UST students ask for academic ease amid rising COVID-19 infections

Published September 11, 2021, 2:10 PM

by Gabriela Baron

The University of Santo Tomas Central Student Council (UST CSC) asked administrators to implement University-wide academic ease or academic break, citing the rising coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the country.

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In a survey conducted by UST CSC, 78.3 percent of students answered they are experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety, loneliness, feelings of depression, eating problems, sleeping problems, poor frustration tolerance, and substance/alcohol abuse.

At least 2.1 percent of the total respondents also mentioned that they tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, while 1,037 answered that they are currently living with a COVID-19 positive relative or a probable case.

“According to their responses, there is too much workload that is being given to them. Furthermore, there are also cases where students had to go out frequently to buy materials such as books, laboratory materials, drawing materials for their requirements, which happens almost weekly,” UST CSC said in a letter addressed to their administrators.

“This is worrying since daily COVID-19 cases are continuously rising. We believe that these numbers and situations reflect our community’s current situation that warrants a response on the University level,” the letter further read.

The students urged UST administrators to implement University-wide academic ease to put a cap on the number of activities and assessments are done and lesser synchronous classes.

“The worsening COVID-19 situation and the social media pages that become close to an obituary, not to mention the threat of the Delta variant, have taken a toll on most of us. In these very circumstances, it is in the community’s interest that we respectfully seek the University’s intervention and take steps to ensure our community’s health, safety, and well-being.”