SILLIMAN UNIVERSITY (SU) is set to hold a 3-part graduation scheme starting with the graduating batch of 2017 this March 18-19.
The 3-part graduation scheme will be composed of the presentation of candidates for graduation on March 18, and the baccalaureate service and the confirmation of graduates on March 19.
Dr. Giovanni T. Macahig, university registrar, said that it was a collective decision of the college deans this semester to adopt the new graduation scheme. According to him, this will be the first time in Silliman history to have a 3-part graduation scheme.
“Graduation is a rite of passage. It is supposed to be meaningful. Somehow, over the years…it has become a goal to accomplish rather than a celebration,” Macahig said.
Intimate and participative program
According to Macahig, this graduation scheme will promote a more intimate celebration for the graduates and a more participative role for the faculty and the parents.
“Colleges can now be creative in modifying their programs. For example, as part of their programs, parents can walk with the graduates [during processional]. In the big group, parents cannot even go up the stage,” Macahig said.
Erika Jean Quiñones, a graduating psychology student, said she is for the new graduation scheme.
“It preserves the solemnity of the graduation by giving the graduates ample time for them to be recognized and also for both parents/guardians to be present inside the Luce Auditorium or the venue of choice…In the past, graduation ceremonies were dragging and this somehow eliminated the solemnity of the ceremony. Also, only one parent was allowed to get in,” she added.
Meanwhile, Macahig said that it is sad to note that some parents may not make it because they have already booked their flights, but he believes “that parents would always find a way to be there.”
“We always anticipate that the parents would come earlier and not just on the day, practically because they also want to prepare their children. I think majority of the parents would always come earlier,” Macahig said.
“This is also addressing the concerns of parents nga murag spectator ra pud sila anang big day whereas on this 3-part event, they could actually mingle with the faculty. This is one way of making it meaningful,” Macahig added.
However, Quiñones hopes for “a more systematic and comprehensive guide so that it will not defeat the purpose” of the 3-part graduation ceremony.
“They have to be clear whether or not the graduates’ names will be mentioned not only on the college graduation, but as well as on the university graduation. Because as what I’ve seen here, it turns out that in both ceremonies the names will be called…If that is the case, I would only opt for one ceremony,” she said.
According to Macahig, graduates will go up the stage during the confirmation, but it will be done quickly.
“We emphasize public recognition also in the confirmation because…it’s one thing to be recognized in the college, it is also one thing to be recognized in the community,” Macahig said.
On the other hand, Gil Buenavista, SU Student Government president, is opposed to the 2-day 3-part graduation scheme.
“As a graduating student, although I would really want to relish the victory of graduating, I would prefer if it would be done in, kumbaga, one glorious day. I’m fine if it’s 3-part but one day ra gyud,” Buenavista said.
Buenavista and the Commencement Exercises Committee, which were first met regarding the new scheme last Feb.14, proposed to have a 3-part event that will all take place in one day.
“The committee saw [that] there is a need to revamp the format…We are fine with three parts so each college will have a unique way of celebrating. There will also be an opportunity for innovation. So we are fine with three parts but if pwede usa ka adlaw ra gyud,” Buenavista said.
Buenavista added that he sympathizes with his classmates because the new scheme “entails a lot of effort and cost” considering that graduates would need to prepare separately for the first and third parts which fall on different days.
He said that the original objective of the university was for the new graduation scheme to cut down on costs and time, and to be unique. He pointed out that these were not achieved, except for it being unique.
The university is planning to hand out evaluation sheets after the university-wide graduation ceremony for the students to rate the new graduation scheme.