Kalasag: decades of holding guard
Keeping guard of a responsibility and commitment publication of the Artista ng Bayan, Kalasag grips to its role in continuing its decades of tradition as both a student and socially relevant newspaper amidst the tempests of these times.
Kalasag traces its beginnings as the College of Arts and Letters official student publication after the college stood independent from the tri-college, College of Arts and Sciences, in 1983. Its constitution was made in 1989, putting prime to student’s interest, rights, opinions and stands, and being a tool for the student artists to create its identity and significance in the university and society.
And fulfilling its mandate, Kalasag pushed through publications holding in defense the student’s expression and voice in its papers and beyond.
As years progress, storm after storm of issues came and went – from the annual gush, and continuous decline, of new students in June to succeeding graduations come April, from the dwindling budget and shrinking space for art courses to every new laureate added to the college’s history from various recognitions of its sons and daughters. Kalasag keeps close as students meet every paper’s deadlines, faces the realities of collegiate life as a part of a society with a day to day discontent. Kalasag has also become a humble space for students’ works to be published and reach some audience.
Still, Kalasag shakes and weakens from the present conditions it works on, enough to cease and rest from circulation at times.
Usually, Kalasag has members less than the fingers in both hands, a meager few reaching a college of more than a thousand students, which a lot are actually writers and artists. The publication has long been working and squatting on a reserved room, or in the building’s atrium, or anywhere available due to the lack of a press office. Despite these, Kalasag tried to publish monthly or every semester by wall news, or photocopied versions. These previous issues released were either from the pockets pitched in by writers or from the support of alumni and professors. Collection for Kalasag, is to two pesos per student every enrollment summing to a budget of roughly two thousand pesos per academic year.
If to anyone Kalasag is accountable for its inconsistent presence on the CAL entrance, it is to the student artists it seek to serve. Though it may be a turbulent task, the need for a studentry informed and heard is an impetus taller than any obstacles up front and every weakness within.