My group mates and I were assigned to the organization of SAMASA – Alumni Association. SAMASA – AA were composed of former UP politicians and activists. It started as an alliance of different UP organizations, fraternities and sororities in a way of voicing out their rights at the time of Martial Law and Post-Marcos era.
Our task was to help them flesh out the history of SAMASA, which is actually the history of the UP student movement from the struggle to restore the student council after martial law to its restoration in 1980 and the years prior to the Edsa revolution to the post EDSA years and until the 1990s.
There are not many materials on this period of the UP student movement because the rights of democracy and the freedom of speech is not that accessible. Our group looked for articles and pictures that may report of what happened to SAMASA back then. Sinag and Philippine Collegian were the two publishing papers that we searched for.
I was assigned for the year 1987-1990. I looked for microfilms of Philippine Collegian inside the UP Main Library. While I was scanning the newspaper, SAMASA articles were mostly seen on July-August of each year. Mainly because it is the election time here in UP before.
I also saw how the University Student Council before step foot not only to the student welfare inside the campus but also to the National Issues that our country was experiencing. It was clearly seen how SAMASA dominated the USC at their time.
On our interview with them, one Saturday ago which was our Culminating Activity for our group, the stories which I only seen on the newspapers come alive when I heard them tell what is really going on before. They shared with us the problems they’ve had, the struggle to mobilize students, the fight for repression, and also the good times they had with their co-members.
In 1987-1990, there came a time when they had an internal conflict between their members. They had different perspectives, goals, and views about student councils. And there came another party list called the ISA.
With all the stories I heard and seen about the UP student movement before; for me, their time was the regime for UP community. They made a huge change and revolutionized not only the student councils but also our nation.