Early closing of UST gates during Paskuhan draws flak

Thomasians begin to enter the UST campus and claim their wristbands for the Paskuhan grand concert on Thursday, Dec. 21. Photo by Franz Martin Dizon/ THE FLAME

UST SECURITY officials decided to close the University’s gates at 7 p.m. during the Paskuhan concert on Thursday, Dec. 21, drawing flak from students and alumni who sought to attend this year’s festivities.

In a Facebook post, the UST Central Student Council (CSC) relayed the closing of the gates, a move that was supposed to ensure “the safety of the Paskuhan attendees inside the campus.”

However, the announcement came too late as it was posted at 7:45 p.m., 45 minutes after the cut off.

“Although we coordinated and confirmed this with the right offices, the Central Student Council only amplifies the decisions made from the administration,” the CSC said in its post.

“Concerns regarding entry are received and coordinated to the right offices and we are currently on standby for further instructions,” it added.

The security protocols posted before the concert mentioned the entry and exit points, the need to present official UST IDs at the gates, the prohibited items and the wearing of the wristband. However, there was no prior announcement about the closing of the gates.

Thomasians who were denied access to the campus criticized the gate closure, saying it was not coordinated properly.

Kim Dacanay, former president of the Arts and Letters Student Council, questioned why the gate closure was not included in the official guidelines.

Other Thomasians complained that they were not informed of the closure beforehand.

“If people only knew ahead of time, there would have been no queues and there would have been no complaints. All of the people (at) the gate were clueless about the cut off,” Facebook user Andres Joaquin said.

“The cut off was 7 p.m. but the announcement came at 7:45 p.m. Slay. You did great,” a certain Heather Camposano said.

A certain Madella Zamora said there was no point going to the campus if she would just watch the event via livestream.

Assoc. Prof. Juliano Parena, Jr., director of UST Campus Safety and Security, defended the decision, saying it was done to keep the Paskuhan attendees safe.

“For safety and security reasons of the venue, we have the prerogative to actually decide when to close the gates,” Parena told The Flame.

As of 7:43 p.m., the number of attendees in this year’s Paskuhan concert is 39,638, lower than last year’s 51,845. F

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