February Commencement Exercises moved to July; merged with second sem graduates
Due to the insufficient number of academic year (AY) 2018-2019 summer term and first semester graduates, the 43rd Commencement Exercises on February 2019 will now be held on July 17 to 19, 2019 alongside the second semester graduates, as confirmed by University Registrar Paulino Gatpandan.
As per Gatpandan, the estimated 500 graduates from the summer term and first semester are not enough students for the University to hold the initially planned 43rd Commencement Exercises in February.
“That’s the main reason we (admin) decided not to push through with [February Commencement Exercises], kasi kung magkakaroon tayo ng graduation, and then less lang ‘yong a-attend, sayang din ‘yong budget na ia-allot natin ‘don. In that case, i-allot nalang natin ‘don sa tatlong day na graduation natin which is scheduled on July,” he said.
As stipulated in the 2018-2019 academic calendar released earlier this AY, the 43rd Commencement Exercises were originally scheduled on February 23, 2019 while the 44th Commencement Exercises on July 17 to 19, 2019. However, the 43rd February Commencement Exercises has since been merged with the Commencement Exercises on July 17 to 19.
Due to the abrupt announcement from the Registrar’s office, numerous graduating students have raised concerns over the scheduling as no prior memo was released by the office.
Nico Galvez, Civil Engineering graduating student, expressed disfavoring the decision, “Hindi pabor sakin kasi may mga plano na nabago … tsaka kasi may ibang tao na uuwi ng probinsya after ng board exam, e’ ‘di maghihintay pa ng ilang buwan para lang sa graduation.”
On the other hand, numerous graduating students have expressed that subjects which could’ve been taken during the second semester were petitioned by them to graduate earlier, adding that summer term graduating students had been waiting for the February Commencement Exercises since.
In response, Gatpandan stated that the academic calendar was prepared prior to the start of the AY, as the final number of graduating students at the time was still not finalized “normally kasi maco-count mo lang ‘yon (number of graduating students) once they enroll ng first sem[ester].
TOR and diploma
Graduating students have also reported that the release of graduation documents such as the Transcript of Records (TOR) and diplomas as a primary concern in order for them to start employment by 2019.
With regards to the aforementioned documents, Gatpandan explained that the lack of a graduation ceremony on February will not be a hurdle to process graduates’ TOR and diploma, “By January, once they (graduates) already process their clearance, they can already request for their TOR and diploma because they are considered graduates of December 2018.”
Gatpandan furthered that for the next AY 2019-2020, there will also be no mid-year graduation ceremony due to the limited number of students. While for the following AYs, “it will still be decided.”
“Because we only have first year and second year next year, mapuputol ‘yon, may time na wala tayong graduation that is because wala tayong fourth year and fifth year students.”