Commentary: Creative leasing can solve campus overcrowding

Is the Manila campus really running out of space? The LaSallian offers suggestions on where to build our next new building.

We have all heard comments and complaints from people who say the campus is getting too crowded. While whether there should be this many students allowed in DLSU is a separate issue, the fact remains that due to the current student population, the student body has to be accommodated on a rotational basis.

In an interview with The LuhSallian’s more boring counterpart, The LaSallian, Provost Dr. Robert Roleda said that the University was considering leasing new property to host the student influx but later said DLSU will instead embrace hybrid learning.

We can still consider the former option, though. There are tons of places DLSU could lease if the administration wanted to, with the help of a little thinking outside the box.

An obvious option would be to lease the surrounding area. This would not only provide additional space for classrooms and laboratories, but it also gives students access to a wider range of services and amenities. Surrounding condominiums like Green Residences, WH Taft, and One Archers Place can be converted into dorms and classrooms. The mini-malls in those buildings can be used for students to hang out and study—a handy solution to overcrowding the Gokongwei Learning Facility. They can call it “The La Salle Annex”. It’ll be like a regular annex but with more cafes and Uniqlo stores.

However, there’s no reason to stop there. The rest of the “Big Four” schools may have beaten us to having a large campus space, so why not lease the entire province of Ilocos Norte and turn it into a giant DLSU campus? Students could live in the famous windmills, attend classes in the historic churches, and even hold physical education courses on the sandy beaches. It would be a fun and unique way to experience college life and inspire students to lead the country in the future. I also conveniently wouldn’t have to travel eight hours to and from school but that’s neither here nor there.

To cater to the growing colleges in DLSU, different buildings can be leased out in different places. For instance, the College of Science can have its own building in Subic, Zambales, where students can conduct experiments in a more spacious and controlled environment near the much cleaner Subic Bay. The Gokongwei College of Engineering can have its own campus in the Clark Freeport Zone, where students can have access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

Why not have a campus on the Spratly Islands? It’s technically free to use and doesn’t need to be leased. The only problem is, with all the Chinese militia in the area, focusing on studying might be a tad difficult. But if students can handle the soul-crushing stress of midterms and finals, they can handle the constant threat of being occupied by foreign forces. Besides, the brave men and women of our naval ROTC unit can finally get the chance to show off their training.

If those options seem too mundane, the administration could consider building a campus in the mysterious and mythical city of Biringan. The campus could offer courses in supernatural studies, ghost-hunting, and other similar subjects that would be helpful when hunting the shadowy figures in St. Joseph Hall, playing with the masked children in Mutien Marie, or praying with the soldiers at the LS Chapel.

Let’s not, however, forget about the ultimate option: leasing the entire Republic of the Philippines. DLSU could create a new, sovereign government and economy. No longer would we have to be a microcosm of the Philippines; the Philippines could be a microcosm of DLSU. No longer would we have to be known as Filipinos, but instead as dudeparechongs. It would be a social experiment like no other. 

Of course, these options don’t exactly come cheap. But if the University can afford to build a giant Christmas tree every year, they can surely afford to lease some properties. And if all else fails, they can always let the halls turn into a giant game of sardines. No one needs personal space, anyway.