Has Student Activism Gone out of Control?

Manila Bulletin, April 21, 2010 | Go to article overview

Has Student Activism Gone out of Control?


The violent student protest actions several weeks ago that led to the burning of chairs at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines main campus, and the paint bombing of a chancellor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, triggered varying reactions from the academe. While some believe that the actions are justifiable, others think student activism has gone way out of control and certain limitations should be observed. Here are more of their sentiments.

"Totally way out of control. There's a lot of ways to channel their concerns. It doesn't have to be all this outrageous. I guess the youth sees too much rallies and uprisings and they try to copy that, thinking it's how they can be heard." - Joylinn Acebedo, 19, 3rd Yr/BS Biology, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila

"Yes. Vandalism and destruction of property... how EXACTLY is this supposed to bring around change?" - Mel Lavadia, UP Diliman

"We need to re-educate, re-teach the meaning of activism... great power means great responsibility." - Dennis Merano, parent

"Yes, the behavior of these supposedly student activists proves that there is a very thin line between student activism and student rebellion today. These students fail to distinguish the difference of these two. They simply claim that they are activists when I think that they are rebels who fight for their rights with uncalled for violence. This fact saddens me because their behavior merely proves the decline of the quality of education in the country." - Rojani Bathan, 21, 3rd Yr/BS Psychology, Miriam College

"Of course NOT. The violence and barbarism that led conservatives to say it has gone out of control are actually calibrated. It is directed against select targets such as the most offensive and despotic school officials. In a way, yes, it is out of control: the status quo can no longer inspire fearful obedience from the youth and students. Also, what's out of control is a kind of fake activism nowadays that blurs and hinders the youth and students to be progressive and militant, those who opted to compromise since it is the easiest and most comfortable way out. …

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