Ateneo deletes tweet on college admission bashed as ‘insensitive,’ ‘harsh’

May 18, 2021 - 4:32 PM
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Ateneo de Manila University Interaksyon
This file photo shows a building of Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. (Facebook/Ateneo de Manila University)

A private university issued an apology over a tweet that was perceived “tone deaf” and “elitist” about accepting applicants.

In a now-deleted tweet on May 17, the official account of Ateneo de Manila University provided details about the requirements for accepted applicants to the university.

It was in response to another tweet by another account with the handle @TeamAMDG that urged applicants to follow Ateneo’s official Twitter account.

“Accepted applicants need to gather their documents for confirmation, watch out for their school’s open house, and assess their other options well. We’re not for everyone,” read Ateneo’s tweet.

Screenshot from Ateneo de Manila University’s Twitter account on May 18, 2021

Prior to deletion, the tweet immediately gained traction on the micro-blogging platform.

Most quote-retweets and replies criticized the last line of the tweet, “We’re not for everyone.”

It was perceived as harsh and insensitive to the country’s current state of education.

“This really shows how education in the [Philippines] is not given as a right but a badge of privilege and entitlement. It’s exclusive. it’s not accessible. It heavily favors the rich and advantaged while others are left with no other option but to leave and set their hopes and dreams aside,” a Twitter user said. 

“‘We’re not for everyone” is so wrong on so many levels because it disregards every call towards quality and accessible education. Join the call, Ateneo. demand with us. We could be for everyone and we should be for everyone. we’re all for valuing magis after all, am I right?” she added.

“‘A man for others’ pero ‘we’re not for everyone’ pala. Aminin niyo na lang kasi na Ateneo is mostly there to serve the education needs of the rich and elite,” another Twitter user said. 

The account admitted that the phrasing of the sentence was “tone deaf.”

“We framed and phrased this poorly and regret ending with such a tone deaf sentence,” Ateneo was quoted as saying.

“The casual callousness of our reply reflects, quite badly, on how we’ve let generations of elitism and privilege get to our heads. We hear you, and we thank you for calling us out,” it added.

These tweets, however, were likewise deleted.

Last month, Ateneo was named the top Philippine university in terms of societal impact based on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, according to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.
It ranked in the 201 to 300 ranking while four other Philippine universities which made it to the 2021 list ranked lower in the global roster:
These are:
  • De La Salle University (401–600)
  • University of Santo Tomas (601–800)
  • Tarlac Agricultural University (601–800)
  • Mapua University (801–1000)