Posted by : Dave Tan Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Foundation anniversary was about to end that afternoon and the most anticipated event to cap off the week neared its hour. Students from different colleges queued in line outside the theatre holding their respective color-coded balloons in hand. It was about quarter to four o'clock that afternoon. The time of waiting had drawn to a close when they had let students get in the premises of the theatre only to be held back by half an hour or so again due to certain "system enhancements" the Research and Development Unit was said to be doing according to a marshal located at the escalator of the said premises.

The clock ticked a minute and so and while waiting, I had observed several students, who I am sure of that are not part of the organizers of the event, who have been walking the stairs going to the theatre. Yes, they may be part of the VIPs or friends of the candidates who had been given exclusive privilege to get in earlier but hey, who are you joking with, there were more than ten students who passed by in a single group. I was then asking a friend how were they doing backstage as they were there to assist. I also happen to ask if the backstage would be accessible to students like us. That friend of mine happened to tell me that there were sightings of supposed-to-be student council members or so as the group claims that were in the backstage asking where the dressing room of the candidates are. Were they not briefed about the location of the dressing room or were they playing dumb? Or better yet, were they using the student council's name in vain just to get them a backstage pass and roam around.

Ten tenths of an hour had then passed or whatever time that was since I already lost track by being held down there for reasons I had anticipated for the betterment of the event. When the signal was given that we were allowed to enter inside the theatre, the line of students found their own ways. We were supposedly first in line but since there were the normal stairs and the escalator which had been closed, students flocked whichever way they wanted to go. My friends and I just went to the flow of the students rushing in as the line that was suppose to be well-organized was nowhere in place. A total mess to say the least. Two stairs leading inside the theatre proper are there and the rushing students were like divided by Moses as they rushed the respective stairs. They were already shoving people off just to get inside.

When the students were already midway the stairs and handful of them have already gone inside, the people from the Research and Development Unit then tried their very best to hold most of us as there was a registration process. Oh yeah right, that automated registration process that consumed most of our time due to system enhancements. Andon pa pala yon. Yes, I have seen people at the registration counter but I have not seen the marshals that would direct the people there for such purposes. So we continued our way the stairs as it was also impossible to go down without having to push your way out as people were still rushing in. It was a horrible sight. Then there came the Public Relations Officer of the University Student Council trying to explain everything that we needed to register and they will only allow people with registration stamps in. As they we were about to obliged with that, we have seen students who said that they have registered but had not been stamped as one student points it, "wala ng stamp sa baba". This got me enraged so I shoved off the people to make my own way to speak to the said officer and confronted him telling him the things that happened that there were no longer stamps down there and what does he plan to do? Well, he just said, "pano nangyari yon?"  

We waited for several minutes more but a friend of ours was already finding it difficult to breathe and this is not just some mere exaggeration and guess what, the said officer had already left us hanging there. A friend of ours said that we'd just contact a friend backstage to let us in and so we left the premises. As much as we would like to be fair in going in unlike some douchebags using the student council's name just to get in, we were left with no other choice. Before leaving the premises, I had seen one of the guards in the main entrance of the theatre and said my rants then he pointed to the officer-in-charge. Got to confront the OIC and said to him that the marshals have already mismanaged the scene. Yeah guys, you did. He said that "kaya nga kayo may marshals don para sila ang mag-asikaso" and I happened to reply, "I am not a marshal sir, I am an alumni. I am Dave Tan" then I shook his hand. Well, I was familiar with who he was anyway. It may sound arrogant of me but I was already filled with so much rage back then and I would like the marshals be given aid from the security office since it was already a total mess.

And so it goes, we called one of our friends inside the theatre to fetch us. The Vice-President of the University Student Council together with marshals, I guess, had then confronted us before going in. My friends and I had already had our voices high then for they kept insisting that we must have that damn registration stamp before getting in. Like dude, haven't your colleagues told you that there were no longer registration stamps at the registration counter? We managed to get in after so much of a raucous.

As I go by the standards of giving constructive criticism and not simply pointing out the flaws, I will give certain points of I think you guys already know of but lack proper implementation.

  • First and foremost regarding the registration, I do not know what system enhancement the marshal was talking about but yes, we encounter such man-made flaws in a system but I do hope proper time is invested to see such flaws and have it patched before the event proper. If you would say that we do not know who you are or you are not paid to do such stuff, please do find another valid excuse. I do not find your rationale justifiable. I may not know who you guys are or your other commitments to other projects leading to such but one thing is for sure, I know the institution you are working with and for almost five years now. Yes, you may say that what you guys did is some sort of volunteerism, for the University but once you go into such "volunteer work" you should be prepared to face all the effects entailed with such agreement. Do not let your emotions supercede your intelligence. Just think of this as a cause and effect for the students would not react such if the whole event was in place. 
  • Since there are already allotted seats for each college and those of from Caloocan, the protocol would have been that of calling the batch of students from their respective college. Tedious? I see different. I see a systematized approach that would lessen the shoving of students. This also lessens students from other colleges occupying seats that were not for them.
  • Marshals should be stationed at their respective designations not only to implement their responsibility in that area but to guide and inform these students on the registration process. Common sense would not dictate that, "Hey look, there's a registration. Let's go there and register" but that of instinct, the instinct of longing to get a seat and get in the premises of the event.

I think these suggestions are clearly not knew or someone may have already thought of it but in cases that you guys forget, here I am reminding you of it.

{ 1 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. I didn't know what had happened before the said event. But let me point out two things:

    1. Registration systems were already created a few years ago, I would bet another system was created for this, which is a version 2 or something. I am pretty sure that this system was already tested and it went well. Unfortunately, we expect the unexpected. Things go wrong on the event itself. In my opinion, instead of placing the so-called "enhancement", I would suggest using a registration system used a few years ago OR I would even go with the conventional pen-and-paper system as alternative to keep the flow of students.

    2. The issue of marshals leaving their post has been a problem. Students should only volunteer as a marshal for only a single purpose: to assist for the success of the event in any way. I, myself, had been a marshal once. I wanted to watch the event but I was assigned to guard a restricted area. I've noticed that some only want this position for the reason of having a better view of the event itself. This mentality should be eradicated as this won't help in any way.

    As a former student council officer, I could only advice that the next student council be strict when it comes to these. Being a student council officer is not another subject that you have to attend to. It is something you can be proud of. For those that are officers, think of it as your first training grounds for your course and future career/profession.


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