Advanced enlistment slots have been one of the University’s ways to reward students for their academic excellence and involvement in extracurricular activities. Such benefits are distributed based on recommendations of various offices such as the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Sports Development (OSD), and the Office of Career Counseling and Services (OCCS).
The Office of the Registrar (OUR) allocates a limited number of those slots to certain student organizations, but it has been common practice for executive boards to offer more slots than that limit. It was only in Term 1 AY 2022-2023 that OUR started enforcing the slot count strictly, much to the dismay of organizations who were once able to have many of their members enlisting as early as Dean’s Listers.
Amid what seemed to many as a cut, Dean of Student Affairs (DSA) Dr. Christine Ballada clarified that there was actually no decrease in enlistment slots—just stricter enforcement of already existing policies. The OUR justifies their recent stringency due to the influx of students qualifying as Dean’s Listers these past few terms, increasing the number of privileged enrollees.
Given the tightened implementation, Student Affairs and Lasallian Mission units would now have to strictly fill only 350 slots each, according to Ballada. She notes that other offices such as the OCCS are allocated a different number of enlistment slots, which she did not specify.
“In the past, we went beyond our 350 slots allocation, but the OUR did not call our attention. However, the OUR [recently] noticed that we were already going beyond the 350 slots and they strictly enforced the limit this term,” Ballada shares.
Student Media Council Director Franz Santos expresses disappointment over the matter. “We are frustrated that the Provost didn’t approve (of increasing the allocated slots) even if we pushed for an appeal a lot of times.”
Having regular training schedules, advanced enlistment is crucial for student athletes like Animo Squad member Risha Bongabong (II, BS BIO-MED) who is among those who lost their advanced enlistment slot. “Kailangan ko mag-adjust ng schedule at bigyan ng priority ‘yung ibang subjects para mag-fit,” she laments.
(I need to adjust my schedule and give priority to different subjects just so there is no conflict.)
Ballada, the University Student Government (USG), and Office of Sports Development Director Emmanuel Calanog had lobbied for increasing the current number of advanced enlistment slots for both sports teams and organizations over the years with a common argument: the increase in student population.
However, Provost Dr. Robert Roleda found “no merit” in their proposals, noting that the increase would be unfair to students who have no access to the privilege.
“Regular students will be disadvantaged if more priority enrollment slots are given to a select group,” he justifies.
Adjusting to changes
Various organizations had to rethink their selection processes to accommodate the limited enlistment slots.
Animo Squad Captain Lance Lacsamana (III, AB-SPM) shares that they used to look for qualities such as “dedication,” “leadership skills,” and “active involvement,” but have now decided to narrow these qualifications. Lacsamana expounds, “Ngayong limitado na ‘yung slots, mas bibigyan namin ng priority ‘yung mga consistent sa kanilang commitment at malaki ang naitulong sa team.”
(Now that the slots are limited, we have to give priority to those with consistent commitment and significant contribution to the team.)
With her term coming to an end, USG President Alex Brotonel notes that increasing the number of advanced enlistment slots will now be at the hands of the next set of USG officers. Nonetheless, she assures that her team would continue communicating with the OUR and the Provost. They are also open to collaborate with the incoming USG administration for the next enlistment season.
“The [next] enlistment would [either] be a joint responsibility with or sole responsibility of the incoming electeds,” Brotonel says. “Rest assured that we would still communicate with OUR and the Provost on how we can attain 500 slots for student organizations for enlistment.”