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UP students oppose naming college after Marcos PM

Jodesz Gavilan
UP Diliman Business Administration students launch a university-wide campaign against the decision of the Board of Regents to uphold the renaming of the college as Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business

RENAMED. The Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business (VSB) of the UP Diliman, formerly known as the UP College of Business Administration (CBA). Photo from http://cba.upd.edu.ph/

MANILA, Philippines – The University of Philippines Diliman Business Administration students launched a university-wide campaign against the decision of the Board of Regents to uphold the renaming of the college as Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business last Thursday, February 6. 

In its official Facebook page, the UP School of Business Student Council (SBSC) called on students to join their campaign for the board to revisit its decision. They are asking for the BOR to heed their calls in time for the board’s February 27 meeting.

“Just like how CBA was one of the main bastions of activism during the Marcos revolution, we’re standing up again, this time against historical ignorance and insufficient student consultation,” the SBSC said in a statement.

Virata, who served for 18 years as the Finance Minister and Prime Minister of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was also the dean of the college from 1960 to 1967 before joining the government.

The council maintained that they respect the former dean’s contribution to the college but believed that the “institution should not be defined by a single person.”

Fenina De Leon, college representative to the University Student Council, hoped to gather support not just from BA students but from outside the college as well.

“We are hoping to gather college and university support to catch the attention of the BOR once again and be able to appeal for reconsideration of their decision,” she said.

In a phone interview, USC Councilor and BA student Aaron Letaba said that the university council has always been against the BOR decision and will continue to support and call its reversion.

Contrasting positions

The renaming of the college was proposed by former Dean Ben Paul Gutierrez on March 15 last year. The board approved the proposal on April 12 but was negatively received by students and alumni.

In an open letter published last December 13, the SBSC questioned the process, claiming they were not consulted before the proposal was approved. A survey conducted by the council also showed that 97% of 342 respondents did not support the name change.

De Leon said that the college will do everything it takes for the university administration to heed their call.

“We are resolute in our call to revert our name back to CBA. We’ll continue to exhaust all means until they listen,” according to De Leon.

The student representatives said they will propose standard operating procedures to the BOR and to the administration on conducting proper consultations. – Rappler.com

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Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.