/ 14 September 2020

THE UNIVERSITY of the East Administration has stood firm on its decision to hold a virtual graduation next month, rejecting the students’ call to postpone the ceremony until it’s safe again to conduct a traditional ceremony.

UE president Dr. Ester Garcia said that waiting for safe physical graduation would hinder the graduating class’ progress.

“Who knows how their thinking and their priorities might have changed by that time when we can organize a safe physical commencement? By that time, will they be motivated to join a younger batch of graduates in a commencement ceremony? Would it be better to have some form of closure of their student days now, rather than wait for something that is so uncertain?” Garcia said.

Garcia reiterated that participation in the virtual commencement exercises is not mandatory, thus candidates for graduation who do not want to attend ‘can opt to stay out of it’.

“A graduating student may choose not to attend, and it will not prevent him/her from later claiming his diploma and transcript of records from the University,” Garcia said.

Garcia, meanwhile, criticized the UE student council for calling for the postponement of the virtual graduation. The student body on September 9 sent Garcia a letter saying that 89.1% of the 623 students from the graduating class from all UE campuses is against online graduation. Of these, 96.30% opted to postpone the ceremony until such time that it becomes safe to conduct a physical ceremony.

Garcia said she appreciated the student body’s move but reminded them that UERM College of Medicine had a successful virtual graduation last July 29, 2020.

“The graduating class of 2019-2020 is a batch ahead of you. Most of them have already cleared their academic records and just need the official declaration of graduation and conferment of degree by the President,” she added.