Tras el fallecimiento de dos compañeros de nuestra universidad en menos de una semana, se ha instalado en la discusión el pésimo sistema de apoyo y los deshumanizados que son los procesos a los que los estudiantes nos podemos ver enfrentados. Dentro de estos se encuentra el de causal de eliminación, proceso en el cual un estudiante es eliminado por no cumplir con ciertos mínimos académicos y en caso de querer ser reintegrado, debe escribir una carta de apelación en la que justifique la razón por la que no cumplió académicamente y explicar cómo asegura que no volverá a caer en esta situación. Todo esto a decisión de una comisión compuesta por profesores de la facultad del estudiante, quienes no necesariamente reconocen las situaciones de riesgo, tienen la empatía necesaria o los conocimientos respecto a las implicancias que tiene la situación que cada estudiante está viviendo.

La causal de eliminación es un proceso que se caracteriza por una sobreexigencia emocional: por un lado, puede durar más de dos semanas -mientras el estudiante sigue en clases- siendo un peso más que estresa e influye en nuestros compañeros. Por otro lado, la institución te pide que seas capaz de abstraerte de todo, ser lo suficientemente ‘convincente’ y demostrar que puedes superar la situación y no volver a repetirla. Estos procesos resultan distantes y, en el fondo, deficientes, porque ignoran lo complejo de la salud mental de nuestros compañeros, y dejan entrever los desafíos que como comunidad no hemos podido resolver en torno a ello y más aún, como Universidad no nos estamos haciendo cargo como corresponde.

Estos problemas no son exclusivos de la UC, por supuesto. Son fenómenos en alza que también pueden apreciarse en sistemas de educación superior mucho más desarrollados que el nuestro, como Estados Unidos. Depresión, abuso de alcohol y drogas, trastornos alimenticios y ansiedad son todos indicadores que se han incrementado en los últimos años. En 2009, la Asociación Americana de Consejerías Universitarias registró 133 suicidios en 320 instituciones – solo en 20 de estos casos los estudiantes buscaron ayuda profesional (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/health/20campus.html).

Dados estos antecedentes, resulta evidente la necesidad de que nuestro modelo de educación superior comience a transitar hacia una mirada integral de la formación profesional. De nada servirá aumentar las cifras de ingreso a la educación superior si no contamos con las herramientas para acompañar a nuestros compañeros hasta el final de su carrera y garantizar a la sociedad que contará con profesionales sanos y capaces de desenvolverse en su entorno laboral. Esto requiere un esfuerzo en conjunto entre dos partes importantes. Por una parte, la dirección de la universidad, la que debe detener su ciega carrera sin descanso hacia los famosos rankings internacionales e invertir mucho más en políticas que hasta ahora han sido vistas como secundarias o complementarias, como es el bienestar estudiantil. Por otra parte, los representantes estudiantiles, quienes deben recibir la adecuada capacitación para responder a situaciones de riesgo cuando se les presentan.

Finalmente, es necesario hacer una crítica a nivel país. Es insólito que nuestro sistema de educación superior mantenga la misma institucionalidad que hace 30 años atrás. La reforma a la educación superior incluye la creación de una superintendencia y una subsecretaría cuya dedicación exclusiva será el nivel terciario de educación. Este es un avance urgente. Que el Estado cuente con un organismo que reciba denuncias y fiscalice a las universidades fue algo dilatado al extremo por los intereses corporativos de ciertos grupos de sostenedores, pero nuestros parlamentarios ya parecen ver- ¡por fin! – lo importante que es.

Hemos fallado como institución, sí. Hemos fallado como comunidad, también. Hemos fallado como representantes, también. Sin embargo, eso no significa que tengamos que seguir este camino. Confío en que podemos dar vuelta esta situación y dejar de enterarnos de los problemas de nuestros compañeros por Facebook. Debemos tener una profunda conversación como comunidad sobre a dónde vamos y cuál es el sentido de esto que llamamos educación. Solo así podremos cumplir nuestro compromiso público y ser los profesionales, ciudadanos y personas que el país y sus necesidades requieren.

Ariel Gallardo

Alumno ingeniería civil industrial mención en transporte & logística

Delegado generación 2013

Ex Jefe de Docencia Centro de alumnos de ingeniería 2016

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