Desktop Donation Drive.

Beta Epsilon leads Desktop Donation Drive to aid UP students

It is one of the aims of the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity to encourage and maintain a high standard of scholarship. However, in this setting, where digital learning has been adopted due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving the high standard that students aspire to reach has been barred by financial and logistical limitations. The onset of remote learning exposed the persistent inequalities that affect the quality of education that students experience inside and outside of the campus. A student can miss a whole semester due to the lack of electronic devices (desktop, laptop, mobile phone, etc.), internet connection, mobile load, and even electricity. Truly, these disadvantages hinder the people’s basic right to quality and accessible education.

According to Cardinal John Henry Newman, one of the many characteristics of a gentleman is that he is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him. With this very essence, as a testament to the 91 years of service of the fraternity, the Beta Epsilon dedicated its efforts to assist underprivileged students in this new remote system of learning - hence, the Desktop Donation Drive project was born. The project was intended to supplement the Laptop Donation Drive of the UP Diliman College of Engineering but its scope was extended to maximize the students that the fraternity can help.

Through the leadership of Brother Alex Ibasco BE’78 and the rest of the board members of the Beta Epsilon Alumni Inc. (BEAI), the fraternity was able to procure 40 well-functioning pre-owned units that were originally built for intensive gaming purposes. These desktop computers were already equipped with 8 GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce 700 series graphics card, a 4th Gen Dual Core i3 3.7 GHz processor, and a 24-inch monitor screen - computer specifications that would be sufficient for the learning of Engineering students. The fraternity also upgraded the units with a 320 GB hard disk drive, 240 GB solid-state boot drive, webcam units equipped with built-in microphones, speakers, cooling fans, keyboards, mice, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a new Microsoft Windows 10 Pro license. The residents facilitated the administrative side of the project by working with the College of Engineering and reaching out to the beneficiaries of the desktop units.

The rollout of the desktop units started in the last week of October 2020 where forty students were set to receive the refurbished computers. A turnover was held in Melchor Hall with the presence of the UP College of Engineering Dean Ferdinand Manegdeg along with six student recipients and their families. Due to the impacts of the pandemic and the ongoing community quarantines, most of the students were unable to claim their desktops physically. It is through the volunteerism of resident brothers Jayson Ignacio BE’18, Andrew Orion BE’19, and Andrei Esteban BE’19 to deliver the desktops to the homes of the recipients that helped the students get their computers immediately. Out of forty units, only twenty-five have been claimed as the rest have opted out due to their improving living conditions. This leaves the fraternity with fifteen units to spare and re-allocate.

To aid as many students as it can, Beta Epsilon reached out to the UPD Office of Student Housing to donate a central desktop computer and printer unit for every dormitory in operation during the 1st Semester of A.Y. 2020-2021. Five desktops with the same specifications were turned over to UPD Office of Student Housing Director Sarah Lumba-Tajonera along with five Brother DCP T31 all-in-one (print/scan/copy) printer units. The fraternity allocated the remaining ten desktop units to its roots in the College of Architecture where Brother Chino Reyes BE’02 spearheaded the communications with UP College of Architecture Dean Grace Ramos.

On its 91st anniversary, the Beta Epsilon stayed true to its pledge of service towards the community as it continued to promote the genuine interests of the country, in general, and the college, in particular. The sheer joy that the Betans get from being of aid to others is enough to merit for the Brotherhood to continue the path of servitude. In this unprecedented circumstance where everything is supposed to be distant, the Beta Epsilon finds ways to bring our communities closer.


College of Engineering


October 2020