The increase of air-condition fees this semester was a shocker. It has increased to more than 100 percent. But, the administration failed to even release a notice or an explanation why.
According to Atty. Fe Marie Tagle, vice-president for finance and administration, there is actually no increase in aircon fee. They are just correcting the wrong charge, she said.
For the last three or four years, the students have been “undercharged.”
She said that the previous amount of aircon fee was mistakenly based on a summer rate and not on a regular semester.
How did this happen?
According to Tagle, the administration failed to notice that the students are not charged with the right amount of aircon fee. It was only this semester when they found out about it.
The Weekly Sillimanian (tWs) believes further explanation should be done by the administration on this issue.
Nevertheless, tWs has four concerns over this issue.
First, why did the administration fail to release a prior notice that air-conditions fees will increase?
A simple advisory and brief explanation would be a great help, after all, we opt for transparency. When the issue busted in social media, the administration chose to ignore it by failing to release a statement.
Did the administration think that students will not notice the increase? Did they think that the students would continue to be apathetic on this matter?
If the intention of the administration is clean and the claim is valid, they should have explained clearly.
Second, charging of student fees goes through the offices of Business and Finance and the Management information System.
With all the eyes and brains in these departments, at what end did the mistake happen?
With all the eyes and brains in the concerned departments, how can these mistakes remained unnoticed for four years?
Was there a miscommunication between the offices?
Or is it the administration that is passive enough to commit such mistake and not immediately correct it?
If that is the case, should the students be worried as well if our other fees are charged correctly?
Third, does it take a financial difficulty for the administration before they recheck and assess the system?
With all the issues the university is facing, prices of food and fees suddenly increasing, students cannot help but feel like milking cows.
Fourth, Tagle said that they used funds of the university’s other sources to patch the deficit on the aircon fee.
If the university has the enough money to fill in the undercharged fee for four long years, then maybe it can also give what the SUFA demands. All it takes is an overlooked computer system.
The Weekly Sillimanian understands that the university is facing financial difficulties due to decline in enrollment.
However, the administration should not neglect its duty to give students a truthful and on-time explanation.
Please be clear and reasonable in your statements.
Because with all the things that are happening in the university today, we, the students cannot help but question,
“Where will we place our trust then?”