For the first time in three years, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) welcomed freshmen to campus for the traditional Thomasian Welcome Walk, which took place on August 9, 2022.
For the past 20 years, since 2002, thousands of Thomasian freshmen have walked through the historical arc of the century at the beginning of each academic year and entered the university to symbolize the beginning of their Thomasian life.
At the start of the pandemic, traditions like the Thomasian Welcome Walk were creatively adapted online using Minecraft as a virtual platform, recreating the Manila campus on its own server.
This year, however, the 411-year-old university is now ready to personally introduce its premises and culture to new Tigers for the first time in three years as part of a week-long university-level onboarding season from August 3-10.
The above onboarding activities allow freshmen and their parents/guardians to be introduced to the context and culture of UST.
The 2022-2023 academic year officially opened with the Misa de Apertura (Holy Spirit Mass) on August 4, presided over by Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, DD, Bishop of Pasig and Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Vice Chancellor and Prior of the Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, Rev. Filemon dela Cruz Jr., OP, and University Rector, Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, OP, and the Dominican Fathers concelebrated the Mass attended by selected administrative and academic officials, academic staff, support staff and student leaders participated.
Immediately following the Mass of the Holy Spirit was the Discurso de Apertura (Inaugural Lecture) delivered by Prof. Clarita Carillo, Ph.D., Assistant to the Rector for Planning and Quality Management. She spoke on “Quality Assurance and the 3Cs of Resilience as Philippine Academic Institutions Advance”.
The Misa y Discurso de Apertura were both streamed live via UST’s Facebook page (UST1611official).
The first steps of the tigers on campus
Thomasians are known as “tigers,” and fittingly, the new tigers entering Manila’s historic campus learned to roar as one through the August 9 in-person ROARientation at the Quadricentennial Pavilion (QPav) arena. Divided into the morning and afternoon batches, the freshmen took part in the welcome service, learned about the history, culture, services and sports team songs of the university, among other things, before finally entering the arch of the century via the Thomasian Welcome Walk.
On the evening of August 9th at 6:30pm the new UST block letters and the iconic new Tiger statue were unwrapped in the Plaza Mayor in front of the main building. The program was streamed live via UST’s Facebook page.
The following day, August 10, ALAB 2022, an in-person orientation for the Basic Education Freshmen of UST Senior High School, Junior High School, and Education High School was held at the QPav Arena.
A separate virtual orientation for students on library services, counseling services, student welfare and development, education technology, facilities management, and health services was conducted on August 5 ahead of the ROARientation on campus and ALAB via the UST Facebook page and the cloud.
Triduum Masses honoring St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers, were also part of the onboarding activities. They took place August 3-5 at 4:30 p.m. in the UST chapel and were broadcast live via the UST Facebook page.
At the academic unit level, program-based orientations have also been established in which the parent/guardian can partially participate.
Stay vigilant regarding the protection of the Thomasian community from Covid-19, the university’s health guidelines – such as B. Presentation of vaccination cards, health declaration via the Stay Safe.PH application or the Thomasian Online Medical Services and Support (ThOMedSS) website, wearing of masks, among other things frequent hand disinfection and thermal screening – remain mandatory.
Regular classes have officially started on August 9, with most courses to continue to be conducted in enhanced virtual class mode, with the exception of certain competency-based courses, which have already received the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHEd) Seal of Assurance, a certification confirming that an institution complies with public health standards set by the government.
Approved programs will have hybrid modality classes.