In light of the backlash directed to the Ateneo de Davao University during the first virtual graduation held on April 17, Mr. Lunar Fayloga, Chair of the Graduation Committee, told Atenews that there are “no excuses” for the mishaps of the event.
In an interview with Fayloga and University Registrar Atty. Edgar Pascua, both administrators admitted that despite the preparations for the first virtual graduation, there were students “who have felt the impact of some of the glitches,” which disappointed them.
“No excuses. No excuses. We just really extend our deepest, sincerest apology for that moment,” Fayloga said.
Atty. Pascua assured graduates who were not called in the virtual graduation due to technical errors that their transcript of records will still state that they graduated in April 2021.
“… even if you were not included in the ceremony, your names were not mentioned, as long as you’ve completed the requirements for this semester, you will also be issued your diploma,” he said.
“The graduation may have been a ceremony where you have been missed out on. I’m very sorry for that, but you will not be missed out on your records,” he added.
Fayloga also guaranteed that the video will be edited again before the graduates will be individually given a copy of the whole ceremony.
‘Most humanitarian’ list
Atty. Pascua said that the list has been resubmitted “until the last moment” to give the “most humanitarian” list they can give, accommodating more students than the original list of graduates.
“The objective – may not be a perfect graduation but a more humanized graduation kasi it really means a lot to the students and most especially to the parents. And I honor and respect the disappointments of the parents or students when they failed to hear the names of the students themselves failed to hear their names,” he said.
He shared that the deadline for the final list of graduates was initially set on April 6 but they opted to extend it until two days before the graduation to accommodate more graduating students.
Application for graduation was released two months before the graduation ceremony to be filled out by graduating students before the final examination. However, Pascua said many students thought they can only fill it out after receiving their grades, contributing to the delay.
“… the application comes before the exams kasi tentative pa lang man siya na you are applying for you to be evaluated – parang as if you pass this semester, you will graduate ganyan. Many had the impression kasi that they will only apply if they have already been given their grades. That’s one factor. I asked the help of the department chairs for that and many did catch up,” he said.
“It would have been very accurate for us to give the earliest list para magawa kaagad ng iCOMMP and the graduation committee. It would have been more accurate if we did submit the list given the deadline of the grades on time. However, I would rather have delayed the submission, so that many students can catch up,” he added.
The extension for the completion of student requirements such as students’ thesis up to days before the virtual graduation was also another factor, according to Pascua.
“If we will stick to that graduation list, may mga courses na wala talagang graduates. And I do not want to disenfranchise the students. That’s why I begged the favor of Sir Lunar and Sir Bernie to allow me to resubmit and resubmit until some of the courses would be populated na doon sa list,” he said.
Since the online shift last year, academic policies had been adjusted including a one-year allowance to take final summative assessments. Deadlines for assessments for the second semester were also extended.
The virtual graduation was pre-recorded, giving the Institutional Communications and Promotions (iCOMMP) Office the task to insert slides in the video every time more graduates are added to the list, shared Fayloga and Pascua.
“If there is something to be blamed here it would be our decision to allow as many students as we can to join the virtual ceremony because we do not want to disenfranchise students but we are also limited by time and we can only include as much,” Pascua said.