and analyzing anything they can, because it would be a shame for Lasallians to be guilty of ignorance once they graduate, and DLSU should not take pride in that.