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Manifesto of Unity Against the New Laboratory Fees

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April 9, 2008 MANIFESTO OF UNITY AGAINST THE NEW LABORATORY FEE HIKES IN MORE THAN 30 CMC SUBJECTS We, students of the College of Mass Communication, strongly condemn the railroading of the laboratory fee hikes in 10 Broadcast Communication subjects and 4 Broadcast Journalism subjects last March 12, and oppose similar impending hikes in at least 23 Film subjects. We take these recent moves as an assault to the principle of democratic consultation of the studentry and a clear indication of the commercialization route that our university is currently taking. The proposed 16 new courses under the Broadcast Communication program also brought with it a fresh batch of laboratory fees ranging from P200 up to P1,000. As for the film courses, the proposed hikes during the first consultation last March 28 include the laboratory fees of both lecture classes (from P200 to P1,200) and production classes (from P800 to P3,200). We stand firm and united against these anti-student policies that further render quality education as inaccessible, as this recent maneuver will set the trend in other degree programs in the college. We also question the procedures and conditions which the approval of lab fees in Broadcast Communication subjects have undergone, and warn future tricks of a more scathing dissent from the broad number of uninformed or ill-informed students. Rather than subscribe to the faulty logic of better facilities from greater lab fees, we remain steadfast in preserving democratic access to such mass media courses and in upholding the interest of the broad number of financially underprivileged students who will be severely hit by such increases. The need to upgrade and replace some of the existing equipment and facilities in the college is unquestionable. However, we do not see the laboratory fee hikes as the panacea to the long-standing problem of the college in meeting the capital needs of equipment-intensive courses. Instead, we see the hikes as a counter-productive measure that will seriously limit the cultivation of skills of the broadest number of students, since costs always impose limits. This is a glaring truth especially in the context of worsening living conditions in the country. In the interest of the Iskolar ng Bayan suffering under the harsh economic conditions engendered by the disregard of the Arroyo regime for the basic rights and needs of the people, we are determined to take effective steps to halt the impending lab fee hikes and to boldly assert that the new laboratory fee hikes in Broadcast Communication was railroaded. We persist in our call for greater state subsidy and demand the re-channeling of the people


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