Ever since I came to Silliman, various curricular and extracurricular activities have been enticing me to be an active student. My college calendar is always filled with those red marks which I put whenever there is an activity that I should not miss. During my freshman year, these activities made me adjust more easily to the Silliman environment.
But there are uninteresting college activities. There are times when I am forced to go to events because they are required and I will be fined if I don’t go. And since I don’t have that much money to waste on these fines, I just go for compliance, oftentimes without the spirit of participation.
College fines vary from one college to another. Most of the time, students have to pay P100 per unattended event. This amount is already big for students who belong to an average income family.
It is a relief that finally, someone from upstairs heard our concern and decided to ban these monetary fines and turn them into community services instead. This way, the consequences of not attending an event would be lighter and we can use our money for more important things.
The good thing about not having monetary fines is that we can claim that our free will is respected. We won’t be forced, so during events, genuine interest will be seen rather than hollow presence.
But it can lead to apathy. Believe me or not, apathy is contagious. It can spread from one person to another through verbal communication. According to a study, teenagers are apathetic in nature. If they don’t like it, they don’t go.
In Silliman, we are only motivated with the help of an unseen force that will only exist at the end of the semester and it is commonly known as fines. Now, this so-called “burden” is gone. The problem on youth apathy became bigger for the event organizers. How can they create an activity that will be able to gather many participants? Imagine an event where there are just a few people participating. Isn’t that awful to witness?
We only see fines as one of the college nuisances. What we don’t realize is the help that it gives us. Since we want this apathy eradicated, the abolishment of this monetary fines system won’t do us any better. We also don’t realize the possibility that no imposed fines can create a ripple effect on a student’s life. The lesser the push that makes the students participate, the lesser the participants. The lesser the participants, the lesser the organizers put effort on events. The lesser the efforts from the organizers, the lesser the events. And the lesser events, the boring college life would get. We don’t want this to happen, do we?
Having these strict fines is a way to help students eradicate this apathy. You might be asking: “What way does giving a hundred peso give you any help?” Well, if you just participated, there wouldn’t be a need to waste money. Second, all events in general are awesome; there are no boring events if you just acquaint yourself with their main purposes.
Into the Abyss
Prince Albert Villa