Different sectors of the Silliman community have many things to say regarding the Administration’s proposal to cut back on expenses in terms of having Christmas parties. On one hand, we have a number of college councils, the SUSG and the SUFA who believe that not holding Christmas parties this year could help a lot in the disaster-relief efforts that the university is conducting. Money intended for catering and venue reservations could be given instead to victims who need material and psychosocial assistance.
On the other hand, we have students and some members of the faculty and staff who see the good in the efforts being done to the victims of the series of tragedies yet still hold firm in their belief of being given an option to hold parties in the spirit of Christmas. The more stringent procedure in acquiring funds for legitimate activities such as Christmas parties has dismayed those who wish to push through with their celebrations.
It is very understandable for a number of the university’s population to react this way. Perhaps, arrangements have been made which could prove to be troublesome if cancelled. The feeling of not being given an option to do as one wishes with one’s own money is akin to being cheated. To forcibly do an act of charity adds more to the disappointment to the one already existing.
It is true that getting funds from the Business and Finance can be a tedious process. It is also accurate to say that there are those of us would still wish to have Christmas parties. Nevertheless, the Weekly Sillimanian believes that the problem lies not in whether or not students have the choice to hold parties. Rather, it is on how information has been disseminated with regards to the options at hand.
The purpose of the memorandum is to encourage people to spend less so more can be given to calamity victims. It did not mandate anyone to cancel plans for Christmas celebrations. As good as the memo’s intentions are, information was not disseminated accurately and quickly. For this reason, there are those who have misconceptions of taking the request as a command. One might also think that the options are too limited: to hold a party or not?
College councils can still hold gatherings, provided that they observe prudence in spending funds. If students decide to still spend a regular budget for their parties, they should do so meaningfully by setting aside a fraction for donations or they themselves can initiate community outreach programs alongside their gatherings. We are free to choose whatever way we can celebrate Christmas, so long as we remain one in spirit when it comes to thinking about the welfare of our less-fortunate fellowmen.
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