After online classes have generated several reports from students against what they called “freeloaders”, the University released a Deins List to recognize students “who are brave enough to challenge conformity.” The Academics Council (AC), in partnership with a newly accredited student organization, Samahan ng mga Group Leaders (SML), identified nominees for the coveted list in hopes of giving them what they truly deserve.
However, both organizations have different plans for the new “cream of the crop”, as the AC pushes for compassion, while SML seeks suspension.
A DLSU Freedom Wall post sparked outrage among students who flooded the comments section with their personal experiences with freeloaders, imploring the University to take some form of action or even create handbook provisions.
“I know everyone wants to avoid drama, but this is just unfair,” the post read. “I wish more people including the authorities in the school do disincentivize such behavior.”
What began as a rant post escalated to a Facebook group exclusively for group leaders similar to DLSU Profs to Pick. SML initiated a survey on freeloaders and found that around 69 percent of Lasallians have had at least one groupmate that qualified for the Deins List. Meanwhile, the organization also confirms rumors that Deins List qualifiers were partly composed of some online influencers.
Group creator and SML founder Atoy Pagodna (IV, IE) says that it is time to “abolish the norm” and calls for these “nuisances” to file a leave of absence (LOA) instead. Pagodna is also asking the AC to look into possibly suspending these students.
‘‘#DeinKamiYun’ say qualifiers
“We cannot force them to go on a LOA; we must be compassionate at all times and recognize their struggles,” comments Dr. Christine Joy Ballada, Dean of Student Affairs (DSA).
The hashtag #DeinKamiYun went viral through the collaborative effort of alleged freeloaders and influencers to call for an appeal to the AC and SML, denying the allegations of “freeloading.” Even devoted fans tried to get involved and contacted the administration for assistance.
“Most students don’t understand the concept of having a work-life balance,” argues Maja Silva (III, CHE), elaborating that she has to prioritize content making most of the time as she values her sponsors. “It’s just one of the compromises of a working student.”
The Office of Student Affairs, together with the AC, have found a solution to the studentry’s dilemma. The DSA says that a home organization for Deins Listers is being planned. “We want them to feel less discriminated against and to find themselves in a supportive community of like-minded students,” she asserts, citing possible activities that will “strengthen their ability to blend in with average students,” such as workshops, seminars, and counseling.
Ballada adds that there will be an incentive system for these kinds of students: just like Dean’s Listers, Deins Listers will have a special enlistment schedule so that they “get the chance to be together in the same classes and collaborate in their passion to challenge conformity.”
However, following the new enlistment schedule based on Zodiac Signs, the growing minority will be one of the last to enroll, second only to Scorpios.
“Feel ko it would be a cool challenge,” says Gerald Derson (VII, CIV), who replied to The LaSallian after five follow-ups. “Imagine all of us in the same group, nag-aantayan kung sino unang magsasalita or kung sinong mag-i-initiate closest to the deadline!”
(Imagine all of us in the same group, waiting for who will speak up first or who will initiate the work closest to the deadline!)
Bea Barretto (II, AB-CAM) lauds this new initiative and looks forward to it. “For so long, we have been the butt of Freedom Wall jokes,” she laments. “The average students are afraid of our power. It’s finally time we took the ‘loader’ off of ‘freeloader’.”
‘They have transcended’
Despite negative comments from a number of non-Deins Listers, Julia Alonzo (III, AEF-BSA), a Dean’s Lister, begs to differ. “I think we should cut them some slack,” she tells The LaSallian. “As a matter of fact, I respect them nga kasi they are free; they have transcended—at such a young age—the expectations of the educational system and decided to choose for themselves.”
Alonzo laments that she could only imagine being as “free” as the Deins Listers.
Sarah Gee (IV, AB-PSM), a self-proclaimed average student, shares the same sentiment regarding Deins Listers. Amid a lot of criticism and competition in college, Deins Listers are there to reassure you that you are doing well, she argues.
“I once finished my part in our group work at 3 am, and I was feeling down about myself because I felt like my work wasn’t any good,” Gee recounts. While her other group mates had “something to say” about her work, it was that one Deins Lister candidate who told her right away that her output is “goods na.”
“They didn’t even bother scrutinizing it because they knew I needed the rest,” she says. “It’s very comforting. I wish everyone was as thoughtful as them.”