by: KRISTINE ERIKA AGUSTIN
THE UNIVERSITY has released a memorandum stating that all social media accounts of student organizations shall be monitored by the administration following the resumption of co- and extracurricular activities for academic year 2020-2021.
UST Office for Student Affairs (OSA) issued a list of “guidelines in the responsible use of social media” on Aug. 8 for the purpose and for managing and protecting the social media accounts of the organizations.
Following this development, student organizations are now required to submit a “permission to post” form to be approved by the organization adviser before they can publish any content on their social media platforms.
“The organization adviser shall monitor the social media accounts/postings of the student organization. Posts should be cleared first by the organization adviser,” the memorandum stated.
The guidelines also include that the adviser can edit or remove a post even if it has been published when found to be “erroneous or irregular.”
The Student Welfare and Development Coordinators or OSA will have the final decision over the material to be published or taken down if the organization adviser and officers cannot come to an agreement.
Various student groups, however, are calling on UST to junk the said guidelines as they allow for repression of free speech and violation of students’ rights.
“Regulations such as submitting ‘Permission to Post’ forms and gaining approval from school administrators before content can be published are roundabout methods of legitimizing and extending student repression through online means,” the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) said in a statement.
The NUSP has also called on UST to repeal the guidelines that “mirror the current regime’s moves to hinder freedom of expression and speech.”
“Not only will this prolong the process of releasing contents for the student organizations’ accounts, but content that will be set to be released by students will also be heavily moderated and controlled by the university admin,” the UST- League of Filipino Students (UST- LFS) said in a Facebook post.
Meanwhile, the UST- Anakbayan in its official statement also condemned the issued guidelines, saying it “suppresses the students’ freedom in expressing their concerns, stands, announcements, and advisories.”
“In the time of political and economic turmoil, the voices of students need to be amplified, not censored and regulated,” it read.F