Schools should get involved in alumni events

We all know Mocha doesn’t deserve that award so I won’t dwell on that. Twitter is chock-full of scathing reactions. Or you could read a rant from a UST alumnus here.

UST disowned the award, claiming that the UST Alumni Association is a corporation separate and distinct with its own board, that the UAAI operates independently and UST does not interfere with its affairs.

Maybe UST should. Maybe it’s time they get involved. In fact, all universities should get involved in any event that carries the school name. I have the highest respect for UST and I am sure they take seriously their education duties, but they can’t just disown the award and leave the matter solely to the UAAI. The association and the award carry the UST name. UST has to make this right for their sake. They have to protect their “brand.” They wouldn’t, for example, allow a UST Massage Parlor, right? And if there was an organization that carries the UST name — a publishing house or a charitable organization, for example — shouldn’t UST make every effort to ensure that organization lives up and continues to live up to the Thomasian core values?

Ateneo, for example, has an Office of Alumni Relations and has representation in the Ateneo Alumni association. The University has some oversight on alumni events. Admittedly it didn’t prevent that debacle when Imelda Marcos was invited by the Ateneo Scholarship Fund to give a speech, but at least Ateneo’s Fr. Jett Villarin didn’t disown the event. He issued a letter of apology and cited that lessons have been learned.

UST shouldn’t just walk away. They should own up to this debacle.


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