Dana: So, JM, how’s your weekend?
JM: Well, ayun, boring…
Dana: Of course it’ll be boring, you’re not part of UJP!

No, folks, that’s not the promo ad of UJP-UP (Union of Journalists in the Philippines – UP), but instead a typical conversation between me and a friend of mine while waiting for class to start. Dana is part of the Promotions/Propaganda Committee of UJP, and she’s been persuading me to join UJP every chance she gets. I don’t think she’ll ever give up. I don’t think she’ll crack me, either.

During my first semester in UP, I signed up for one — and only one — org. And that’s MCO (Mass Communicators’ Organization). I chose MCO because it’s more diverse in there since they’ve got members from all the MassComm disciplines, even those outside MassComm. Unbeknownst to me, there’s this thing called “the app process”. That was something I didn’t anticipate. And that was something I couldn’t take either.

“THE App Process” is some sort-of initiation rights that every applicant had to go through. There are those with easy App Processes (like MCO), and there are those with uber hard ones (like BroadAss and SaMaskom). Although they said MCO had the easiest App Process in the College, I still didn’t push through with my application for a number of reasons.

First, the app process is tedious work. You have to fill in sig sheets, write autobiographies, prepare batch performances and whatever crap they want you to do. Some orgs make their applicants nannies for a day, giving them orders left and right (like, go get me some water! or, buy me some food! or, scratch my nose!). Believe me, it goes from the most reasonable ones to the most absurd tasks. Those are just some things I’m not prepared (maybe yet) to do.

Second, some orgs have “unintentional verbal harassment” as part of the app process. I’ve heard countless stories, from blockmates to classmates, about how their solo interview went. One blockmate of mine even cried after her solo interview. I just thought, what the heck is the need for this verbal “bashing”? (forgive the terms if they’re over-exaggerated. That’s how I perceived things). It’s not like all these bashing are essential for studying our disciplines. And even Academic Orgs have those too! I just can’t see the need for these things. Enlighten me, please.

Third, some orgs involve “unintentional embarassment”. They make their applicants wear trash bags, silly costumes, High School uniforms, and the like. I’m not too much against these “costumes”, since some orgs do need them (like the Anime Org requiring their applicants to wear anime for a day all day).

Now you may say that I’m a wuss that’s why I don’t want to join ORGs. It’s just that, even though these app processes have been tradition for God-knows-what number of years, I just can’t do them just because they’ve been done ever since or just because everybody’s doing it. I will join an ORG when I want to join an ORG.

I can list down so many other reasons, but it all boils down to one thing: joining an ORG is a choice you have to make. An ORG can help you or can break you. You have to consider all your choices, and find out where you’ll be happy. An ORG is not just a group, it’s a community. An org is not just a place to make “tambay”, it’s a place where you’ll be with Family. An org is not a haven of useless tsismis, but a reservoir of knowledge and experiences. Now if there’s some Adobe-Photoshop-Web-Design-Tutorial-MP3-Computer-Gadgets-Computer-Journalism org out there, I’d be glad to run around naked in the campus just to get in. No, Pao, CURSOR doesn’t count.

Ultimately, it’s a choice if you really want to pursue an application in a certain ORG. And I’ve made my choice. Let’s see if I change my mind. *wink wink*

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