Lasallian community weighs in on proposal to move U Break in townhall meeting

A townhall meeting was held yesterday at The Verdure on the fourth floor of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall to discuss the proposal to move the University break from Fridays to Mondays. According to Vice Chancellor for Academics Dr. Robert Roleda, the proposal seeks to curb “excessive drinking” on Thursday evenings,  commonly known as “Happy Thursday.”
Different sectors of the University were present at the event to discuss their opinions and possible alternatives on the matter. The Academics Council sought to take into account the sentiments of the Lasallian community on the proposal before deliberating on the final decision.
A resounding no
“Personally, I would prefer Monday [to be] free. But I don’t think [this proposal] will solve the problem we are addressing because the students can always drink on a Happy Friday,” a member of the academic community expressed, earning cheers from the audience.
On the other hand, one student expressed approval of the proposal, saying that “there is a Monday rush and Friday rush.“ He mentioned that it is more important to go to school on a Monday than to go home on a Friday.
On a different note, students also commented that activities concerning their respective organizations are usually scheduled during Fridays and Saturdays.
Moreover, students commented that moving the U Break from Fridays to Mondays will be an inconvenience especially for those who go home to their respective provinces over the weekend. They explained that going home on Thursdays after class is more convenient for them because there is less traffic, compared to going home on Fridays when there is heavy traffic.
Meanwhile, University Student Government (USG) President Pram Menghrajani mentioned that an informal poll conducted by batch officers showed that all batches across all colleges were against the proposal. She went on to question as to why bars are located near the University when there are laws prohibiting them from being situated near campus. She then urged the administration along with fellow student leaders to “pressure the newly elected officials of Manila to implement these laws.”
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Menghrajani also recommended that the problem of excessive drinking be addressed through responsible drinking education, a suggestion that was also proposed by different members of the audience.
The issue of students from other colleges and universities going to Taft to drink was also brought up. Faculty members and students alike expressed that even if these students make the effort to venture to Taft just to engage in the Happy Thursday culture even if they have classes the next day, they will be more enticed to participate in it if the U Break will be moved to Friday, since it is also the end of the school week for them.
University Chancellor Dr. Gerardo Janairo also added to the discussion, stating that he receives at least one call a month from the police informing him of students’ misconduct. He hopes that incidents of drunk students lying down on pavements will be addressed through the proposal.
Additionally, a student also emphasized that even if students will not drink in bars around Taft Avenue, they will always find places in which to drink, and some of these places might be near other universities. She also said that the issue “deserves more scrutiny and consultations.”
Decision to follow 
The Academics Council will take into account all of the opinions and suggestions offered during the meeting as they make their decision regarding the matter.

By Jill Chua

By Paulyn Navarrete

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