by Ranjie Nocete | February 24, 2022
Face-to-face (F2F) commencement exercises may be possible for this school year’s graduating batch if “conditions will allow,” according to Dr. Earl Jude Cleope, the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
“We are really hoping that there will be no spike, there will be no surge, there will be no other variant so that we can continue with our life,” said Cleope.
However, he explained that the preparations for limited F2F classes are the current focus of the school.
“Let’s start with the planning for F2F classes. Once we can do that, then there’s no question why we cannot have a F2F commencement,” he said.
He added if the university could prepare everything by February, Cleope is hopeful for the F2F classes to start in April “if all will go well”.
When asked about the students from batches 2020 and 2021 who were not able to have their F2F graduation ceremonies, Cleope said, “If they will be included for the commencement in 2022, I think it will be more problematic.”
He explained that it will be more difficult for the staff and faculty to prepare, “It will be too challenging. We also have to understand the problems of the faculty and staff for the preparation.”
Moreover, Myka Reambonanza, President of the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG), shared that they are trying their best in proposing plans for F2F graduation.
She explained that they were “already in communication” with the league of governors and the concerns were raised.
She said that there are some governors that gave the idea to prepare proposals for the administration on how to go about F2F graduation.
“We want to cater to those different circumstances and adjust the setting, the health protocols, the timeline, and even the number of students that can come in so that’s the general thought from [the SUSG] right now,” she said.
When asked about the recent political rallies in Dumaguete and around the Philippines despite having no F2F graduation or classes, Reambonanza expressed her disappointment and a “sense of anger”.
“I really want to relate this to the situation of students… We’re really trying our best to endure the online setup when we don’t feel the physical presence of our classmates or our professors. We’re forced into that situation then here come political rallies that have their own respective political motivations and even possibly, they’re incentivized to hold these kinds of rallies and they just easily give the go-sign,” she said.
Despite the political rallies that are being held, she added that the graduating batch should stay hopeful.
Cleope ended, “Institutionally, Silliman is always steadfast in its stand that it is neutral. We also do not allow campaigns inside the campus or even visits by political persons. Our concern really is the preparation for F2F classes if ever it will come soon and making sure that our current online delivery is already stable.”