Drastic changes in the university like the “Five-Day Week Scheme” and the enrollment undertaking have been misunderstood since the beginning of this semester. Many students see both as hindrances to the excellent quality Christian education they wish to attain in Silliman; some, because of the shock delivered by their implementation, still cannot fully grasp their individual objectives while others simply remain doubtful of the purposes of the abrupt changes. The Weekly Sillimanian commends the Silliman University Administration for acting nobly in conducting a general assembly with university student leaders in order to address questions regarding the changes within the university and issues concerning students’ welfare. Various concerns ranging from the proper budgeting of expenses for the upcoming Founders Day, elaboration of student rights with regards to teachers’ performance and the clarification of the university’s policies were just some of the topics discussed during the meeting. In addition, student representatives were also tasked to listen to the administration’s aspirations for this school year. Discussions like this enable different university sectors to express their concerns regarding matters that directly affect them. However, the Weekly Sillimanian believes that the administration has committed a procedural lapse in implementing the changes within the university.
Although it is true that the SU Administration is not obliged to ask a consensus from parents and students about the implementation of the new school day system and of the undertaking, the university’s constituents deserve to receive prior information about the changes for them to sufficiently prepare for it. This is crucial especially when changes involve important documents for enrollment and those that would affect the academic performance of students. Consultations are also important as they aid in formulating policies that would not leave any party shortchanged. For future project and major overhauls in the university, the Weekly Sillimanian sees it fitting for the SU Administration to have a dialogue with parents, students and faculty and staff before any move for implementation. Though not written under law, this should be done in the spirit of democracy and in accordance to Christian values that this university upholds. Moreover, open communication dispels confusion and anxiety on the part of parents and students and relieves the administration of the burden of having to answer every complaint and inquiry thrown by people who were not properly informed in the first place. The SU Administration can exhaust different methods such as online polls or meet with representatives and experts to scrutinize the feasibility of policies. This way, gauging the reaction of the affected population is more convenient and more efficient. The need for open dialogues between the administration and the university’s constituents can never be stressed enough. We must first resolve the haywire communication system that we’ve been having for us to truly find effective solutions to the problems we currently have.