April 25, 2022 (9:25 PM)

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UNSATISFACTORY. The second virtual graduation ceremony held last April 23 was met with backlash and disappointed comments from the graduates and their parents.

As a result of numerous issues before and during the virtual ceremony, the graduation rites held last April 23 via Facebook Live was filled with angry reactions and discontented sentiments from the parents and friends of the graduates and the graduates themselves.

Since last month, the University Academic Council’s decision to still pursue virtual graduation, despite the eased Covid-19 restrictions in Davao City and a full-blown blended graduation proposal led by SAMAHAN, has been met with backlash [READ: Our clamors have once again fallen on deaf ears].

Most of the complaints about the virtual graduation held via Zoom and simultaneously live streamed via Facebook were connected to the events’ technical difficulties, the use of ‘unfitting’ photos for the presentation of graduates, its punctuality, the missed names and courses, and the speakers’ failure to read the awards. 

Lianne Shiannel Ng, a BS Management Accounting graduate, expressed her disappointment with the outcome of the virtual graduation ceremony, especially since they expected that they would be given a decent graduation ceremony.

“AdDU has disappointed us again because the graduation ceremony was late and very chaotic. Our parents waited for hours, but our names weren’t even called because the video was edited out,” Ng told Atenews.

Ng said that the University should have practiced and reviewed the ceremony multiple times to ensure its quality because it was unfair for the graduates and embarrassing for those who waited.

“It seems to us that AdDU doesn’t put importance in their students and the graduation ceremony because it seemed crammed and not practiced at all,” she added.

An anonymous graduate also shared with Atenews their concerns on the photos shown during the presentation of graduates as the usage of those photos were not part of their agreement.

“We were met with disappointment when we first entered the room and our ‘backup photos’ were presented on screen in an amateur slideshow form. We were told this would only be presented if we did not have our graduation photo. Not only was this a breach of our agreement with the university, but the photos weren’t even monitored and filtered,” they said.

Despite their low expectations of the ceremony, the anonymous student shared that they were shocked that the University “could go lower.”

“The ceremony was heartless and ingenuine, like a program forced and prepared [at the] last minute. We were forced to pay a lot for the graduation or else our application to graduate wouldn’t be accepted, the least they could do was make the most of the money they have accumulated,” they said.

A parent of one of the graduates, who chose to be referred to as Leni R., told Atenews how frustrated they were with the graduation ceremony, urging the administration to check the comments of the live stream to know what they could have done better.

“It should have been a face-to-face graduation. When AdDU refused, it was downhill all the way. Students and parents were very disappointed,” the parent said.

Atenews is still waiting for a reply from the Graduation Committee regarding the errors during the program and possible refund on the graduation funds.

SAMAHAN President Samantha Cayona has also announced the student council’s effort in reaching out to the Finance Office  about the refund and breakdown of funds in a Twitter post.

This was the second time AdDU had conducted a virtual graduation ceremony. Last year’s graduation had also encountered technical difficulties, resulting in mixed receptions from the graduates [READ: Tech glitches stir complaints over AdDU’s 1st virtual graduation], in which the administration apologized for [READ: No excuses’ for mishaps in virtual graduation — Fayloga]. 

However, onsite graduations and big gatherings were prohibited at that time. Hence, the University had no choice but to conduct the ceremony fully online.

Thirteen students receive University awards

BS Accountancy student Melvin Gabriel Matus led the 1,152  graduates of the University as the Valedictorian of Batch 2022. Meanwhile, Gerdene Wyllen Tiu from AB International Studies Major in Asian Studies was conferred as Salutatorian.

The Jesuit Mission Award was given to BS Industrial Engineering student Mariah Shane Ng, while Shiena Gabrielle Carreon from BS Marketing received the Leadership Award.

The recipients of the school awards were the following: Monica Caballero – Humanities and Letters, Rona Marie De Castro – Accounting, Ivy Camille Braga – Business, Rowmel Marco Dabon – Computer Studies, Dianne Wenceslao – Social Sciences, Kate Diane Almodiel – Natural Sciences, Therese Marie Litob – Education, Kyrr Justino Zerrudo – Nursing, and Mariah Shane Ng – Engineering. 

There were 365 graduates from the School of Arts and Sciences, 553 from the School of Business and Governance, 67 from the School of Nursing, 135 from the School of Engineering and Architecture, and 32 from the School of Education.



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