According to SU Administration, the imposition of fines in the form of surcharges acts as a “deterrent” so students and their parents
will be urged to pay their financial obligations on time but the fines will not be “too big an amount that it would be burdensome to the
side on the parents…”
The Weekly Sillimanian believes that this thinking lacks hindsight and is inconsiderate of the current reality that most of its students
are facing today. A substantial fraction of SU students is working as student assistants while others are able to study in SU through
financial support from their parents and relatives. Although the surcharge may come in a relatively small amount, it spells “additional
expenditure” nonetheless. Money used for paying fines could be used for other important things. Many students also reason that they
would surely pay on time if only they had the money. Unfortunately, money is truly hard to come by these days.
With this current set-up, we could not help but wonder if the Administration is simply losing faith in the ability of its constituents to pay on time or if it is plainly maximizing the use of this income generating scheme. Besides, if they need funds for the operation of the school, aren’t they covered under the tuition fees that we periodically pay? Aren’t they enough? Then again, if students don’t pay their tuition fees on time, Silliman can’t function well. But with the old payment system, the university managed to operate despite many students not being able to pay on time. Why can’t we do the same now?
Another loophole that the Weekly Sillimanian sees is the charging of fines to students who pay their fees on time. Is this simply a glitch
in the system? Is this done deliberately? With the number of complaints that the Weekly Sillimanian has been receiving, the right thing to do would be to reconsider the implementation of the surcharge. It has obviously caused more harm than good in the students’ academic stay in SU.
The SU Administration should change the current system and cancel the charging of fines to quell the annoyance and disappointment of its constituents. If the Administration could not fully do away with imposing fines, it should at least consider collecting once for the entire semester, the amount of the fine for one late payment. This is more reasonable compared to collecting fines every single payment period which triples or quadruples the amount to be paid. Most importantly, in making drastic decisions on the financial and academic welfare of its students, it should be sympathetic to the circumstance of each person and be open to dialogue with parties.
Tuesday, September 26, 2023