Thousands of netizens celebrate after UP yields to huge online outcry-A A +A
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
THOUSANDS of alumni, youth groups and concerned citizens all over the country are celebrating a bittersweet victory, after administrators of the University of the Philippines (UP) announced the cancellation of the "no late payment policy" that contributed to the suicide of Kristel Tejada.
The move comes after a huge public outcry following Tejada's death -- including the 6,000 strong Change.org petition started by UP alumnus and award-winning journalist Alcuin Papa.
The petition grew explosively from zero to more than five thousand in less than 48 hours after Tejada's death was reported -- making it the fastest growing petition on Change.org in all of the Asia pacific region at the time.
Every time someone signed the petition and left a comment it was automatically emailed to UP administrators. In total more than 1,000 emails were sent to them in the space of 48 hours.
Papa, who started the petition, said that "the UP administrators clearly couldn't withstand the amount of scrutiny and pressure generated from the petition, the constant media coverage and the protests at the university."
"We claim this victory in the name of all UP students who struggle every day to go to their classes facing financial, logistical and emotional difficulties; for those who continue to struggle for quality education for all; and for all the alumni who want to see a real 'university of the people'," Alcuin said.
"This victory is proof that each and every one of us has the capacity to bring about change," he added.
Some of the most popular comments left by Change.org users include:
Kristel was not only a blockmate but she was also a friend, her death should not be in vain, and no other child should go through what she went through. -- Alexa Aguilar, Pasay
As an alumni, my heart breaks and the many others who have dropped out of the UP because of these calloused, anti-poor rules. -- Dino Nable, Makati City
UP is a state university who's supposed to cater the brightest students of the country regardless of their financial capacity. This policy is totally in contrast with what the university is supposed to be. -- Herbert Ortiga, San Pedro
As a teacher and a student myself, Education's main goal is to be FOR ALL, not for the privileged some. - Rain Chua, Las Pinas
Because Education is a right and will save this nation from further damnation. Kristel Tejada's death is definitely a wake up call. -- Haidee Pineda, Quezon City. (PR/Sunnex)