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The Weekly Sillimanian | May 7, 2024

As the Silliman University (SU) Commencement exercises draw nearer, we echo a cause many people have fought for throughout the years: shiftees and transferees must be eligible for Latin honors.

It is important to recognize that shiftees and transferees often encounter unforeseen academic transitions, navigating through uncharted territories with resilience and determination. Their paths may diverge from the conventional trajectory, but this divergence should not diminish the severity of their educational pursuits or the excellence they achieve along the way.

Transitioning between departments or institutions necessitates adaptability, perseverance, and a steadfast commitment to intellectual growth — qualities that should be celebrated and rewarded, not overlooked.

Moreover, shiftees and transferees frequently face challenges beyond their control, such as changes in curriculum requirements, credit transfers, and adjustments to new educational cultures.

Despite these obstacles, many shiftees and transferees excel, demonstrating dedication and achievement that deserves recognition. To deny them the opportunity to be considered for Latin honors is to disregard their academic prowess and undermine the value of their hard work and perseverance.

In contrast to SU’s policy, institutions like the University of the Philippines have adopted more inclusive approaches, allowing shiftees to be eligible for Latin honors albeit through alternative procedures. Such flexibility not only acknowledges the achievements of shiftees and transferees but also underscores the importance of accommodating diverse paths.

Therefore, SU must reconsider its stance on Latin honors eligibility. One possible improvement could involve the establishment of specific criteria or guidelines tailored to assess the performance of shiftees and transferees. These criteria may consider factors such as performance before and after the transfer, consistency in performance, and adaptability to new environments.

Extending Latin honors eligibility to shiftees and transferees aligns with the overarching goal of fostering a supportive and inclusive university environment. It sends a powerful message that SU values diversity, resilience, and intellectual excellence in all its forms. This message resonates not only with current students but also with prospective applicants and alumni.

As such, the university should consider implementing recognition programs specifically designed for shiftees and transferees, highlighting their resilience and achievements. These programs could include awards, scholarships, or honorary distinctions aimed at acknowledging and celebrating the accomplishments of shiftees and transferees within the university community.

The upcoming commencement exercises present an opportune moment for our university to reflect on its policies regarding Latin honors eligibility. By extending recognition to shiftees and transferees who demonstrate outstanding achievement, we uphold the values of fairness, inclusivity, and excellence that lie at the core of our educational institution.

It is time for Silliman University to embrace a more equitable approach — one that acknowledges and celebrates the diverse pathways to academic success.


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