By Prince Leander Palalon | January 26, 2021
Silliman University (SU) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the establishment of a new academic building for the Senior High School Department last January 14. The new building has created a buzz on social media from other colleges who ‘wished’ to also have the same project.
The proposed building’s location is beside the Dr. Romeo P. Ariniego Art Gallery and the SU administration expects construction to begin within the first quarter of this year. The building is expected to contain 24 classrooms, with each room capable of accommodating 40 students each.
The building, designed by architects from Silliman University’s own Architecture Department, is expected to attain completion by August 2022.
According to SU’s Vice President for Development, Jane Annette L. Belarmino, the university hopes to hold face-to-face meetings and classes by this time.
SU President, Dr. Betty Cernol McCann, stated that the purpose of this building is to give the faculty and students of the Senior High School Department a sense of place and “home.”
SU’s Senior High School (SHS) program took flight in June 2016 and since then, no new classrooms and facilities have sprung up to support the growing number of SHS students flowing into the university.
According to Belarmino, as the department did not have a building, the SHS faculty and student body have been “scattered” throughout the university in extra classrooms and facilities that were not occupied by college students.
Associate dean of the College of Education, Dr. Gina F. Bonior, said that the lack of a central building for the SHS department has presented many difficulties for the teaching force of SHS because these teachers had to travel from different buildings scattered throughout the expanse of the university.
tWS contacted the SHS office to acquire information about the building and its recent establishment, yet to no avail.
For SHS students, the new building’s establishment leads to a more comfortable and efficient learning system. According to STEAM Mayor Germuell Pateño, the feeling of happiness and excitement are surely present, and knowing that a new SHS building exists is somewhat “relieving” for the students since they will have “a place to gather and learn.”
“I believe that it is because SHS is the biggest department in Silliman University, with almost 2,000 students each year. I hope that there are other reasons that justify prioritizing the SHS department for the building when other colleges need it too. I hope that this building enhances and improves the learning environment and learning experience of SHS students. There are many things that need to be improved for the SHS department, in my opinion, the building isn’t really a priority.” said Luis Reyes, the treasurer of the SHS student council.
The Institute of Clinical Laboratory Sciences (ICLS), for its entire 50 years of existence, has provided Silliman University with a constant high passing rate with several topnotchers in the past medical technology licensure exams. The ICLS currently uses the Angelo King Building as the main area wherein ICLS students hold their classes and use laboratories for their studies.
tWS reached out to the dean of the ICLS, yet received no response.
“I am happy and excited for my former home of the SHS department yet also sad and down because the ICLS, my new home, is still lacking the proper infrastructure,” Medtech Society Governor Jansen Coronado said.
The ICLS student body presented reactions such as the famed “Sana all” on Twitter in response to the SHS building’s establishment. Coronado emphasized that all reactions of his constituents are “real and valid” and that ICLS, even before it turned its 50th year, heard news about a supposed new building for them. Yet until now, we see no infrastructure improvement within SU’s medical technology program.
“The reactions of medtech students are somehow a protest to the SU administration to actually do something and provide the 50-year-old center of excellence and development, the infrastructure and the facilities it deserves,” Coronado stated.
(With reports from Silliman University website)