Lurking deep in the jungles, with eyes like death incarnate and fangs as sharp as axes along with its prideful stance, is a cobra hissing its way to daunt its every prey, ready to engulf the mess out the latter’s inner psyche.
By nature, this serpent is timid, only becoming aggressive when provoked by external forces. But what happens when cobras slither away from their prey, forgetting how to sting and properly spit their venom?
Just recently, Southwestern University PHINMA has drawn flak on social media over alleged issues—sluggish school system, tuition increase, and unexplained duty hours among Within Reach scholars—concerns which will remain just that if not formally addressed to the people in position to answer them.
What the school needs is a vigilant studentry, a tall order that starts with critical thinking.
The Cobras, mostly in health-related fields, are too engrossed in their daily academic routines such that they tend to forget they are part of a bigger picture—a country in sorry state necessitating a wakeup call from its citizens, students included.
The Office of the Student Life together with the student body organizations and the school publication has been organizing several initiatives concerning sociopolitical and even school-based issues. The only drawback? Lack of interest among students.
To stir the Cobras into biting, one must be aware of the issues surrounding their community. It doesn’t hurt to actively take part in activities that would help shape critical thinking.
We are all held captives, disguised as independent bodies, under control, and wrapped in shackles of confinement one can never unravel oneself from.
And when one is ready to bite, snake charmers readily play their flute to control one’s mind, inevitably cooling down as if trying to suppress its very nature to sting.
We grew up in a culture that when one speaks against the accustomed, one will be condemned. And this is where the fear kicks in.
The “if it doesn’t concern me, I could care less” mentality among students has rendered moot the fundamental principle of an educational institution being the microcosm of the society, the country, and the real world.
Take the case of electing officers in organizations. In common circumstances, students would cast their vote just for the sake of voting, not realizing the impact of their action if the elected is unfit for the position.
The seemingly passive state of the general studentry must therefore change. No matter how preoccupied they are in their studies or duties, being proactive and voicing out what needs to be addressed are the qualities that define a Cobra.
Hence, as your official student publication, it is our duty to act as watchdogs to guard the pillars of democracy and the principle of check and balance.
But the job of breeding a culture of critical thinking doesn’t stop there. Being reliant on institutions and offices only scratches the surface. It must be ingrained in our very system to make it a civil duty to participate in discussions that involve student concerns and national, often sociopolitical, discussions.
We don’t live up to being Cobras if we only hiss. We live up to being one if we sting. And if we bite, it doesn’t mean the venom must kill the prey. What matters is that we sting for the right reasons.