Tuesday, March 01, 2005

What's in a Name?

It is a word that a thing, a person, a place is called. It identifies the entity. To some extent a name defines it. For an institution it can signify status and reputation. A fa├žade of some sort that can attract the right kind of people it wants to draw in. Normally a good reputation is built up over the years. A result of hard work and good intentions among its members to generate good products much admired over the years.

This is what happened to the educational institution called Mapua Institute of Technology. For the past 80 years it had been known as a technical school of good repute. The high regard for it did not happen overnight but through the years of toil by professors and students alike to turn out an institution worthy of its name. And this is the main reason why I could not understand the plan of the current owners (Yuchengcos) to change the name to Malayan University. They have various ruses on their actions, among them being that Mapua will still retain its name but under the banner of Malayan University.

Firstly I don’t really trust that they will retain it for long. They have done things without any prior announcement or consultations with faculty and students like changing the school year periods from semestral to quartermestral, hiking up school fees, etc. Question is how can we be sure of they would stick to their word?

Secondly, Mapua’s name will be diluted with the name of Malayan University looming right above it in any document and signs on the walls.

The students and faculty are demanding that Mapua as an institution be left alone and consequently its name left intact. It has thrived in the past 80 years in its current setup, why fix something that’s not broken?

If ever they change the name why not it be Mapua University? Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a university of very high status in America but it still retained its ‘Institute of Technology’ title. Why? Because it’s what is has been known for a long time. And because the years of goodwill has been built up on it. Precisely the same case with Mapua.

Now, why ‘Malayan’? Is it because according to President Vea that the name ‘Malayan’ has sentimental value to the Yuchengcos? Well what about the sentimental value of the thousands of students and alumni? That just goes to show they don’t give a horse shit on their customers. I thought the Yuchengcos are good business people, why would they then alienate their customers? Did they not realise that a lot of parents send their children to study in Mapua because of its name, because of its reputation. And if you’re going to take that away how would you entice your customers with a product name that has no providence yet education-wise? I don’t get it, it doesn’t make good business sense. Nag-iisip kaya sila?

Right now almost all the students, faculty, and a large part of the admin staff are still in protest. As an overseas alumni I can only join you in spirit. If you would like to join us in protest please sign this online petition - click here.

No to Malayan University!!

Viva Mapua!!

You can also go to other blogs and sites that wrote about this:

Apple Blog
Carpe Diem
Little Devil's Haven
Mapua Online
MIT Students
My Hideaway
No to Malayan Forum
Stranded on the Same Ground
United Mapuans

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