We would like to believe that the conversion of aircon fee to flat rate is beneficial to a greater student populace. But, we don’t think the uniform and fixed aircon fee is fair and just for all students.
Effective next school year, all college students will pay the same amount of aircon fee, regardless of class size, classroom energy consumption and regardless of number of units. According to the computation of the Administration, students will pay an aircon fee of P1,848.96. The amount is based on a “regular student” with a maximum load of 24 units on a 4.28 kiloWatt hour usage.
If we come to think of this, it will be fair to students who are taking a maximum load of 24 units. This flat rate, moreover, becomes more beneficial to students taking more than 24 units. But how about students with under 24 units?
According to the Administration, this is justifiable since there are more overloaded students than underloaded ones. Give and Take. A sea-saw. The administration implies that underloaded students must pay for the aircon fee of the overloaded ones. Solidarity.
We understand what the Administration wants to achieve in this scheme. We believe that there are no other people who should pay for the services and comfort of airconditioned classrooms but the students themselves. We also recognize the hassle that the previous scheme posed to the Administration.
But we disagree with the Administration in charging the same amount of aircon fee to students with 15 units or below. Based on the computation of the Administration, a student with 15 units will only have to pay P1,155.60. Although it is not much, but P700 saving is better than paying for what you did not consume.
The scheme is also unfair to students enrolled in courses that have less than 24 units as regular load in their curriculum.
Moreover, we strongly disagree with the Administration’s statement that students having 12 units, for example, are “irresponsible in their studies because the regular load is 24 units.” We would just like to remind the Administration that courses in the University differ in the curriculum and in number of units. In the case of Mass Communication, for example, students will most likely have only 15 units in the second semester of their senior year, as dictated in their curriculum. The Administration should not presume that just because students are underloaded, they are irresponsible in their studies. It is not their fault that it is in their curriculum. You cannot force them to take other subjects and spend more just to justify the aircon fee.
Also, there are students who just want to take only three units like in the Graduate School. It is very unfair for them that they are paying more than P1, 800 for aircon fee when in fact they should only be paying at least P200.
We would have wanted the old way of charging the aircon fees. But if the Administration insists for their own convenience, then there is nothing we can do about it. But, the Administration should make sure that this shift to a new modality is fair and just.
For example, they can cluster students based on their enrolled units per semester. Students with only three to 15 units can be clustered as one group; then, students with 18 to 24 units can be another group; and finally, overloaded students can also be grouped together. This way, we can minimize the discrepancy.