Amidst the surge of criticisms from the recent Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) 2nd virtual graduation, the Graduation Committee (GradComm) chair Lunar Fayloga told Atenews that they take responsibility for what happened and would be committed to having them corrected.
In an interview with Fayloga, he acknowledged that the discussion on graduation has since been ‘heated’ and ‘sensitive’ because of the denied calls of blended graduation by the administration’s prudent decision due to the ongoing pandemic and contentious graduation fees that added to the students’ and parents’ frustration.
Fayloga said that he understood well where they were coming from as it was a one-time and irreversible event. He added that although legitimate factors contributed to the glitches encountered during the live streaming of the virtual ceremony, it was still not an excuse.
“Tanan man jud gusto nato na the best ang kalabasan pero nangyari na ang mga nangyari at mayroong mga bagay na kahit anong gawin mo ay hindi na maibabalik. But at the same time, whatever actions that we can still possibly do, even if it will be perceived as too late and too little, we will grab the chance to do it. Our students, with their parents and loved ones, deserve the best, and that is why we are so sorry for what has happened,” he said.
He expressed that they meant ‘no harm’ during the virtual graduation and appreciated the people who tried to be patient despite the mishaps.
Meeting on refund and tech errors
In the talks about the cause of technical difficulties and possible refund, Fayloga said that the Graduation Committee and other related committees would meet with the Finance Office to tackle the program’s technical and financial aspects. The meeting transpired earlier.
On the breakdown of the graduation funds, he said that it is “all under the jurisdiction of the Finance Office.”
“Both the Finance Office and the SAMAHAN agreed to meet to clarify the grad fee collection. The different sub-committees of the GradComm and other relevant offices submitted a budget proposal already to the Finance Office,” he said.
“We are now awaiting for the final outcome of the meeting between the SAMAHAN and other student representatives from the Graduate School and the Finance Office,” he detailed.
As of writing, there are no official statements from the Finance Office for details about the proposed refund of the graduation fee and breakdown of the expenses.
In that meeting, AdDU’s Institutional Communications and Promotions (iCOMMP) would be given a chance to explain the technical glitches, and the Finance Office would subsequently discuss the breakdown of funds and its possible reimbursement.
AdDU had recently released a statement regarding the event, sending apologies and appreciation to its stakeholders. They had also announced publishing a re-edited version of the commencement ceremony.
The Graduation Committee would also hold an evaluation as part of their mechanism.
Political fora gains clamor
When the news about a face-to-face event held inside the AdDU campus surfaced online, the students again expressed their displeasure through social media platforms.
Last April 25, Twitter user @Daniel9th posted about an event held at the Martin Hall on the same day, showing a photo of the area filled with chairs and the people inside not wearing masks.
“Uy! May event ata sa martin hall today. Just 36 hours AFTER our virtual graduation. Paki bilang na lang ang chairs and compare niyo sa average graduates ng isang school,” his tweet said.
The event was a Political Education Fora organized by the Archdiocesan Political Education Committee and live streamed on the DXGN 89.9 Spirit FM-Davao Facebook page, which will be held from April 25-29.
“THE AUDACITY OF THIS UNIVERSITY to host a 300pax+ event in martin hall 2 DAYS AFTER our VIRTUAL GRADUATION,” @Daniel9th said in a separate tweet.
His tweets gained thousands of engagements and were shared by many students, accompanied by their words of anger.
As stated in the AVP Memorandum No. 2022-03, the Council considered “the persisting danger of CoViD-19 infection to either vaccinated or unvaccinated persons, especially in large-group gatherings.” Hence, they decided not to conduct a face-to-face graduation ceremony.
With this, the event received clamor considering that the University allowed such an event to happen in Martin Hall, but a blended graduation ceremony was not approved.