Oldest university in Asia, University of Santo Tomas (UST), found itself in yet another online backlash after netizens rallied against the university after allegedly forcing its students to sign an enrollment conforme that bans acts reflecting “unchristian behavior”.
These acts include “anti-UST online sentiments”, “joining rallies/assemblies”, “acts of indecency in electronic media”, and “engaging in premarital sex or LGBT relationships”, according to tweet shared by Twitter user @AngryFerds.
UST is now forcing its students to sign a conforme that bans, among others:
* Anti-UST online sentiments
* Joining rallies/assemblies
* "Acts of indecency in electronic media" (vague)
* Engaging in premarital sex or LGBT relationships
— FJ (@AngryFerds) July 16, 2018
Among the listed offenses in the Policy Guidelines and Conditions section of the said conforme are the following:
“1.1 x. Cohabiting without the benefit of marriage, or engaging in relationship contrary to the principles adhered to by the University and the teachings of the Catholic Church; Participating in or joining indecent shows, film, contests, appearing nude in any publication and the like;”
“1.2 f. Organizing and/or joining boycotts, assemblies, parades or marches, or other gatherings that tend to create unnecessary noise and/or disturbance;”
“1.2 r. Committing acts of indecency in the use of electronic media (e.g. facebook, tweeter [sic], instragram [sic], blogs, etc.) which may include the use of indecent words, uploading of indecent picture(s) or image(s), or those reflecting unchristian behavior of himself or of any other person(s); preparing, publishing, bringing into the University premises letters, pictures, books, magazines, engravings, sculptures and other similar materials;”
The above-mentioned are said to be “punishable by suspension, non-readmission or exclusion depending of the gravity and number of offense/s”.
People online expressed their dismay towards the said university policy and guidelines and how UST handled recent issues including the case of its student, Kyle Viray, who was only asked to render community service after his ex-girlfriends spoke about his abusive behavior.
Shame on the UST admin for protecting Kyle Viray. A few apologies and community service just won't cut it. Kick him out. Don't let him graduate. So much for being a Catholic school. Nakakaawa mga estudyante niyo.
— Isko (@iskolarspeaks) July 15, 2018
Kyle Viray, abuses women – must render community service
SHS students, voice out opinion on K-12 – subjected to suspension, barred from enrolling, faces continuous harassment from admin
Wow, so this is how injUSTice system works
— Angelica Reyes (@anjkabataan) July 16, 2018
I mean I'm not from UST but
Kyle Viray's punishment was the same as my punishment when I forgot to bring my ID to school
wtf is that yo
— John Montecillo (@TroJohnHorse) July 15, 2018
Doesn’t the UST admin realize that giving Kyle Viray a mere “community service” sanction sends a message to all other abusers out there that they can get away with their disgusting actions?
Our faith teaches mercy, but it also teaches JUSTICE.
Expel the guy. He deserves it.
— paco s. (@fmrsantiago) July 15, 2018
GO USTE!!!! kyle viray can choke pic.twitter.com/UvdmwjcxHh
— 🌈 mehehe 🌈 (@gaychup) July 15, 2018
Some are saying that the university proves itself to be a “backwards institution” and behaves like the “dark side of Catholic Church”. The irony here, is that UST bans acts and behaviors “contrary to the principles adhered to by the University and the teachings of the Catholic Church,” yet condone domestic abuse and treat it as something only punishable by community service.
UST proves itself to be a backwards institution that is grounded on ideals that protects monsters and punishes the brave and the oppressed.
you allow yourselves to let Kyle Viray off with something akin to a slap on the wrist, and gravely sanction the victim’s protectors?
— Cai (@thecolor_teal) July 15, 2018
Friendly reminder to always take care of yourself like UST takes care of abusers 😍
— Parvati 🍒 (@teztikelz) July 16, 2018
Why does homosexuality offend Catholics more than domestic abuse, sexual harassment, and rape does?
Why do the religious keep calling for an abuser’s protection and care for their ‘mental health’ when they couldn’t spare a thought for the victim?
‘Christian Values’ my ass.
— Jason del Rosario | #OustDuterte (@fauxillustrado) July 15, 2018
UST is behaving exactly like the dark side of the Catholic Church – afraid of words from critics, silent on sexual abuses within their ranks. A modern day Inquisition.
— Miguel Lizada (@mlizada) July 16, 2018
Catholic has been bastardized for too long when it should mean being universal. How can an institution be truly Catholic when it excludes oppressed minorities from its fight? Tanungin mo mga sumasama sa rally for workers and IPs na pinaparusahan ng UST for taking a stand https://t.co/g4MyP8ixWc
— H (@hjoldr) July 17, 2018
Students and alumna from other schools showed their support for UST students and called out the university for how it is treating its students.
“Ano ba pakialam mo di ka naman taga-UST?”
Most students from UST fear to go against the institution due to the possibility of being punished/expelled. Yes, I’m not from that school but I’m human enough to call them out for how they’re treating the students who have trusted them
— little bean head 3️⃣ (@titscentury) July 16, 2018
I'm sure UST prides itself for housing people like J. Rizal, A. Mabini, A. Luna, C.M. Recto, F.M. Guerrero, P. Abad Santos, and many more. They became great Filipinos in the repressive conditions of their time, and I hope today's UST students never lose that spirit of resistance.
— Diego Magallona (@diegomags) July 16, 2018
UST bakit niyo ineexpect manahimik mga estudyante niyo when you have consistently fallen short in times like this during cases of violence vs your students? And more importantly during a time LIKE THIS na umaawas na sa katarantaduhan ang gobyerno??
— H (@hjoldr) July 17, 2018
Meanwhile, others who once dreamed of going to UST expressed how they are glad they “dodged a bullet”.
i’ve always wanted to study in ust for college but after seeing how they treat their students i think i’ll just move along to another university lmao
— railli (@666KNlVES) July 16, 2018
UST sounds like hell jesus fuckin christ
and to think i almost went there????? dodged a bullet whew
— miss vanjie (@liahsux) July 16, 2018
The celestial bodies show that if you're an Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, or Pisces, you should not enroll at UST
— Parvati 🍒 (@teztikelz) July 16, 2018
UST has yet to release a comment or an official statement regarding the issue.
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