ERRATUM: USG President Mikee De Vega brought into our attention an error in the original statement the USG released earlier this week. Number 3 of the proposal’s policies should have read: “Classes will end at 2:15 on Mondays. On Fridays, on the other hand, classes will end at 4:00,” rather than “Classes will end at 2:15 on both Mondays and Fridays.”
The University Student Government (USG), through USG President Mikee De Vega, released an official statement earlier this week regarding the administration’s proposal to move the University Break from Friday to Monday.
The USG’s statement is as follows:
The Academics Council has recently voted to move the University break from Friday to Monday. This decision of the Academics Council comes, as a recent review of historical data shows that Mondays are more likely to be affected by suspensions of various kinds (inclement weather, holidays, and transport strikes, among others.
As a way of avoiding the disruption of the Academic Calendar, the policy proposes the following:
1) Regular classes will be held every Tuesday-Thursday, and Wednesday-Friday.
2) The laboratory classes normally held on Fridays will be moved to Mondays. Other activities such as NSTP and LASARE may possibly be held on Saturdays and Sundays.
3) Classes will end at 2:15 on Mondays. On Fridays, on the other hand, classes will end at 4:00.
4) Classes beyond 4:15 on Wednesdays will last for three (3) hours to cope with shortened class hours on Fridays.
The vote of the Academics Council means that the proposal will now be transmitted to the Chancellor’s Council and the President’s Council. Both councils have yet to meet to discuss the matter.
Several sectors of students have raised their opposition to the proposal. Representatives of the different organizations opposed based on the significant negative impact this policy would impose on their activities. The proposal entails moving activities from Fridays to either Weekends or Mondays, which decreases the likelihood of securing speakers, partners, and sponsors. Moreover, the strict restrictions on Campus every Sunday imposes a logistical difficulty on activities scheduled on a Monday. Data gathered by the USG also shows a likelihood of decreased attendance in these activities, as more students are not inclined to leave for campus on this day. On the other hand, students who go home to nearby provinces on Weekends argue that they lose the advantage of going home a day earlier than most students. This policy imposes additional burdens on them, considering the inherent difficulties they face in going to school.
The USG has endeavored to bring all these concerns to the relevant authorities, and is in constant communication with members of the University administration to ensure that these concerns will be considered in the final decision. As of now, the USG is in the middle of preparing for a presentation in the next meeting of the Academics Council. While several offices have already begun preparations to ensure a smooth transition, the USG has full faith that the University administration will carefully consider the plight of the students in arriving at a mutually agreeable decision.
To this end, the USG is committed to do everything within its power to secure the best outcome for students, and is requesting to hear more from the students so that a full account of the students’ sentiments may be made.
Mikee De Vega
University Student Government
The statement comes nearly four weeks after a townhall meeting was initiated by the Office of the Chancellor to discuss the possibility of changing the current Monday to Thursday class scheme to a new Tuesday to Friday system.
The proposal to change the U Break schedule aims to reduce the disruptions brought about by class suspensions, which data showed to occur mostly during Mondays.