Student Affairs seeks stricter enforcement of RTR promotion

The Student Affairs office may be planning stricter measures to regulate the room-to-room (RTR) advertising of student organizations, especially those that were not officially authorized or approved. The discussion in the Student Leadership, Innovation, Formation and Empowerment (S-LIFE) office has even reached the level of students and administration proposing a banning of unauthorized RTRs to minimize the disturbance that such promotions cause for classes and professors.

While there is no explicit regulation surrounding room-to-room advertising and promotion, some student organizations do their RTR in the classes of professors whom students on the promo team know, regardless of whether or not the RTR was approved. This unsolicited promotion sometimes causes a distraction for professors.

This resolve to better moderate RTR advertising comes in light of some student organizations who do RTR in classes without administrative approval or prior administrative consent. Dean of Student Affairs Fritzie Ian de Vera shares that the RTR policy “is not covered for HTG [Harlequin Theatre Guild] or CAO [Cultural Arts Office] student organizations.”

“It is not really ‘official’, we do not really allow on those; it is just that some of the students, since they know some professors that they ask for permission. It is a prerogative they have. But is not sanctioned. We just say we do not endorse [unauthorized RTR promotion].”

CSO Vice Chair Externals Miggy Gamboa shares that the discussion of student groups with S-LIFE is on the basis of enforcing the RTR schedule that student organizations should abide by. “We’ll be putting the proposed rules that would better regulate and monitor the org activities [on the last week of January].”

RTR campaigning is a standard for election-related activities, despite widespread feedback from professors about how the campaigning disturbs the lessons. Political parties retain the exclusive explicit rights to campaign during election season, typically during July or August for the freshman elections, and March for the general elections.

De Vera continues, “We only allow RTR for election-related activities. ‘Yun ang pinakaopisyal. Professors are reminded that if there are students that would come in, they should accommodate the students, only for election-related activities. But there are students, kasi, it is their strategy to approach the professors they know and ask for permission. Though it is still up to the professor, those RTRs are not really endorsed by our office.”

Given the distractions that RTR publicity has for classroom learning, should potentially disruptive election campaigning be banned? Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista President Jerick Maala declares, “For political parties, di pwede, lalo na ‘pag campaign, kasi iprepresent mo yung idea mo sa University, technically may other means naman, but [the administration has to] give us another avenue.”

Maala argues that it is necessary for political parties to orally present and deliver their ideas before the student body, and professors should at least respect this. “Kailangan mabigyan kami ng opportunity to present an idea. Malaking kawalan ang pagtanggal sa RTR campaign [We have to be provided an opportunity to present an idea. It would be a huge waste not to have RTR campaigning].”

Maala agrees when asked whether the enforcement of RTR policies on other student organizations under S-LIFE should be tightened. “Yung RTR sa orgs, ifollow mo talaga yung system na magpapaalam sa professors beforehand. Alam naman ng professors dapat beforehand [The RTR for organizations must be complicit to the system in that professors are informed beforehand].”

Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon President Rachel Lucero agrees, saying, “It will be difficult kasi it’s our way of presenting our platform to a bigger audience. RTRs provide a good interaction between the candidates and the students because they will have the opportunity to have an exchange of ideas during [Question & Answer portions] and when presenting the platform.

“It’s already difficult as it is to be able to reach out to all Lasallian students – want everyone to have a knowledge of who they’re voting, their platforms, and why they should. It would be a good compromise siguro to limit RTR time or to make sure to ask professors respectfully.”

A bulletin on the University Helpdesk usually requests permissions from all professors to allow political candidates to present their platforms for around five minutes of the class time during campaign periods during the first and third terms, so that students will know the platform of the freshmen candidates vying for the various positions in the University Student Government.

De Vera assures that there will be no increased sanctions, but hopes that discussing the issue and possible solutions would help remind organizations about being more considerate before barging in classes. “No sanctions but simple reminder, because some of the faculty are complaining that it is distracting the class.”

By Juan Batalla

By Kim Ho Jae

Leave a Reply