De La Salle University has implemented a new policy as of A.Y. 2015-2016: the University’s Vice Deans are now accepting “Specialty Reservation Fees” to save class slots for students during enlistment in succeeding terms. This is supposedly to alleviate the problem of classes filling up, and students becoming unable to enroll in courses they need, causing unnecessary delays to their graduation.
The procedure for reservation is as follows: Reservation Forms are made available in the University’s Registrar Office two weeks before the first day of enlistment. Reservation Forms are accomplished in triplicate to be given to the Registrar, the respective Vice Dean’s Offices, and finally to the Accounting Office. Upon approval and after payment of the Specialty Reservation Fee has been made, the Vice Deans will use their accounts in the University’s enlistment system to reserve the students’ desired classes.
“It is an extra service we would like to give our students,” says Mr. Dimaunahan*, one of the Vice Deans of the University. “We are sympathetic to the plight of delayed students, and we would also like to see them graduate as early as they can.”
The fees range from P10,000 to P60,000, depending on the number of classes to be reserved and the availability of the class as stated in the course offerings posted by the University Student Government. Despite the steep prices, a good number of students have been availing of this extra service.
Connor*, a student taking advantage of this new fee, discloses that, “I’m graduating soon, and really need to get these slots, so I think these fees are all in good taste.” He adds that, “I might need to eat lunch at Noel’s everyday for the rest of the term, but it’s worth it.”
On the other side of the spectrum, first honors dean’s listers such as Andrea*, who were once first priority during enlistment, are now finding it difficult to find slots. “I’m actually considering cutting down my study time to find a part time job,” Andrea says, noting how being a dean’s lister has lost its edge. She adds that she is also losing motivation to maintain her high grades. “If students are just going to pay to reserve class slots now, why continue working for it?”
Not everyone in the University accepts this change to the system, however, with small protests breaking out around campus. Posters were recently put up in the campus common grounds, such as in cafeterias and in the amphitheatre, comparing vice deans to certain politicians rumored of corruption. Although the posters are promptly taken down, enough people have seen them for it to cause a stir.
“The fees will definitely be used for improving the school,” Mr. Dimaunahan insists. “Furthermore, the lives of the students will be improved more through this system than if we stuck to our old one. It is our students who will ultimately benefit from this, not us.”
Frederick*, a student who has availed of the service for the upcoming term, disagrees. “I had to sell my phone, my TV, and give up three months’ worth of allowance to help my parents shoulder the Reservation Fee. I deeply regret having done that now, and I believe it’s grossly unjust for this fee to be implemented in the University system. It’s not worth it in the long run.”
Despite this, other universities are rumored to have plans on adopting this system. To the administrators of these universities, it is believed that there are more merits to this system than most students believe. To the students, though, it’s nothing more than yet another ploy for the University to milk them of their money. The University Student Government, who once showed full support to the entire student population when complaints arose, were silenced in a matter of days. This has given rise to speculations that the University Student Government is also receiving cuts from the Specialty Reservation Fees.
Until the matter has been settled and made fully transparent, only time will tell if this new system will truly work for the benefit of the University.