The University Student Government (USG) confirmed through a post on their official Facebook page that the proposed University Break (U Break) Shift, moving the U Break from Friday to Monday, has been approved by the President’s Council and will be effective next term.
Recently, the USG launched a U Break Signature Campaign in response to the Academic Council’s decision to pass the proposal to move the U Break. Signature booths were set up and signature sheets were disseminated in classrooms throughout whole week. The campaign resulted in an overwhelming student opposition. A total of 7,171 signatures were collected, with only 19 signatures approving the U Break shift, and a total of 7,152 against it.
The USG met with University President Br. Raymond Suplido FSC last Friday to discuss the signature campaign, as well as the concerns of the student body with the U Break shift. After further discussions, the President’s Council affirmed the decision of the Academics Council, albeit with compromises in part for the student body.
As listed on the USG’s post, the following compromises were made:
The proposal will undergo a trial phase next term, and will be monitored using a rubric to assess its effectiveness. The rubric, which will measure the number of Monday suspensions, traffic situations, and effects to student organizations, among others, will be formulated by the administration alongside the USG. Throughout the trial phase, the U Break shift will be evaluated. However, before the end of the current term, the Office of the Chancellor will once again hold a townhall meeting in order to reiterate the rationale behind the shift.
In addition, student organizations and relevant offices whose scheduled and planned activities will be adversely affected by the shift will be consulted and supported by the administration.
Through the Chancellor and the Office of the University Registrar, the administration will also look further into the course offerings that were recently released to ensure that it complies with the class ban during designated times on Mondays.
Steps moving forward
USG Vice President for Internal Affairs Brian Chen stresses the next move: monitor, then evaluate. “[We will] monitor specific metrics and considerations, such as the number of Monday suspensions, effect on student activities, traffic condition, drinking culture, and others. Then we will evaluate at the end of the term how it affected student life,” Chen shares.
He, alongside the USG, however, reiterates that this is still a trial phase, and that it may change following evaluations next term. “Again, next term will be a trial,” he says.
When asked about the USG’s current concerns, Chen mentions that they are currently busy with the coming Monday enlistment at the moment. “My office, OVPIA, is still focused on enlistment this coming week. We will still make sure that enlistment will go as smooth as possible,” Chen says.
Various members of the student body, as well as student organizations, have recently voiced out their opposition to the finalized proposal.
Last night, the USG Legislative Assembly (LA), through its Public Information Officer’s (PIO) official Facebook page, released a manifesto regarding the U Break shift. In the post, the LA mentions that it stands firm alongside the 7,152 signees against the finalized U Break shift.
Alyansang Tapat sa Lasalista (Tapat) also released their sentiments on their official Facebook page. Using the hashtag #BoycottEnlistment, Tapat called the student body to abstain from the upcoming enlistment in retaliation to the administration’s move to accept the U Break shift proposal.
Earlier today, Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon (Santugon) expressed its condemnation for the decision, raising three action points to consider moving forward. The organization also articulated its support for the USG and called upon the student body to remain confident in the latter, stating that “We must continue the fight into the next term.”
This article is part of a series on the U Break Shift. Read more at The LaSallian.