TomWeb photo of CICS students entering 7-Eleven taken down after drawing ‘concerns’ from UST officials


Art by Janssen Judd Romero/THE FLAME

CAMPUS MEDIA entity Tomasinoweb took down a photo of students from the College of Information and Computing Sciences (CICS) wearing their type B uniform in front of convenience store 7-Eleven after drawing negative reactions from some UST officials.

Last Thursday, Feb. 15, TomasinoWeb published a photo album of Thomasians wearing their type B uniforms around UST, including one with CICS students entering the 7-Eleven branch at the Quadricentennial Pavilion.

The photo gained thousands of reactions on Facebook.

Some people claimed the type B uniform of CICS, a red collared shirt with the college’s patch for the front and a cream-colored base for the top back part, looked similar to that of the 7-Eleven employee’s polo shirt which is a white and maroon polo with the brand’s logo on the chest area.

TomasinoWeb apologized for what it described as the “online stir” the photo caused a day after it was posted.

“Some members of the administration raised concerns regarding a photograph we posted last Wednesday, February 15,” TomasinoWeb said in a statement.

“The organization was told the photo has become a source of public ridicule toward CICS students, their College, and the University as a whole due to the supposed association of the CICS Type B uniform with the convenience store’s employee uniforms,” it added.

TomasinoWeb said it has removed the photo from all its social media accounts to “rectify” the matter although it claimed that it did not intend to cause harm. The media organization noted that “being a convenience store worker is honest work.”

Miguel Angelo Sumalinog, executive editor of TomasinoWeb, shared the statement on Facebook.

“We do what we can to provide the Thomasian community honest content without the intention of stepping on anyone,” his post read.

Computer science freshman Alyssa Villegas said she found the photo amusing.

“Some might take it differently, as they often associate us with [convenience store] workers. [But despite] our similar uniform colors, it’s essential to clarify that we are still students of the University,” she told The Flame.

Syre Verzosa, an information technology junior, described the post as a “light-hearted jest,” adding that others might have just drawn conclusions about the motivation and context behind the image. For him, TomasinoWeb’s decision to take down the photo was appropriate if proper procedures were followed and if the students and 7-Eleven employees in the image expressed offense.

“However, if the removal was solely due to the perception of ‘public ridicule towards CICS students’ without concrete evidence of harm, it might be seen as an overreach, especially considering the modest nature of the photo,” he said.

“[I]t’s worth reiterating TomasinoWeb’s sentiment that being associated with 7-Eleven should [not] be a cause for undue concern or embarrassment. In fact, it’s important to acknowledge that we should refrain from attaching unnecessary stigma to such honest occupations.”

Some claimed the post was offensive to CICS students and 7-Eleven workers.

A first-year information technology student, who requested anonymity, felt that the photo made her college a “laughing stock.”

“Let’s be honest, others laugh at how we (CICS students) appear to work for 7-Eleven…somehow when I commute or walk around the campus, I feel somehow insecure as some may mistake me for a 7-Eleven employee especially since many people saw that (TomasinoWeb’s) post,” she said.

A journalism sophomore, who also requested anonymity, believes the media organization could have chosen a different location to capture CICS students who were wearing their type B uniform regardless of its intent. It “should have realized its actions on its own” without the need to be called out by others, she said.

“Entertaining photographs are cool, but not to the extent that some should be poked fun of. The UST administration approaching them only implies that the photo was alarming and not appropriate on those particular students’ ends,” she said.

“Does that mean if the UST admin hadn’t said it, they (TomasinoWeb) won’t take it down? They would let others be a laughing stock with their actions? I guess that’s insensitive on (TomasinoWeb’s) part,” the journalism student added.

Thomasians began wearing their respective type B uniforms as their everyday school wear last Feb. 15, the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, in line with a June 2014 resolution of the Council of Regents.

The uniform policy is effective until the end of the second term for the academic year 2023-2024.F – C. Asajar with reports from Jade Alecksandra Bagas, John Martin Revilla and Kristine Joy Diane Sarmiento

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to exclude the name of the journalism student upon her request to remain anonymous.


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