by AUBREY SHANE LIM, PRINCE RONSON SABADO, and ZOE AIRABELLE AGUINALDO
A HYBRID mode was adopted for the celebration of AB Week because of restrictions on student activities that caused delays in its preparations, the Artlet Student Council (ABSC) president said.
“The Artlets Student Council has been preparing for the AB week since the start of the semester. However, OSA only allowed extracurricular activities to be onsite recently,” ABSC president Kim Czazzei Dacanay told The Flame.
According to Dacanay, the OSA released a memorandum on April 20 regarding guidelines for the gradual resumption of on-campus and off-campus activities.
In OSA’s memorandum on the gradual implementation of selected in-campus and off-campus activities, sports festivals and physical team-building activities were included in the list of events recently allowed to be held onsite with a maximum capacity of 30% for all University in-house venues.
“AB Week papers [have] been in the system a long time ago before (the memorandum),” Dacanay said.
The majority of the activities being conducted online left many Artlets dissatisfied with AB week, some AB society leaders told The Flame.
This year’s festivities kept to the Faculty’s tradition of showcasing talents of Artlets through an onsite concert titled “AB Zone: The Arcade of Music Concert.” However, Athena’s Cup, the annual Artlet sports festival, and inter-major quiz competition GlauCup are yet to return to their face-to-face setup.
Erika Yabut, president of UST Artlets Economics Society, said students found the organization of the event “inadequate” as they looked forward to participating in large-scale concerts, fairs, and sports tournaments onsite.
“Expectations for the AB Week were high due to the standards set by other colleges, adding to the fact that AB had more time to prepare than other colleges,” Yabut said.
This was echoed by UST MaKatha Circle’s acting president Franz De Mesa, saying the event could have been held in a “better time frame” as it fell on the preliminary exams of some students and the thesis defense of seniors.
UST Legal Management president Bianca Susi said that some Artlets also expressed disappointment about AB week, saying that the event could have had “more potential” if it were done purely onsite.
“I feel dissatisfied because students would have much more enjoyed and ‘felt’ the event if there had been more physical interactions,” she said.
The AB society leaders still expressed their understanding as certain restrictions may have limited the organizers in planning the event, Susi added.
“In the same way, I am glad that little by little, such Artlet events and traditions are being revived on campus,” she said.
In the AB zone
Still, some students were thrilled to have attended the onsite concert, which staged performers from each AB program society, as well as Tunog Tomasino 2022 winner Sean Archer, and Filipino artist Syd Hartha.
The three-hour concert was held at the UST P. Noval Court as a culminating activity for AB week. Its organization was done in coordination with the AB administration, according to the ABSC president.
UST English Language Studies Society president Brittany Kirsch said this lifted students’ hope of experiencing the “in-person spirit” of AB week.
Certain Artlets lauded the concert held at the end of the week-long festivities like Behavioral Science junior Vanessa Yap who shared how she enjoyed her first on-site AB week event.
“It was fun to see the performances prepared by the different (AB) societies,” Yap said.
These sentiments were echoed by journalism junior Jose Gabriel Ignacio who enjoyed watching every performance in the concert. Ignacio, however, expressed his wish for the event to be live-streamed.
“I’m sure there were many other students who wanted to watch the event but were not on campus,” he said.
AB Zone concert project heads Lyle Joseph Paraboles and Julienne Rafaela Endaya noted that the event did experience lapses in terms of promotion.
“I feel like we could have done better in crowdsourcing and in promoting the AB Week,” Endaya said.
Paraboles added that the University’s ongoing transition back to a face-to-face set-up served as a challenge in organizing the event.
“This event (served as) a challenge for the council, (for us to find out) how we will be able to serve and be engaged with the community with the ongoing transitions,” he said.
“At the end of the day, (the event) is something dedicated to the Artlet community and not just for ABSC per se,” he added, saying that he is “really proud of how the event went.”
The celebration began on Monday, April 2, with a faculty-wide mass presided by AB regent Rev. Fr. George Phe Mang, O.P. .F – with reports from Pauline Nicole Bautista