August 5, 2005

Opening remarks

Kanina naganap ang General Assembly ng Honor Society ng FEU-IABF, kung saan ako ang designated na adviser. Ang Honor Society ang organization ng mga academic scholars ng aming Institute. Ibig sabihi'y sila ang mga nakakuha ng GWA na 1.5 pataas nung nakaraang sem. Bilang adviser, ako ang na-assign na magbigay ng opening remarks. Dahil maraming na-late (hahaha, honorable talaga), marami rin ang di nakarinig ng pinagsasabi ko. Dahil na rin may request ang "iilan", ipo-post ko rito ang aking prepared speech (na tinapos ko lang sulatin in 30 minutes. Ora-orada!).

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Good day. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Honor Society for the School Year 2005-2006. I have already prepared a speech last night, and it was a hard-hitting one, but I revised it this morning because I was experiencing what you would call "bad karma." Right after I finished writing the speech last night, my printer broke down, I lost my P200 pen and I had a dream of getting blood transfusion ten times. By the time I woke up, I decided to revise my speech and be a "good guy" today.

When I first entered FEU-IABF, I was surprised to see that there's a student organization called Honor Society. At first, I thought it was an organization of ROTC officers because I used to part of an "Honor Guard" during college. Only later on did I find out that the Society is a group comprised of the Institute's academic scholars.

And that got me thinking, is there a need for such an Honor Society? Sure, putting together the best minds the Institute can offer seems to be a very promising prospect, but what is the purpose? Whose interests is the organization supposed to espouse? Are scholars banding together to protect each other? If such is the case, then the organization should be called a mutual admiration society, not an honor society. Do the scholars have any responsibility whatsoever to the non-academic scholars in our Institute?

Personally, I see value in the Honor Society. But in the interest of promoting the free flow of ideas, I would pose the question "What is the organization's purpose?" but I would leave it to you to formulate the answer.

Let me cite some trends which might be of interest to you. Last semester, there were 60 full scholars in the Institute. Now, there are only 14, which is a drop of 77%. Last semester, there 212 partial scholars. Now, there are only 122, a drop of 47%. Overall, the number of academic scholars who receive discounts from their tution fees declined by 50%.

It has also been observed that 80 out of the 136 scholars, or around 59%, come from only one academic program - B.S. Accountancy. Of the nine academic programs of the Institute, 2 have not produced a scholar for more than a year.

In terms of year level, around 50, or 37%, come from students from the 5th year level.

Are these signs of students becoming less proficient? Are school standards getting higher? Or is there something else going on in here? (Is the university implementing a cost-cutting measure? - this part was skipped during the speech) You tell me.

Let me end my opening remarks by clarifying that we are called the Honor Society, not the Honors' Society. The latter connotes a group of individuals who are recognized with honors by an evaluation body, while the former connotes a society that HAS honor - composed of individuals who live in an honorable way. Remember that earning high GWAs does not automatically make you honorable. The brightest president our country ever had turned out to also be the worst we ever had. Our honorable congressmen, honorable senators, "your honor," "my honor," and "their honor" have brought much dishonor to our country. Let us not take lightly the word "Honor" in our organization's name. It is something that every one of us must always learn to live by.

On that note, good day and may the Honor Society have a fruitful schoolyear. Thank you.

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