by Karylle Panorel | May 24, 2022
Dr. Earl Jude Cleope, Vice President for Academic Affairs, confirmed that the university is preparing for face-to-face commencement, but will also make preparations for virtual graduation ceremonies if advised by the national and local authorities.
“Despite all preparations for the F2F, if something will happen, I think we are all aware of the pronouncement of medical experts that after the election there seems to be a threat of another surge, we pray that it will not be as bad as what is expected,” said Cleope.
He added that if things will go well in the last two weeks of May and the first week of June, then the university will proceed with the F2F graduation.
Cleope reassured that the university is always monitoring the conditions in local situations as well as the national.
When asked if the university is also preparing for virtual graduation ceremonies, Cleope said, “Yeah. It’s also an option B. We will switch right away to prepare for option B which we already did in the last two school years. I can’t say we are experts but we have experienced virtual commencement. So more or less our registrar and commencement committee are all aware of option B but hoping that we will not resort to option B, we want option A.”
Moreover, the university already tasked a commencement committee that will undertake preparations for the F2F graduation.
“Once they’re [the committee] ready, I will convene a dean’s conference meeting so that we can approve or debate and enforce [our plans, and] we will submit it to the office of the president for approval,” Cleope said.
To ensure that health protocols will be followed, the university has already tasked its COVID Crisis Committee to issue guidelines that are patterned from the local health protocols and advisories from the university.
According to Cleope, the said committee will also be monitoring the procedures, the implementation of the health protocols, and the triage system of the university for the F2F classes of the selected courses that started last May 11.
“Whatever will be the recommendation and observation from the field we will try to apply it in preparation for the commencement to finalize the preparations for the commencement exercises,” he added.
Regarding the unvaccinated graduating individuals, Cleope said that the university’s protocols will be consistent; not allowing unvaccinated individuals on campus unless they present their negative RT-PCR results taken in the last 48 hours, on their own expense.
When asked about the students from Batches 2020 and 2021 who were not able to have their F2F graduation ceremonies, Cleope said, “It will be more complex if we think about the previous batch. Let’s settle first the present batch because it will be more problematic if there will [be commencement exercises for the] three batches. And, we are still in a pandemic. We will plan for the graduating students for the School Year 2022, and then let’s see if we will be having another.”
The Senior High School (SHS) department is already having F2F rehearsals for its graduation ceremonies as of press time. Commencement exercises for SHS are scheduled on May 26, which will be done in two batches — one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
SU emphasized that participation in the F2F graduation ceremony is voluntary.