by Rimaliza A. Opiña and Myra Patricia Tolentino
After days of waiting, 27 students from the College of Arts and Communication of the University of the Philippines Baguio marched Thursday after the university’s Board of Regents approved the motion of the students to waive their academic deficiencies.
Six out of the 27 graduated with honors.
With nine regents voting in favor, UPB Chancellor Raymundo Rovillos announced approval of the petition Monday afternoon, before students and faculty members who have waited for the decision of the Board of Regents since last week.
A minimum of six votes is needed to approve a motion, said University Student Council Chair Yves Medina.
According to the Public Affairs Division of the UPB, the students completed the required number of units in the Revised General Education Program but failed to take the required courses under its hybrid version that took effect in the first semester of 2011. Batch 2015 should be the first batch to enroll in the hybrid version, which requires them to take up subjects like English 1, Speech Communication 10, History 1, and Communication 1.
In its press release, UPB said the situation came about when students relied on the “self-advising” scheme. The students were provided a copy of the new checklist by the Office of the College Secretary, which also oriented freshmen batch 2011 about the new curriculum. From 2011 to 2015, the CAC made two checklists marked as “old” and “new.” The CAC did not indicate which batch of students should be using which batch of checklists. Under the self-advising scheme, students independently choose their courses during the pre-registration period. During the regular registration period, the students consult their advisers. But because there were two checklists available, advisers overlooked that batch 2011-2015 should use the new checklist – a fact recognized by the CAC, which helped the students bring their appeal to the University Council, the highest academic decision making body of the UP System and later to UP President Alfredo E. Pascual, when the former first disapproved the 27 students’ motion.