By Melissa Luz Lopez
Photos by Demerie Dangla, UP Aperture
Second update: March 29, 12:04 a.m.
The Board of Regents (BOR) approved the calendar shift in UP Diliman today, March 28.
This was despite the motion for reconsideration filed by Student Regent Krista Iris Melgarejo and Staff Regent Anna Razel Ramirez during their February 28 meeting.
Classes will now open in August for academic year 2014-2015 in all UP units. The BOR earlier approved the shift for campuses in Manila, Los Baños, Visayas, Baguio, Mindanao, Cebu, and for the Open University during their February 6 meeting.
The first semester will now be from August to December, while the second semester will be from January to May.
“The decision to shift the academic calendar is part of the continuing efforts of UP to develop into a regional and global university and to maximize the opportunities offered by ASEAN integration and global educational partnerships,” said UP President Alfredo Pascual.
In an earlier statement, Pascual said the shift was proposed for internationalization, which meant syncing UP’s academic calendar with that of universities part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the common goal of an integrated economic community by 2015.
The BOR’s approval is based on the decision of UP Diliman’s University Council, composed of professors, assistant professors and associate professors. In their meeting last Monday, 284 professors voted in favor of the shift, while 164 voted against it. Eight abstained.
A survey conducted by the incoming University Student Council (USC), meanwhile, showed that 67.23 percent, or 1,834 of 2,728 respondents, were in favor of the calendar shift. UP Diliman has 24,188 enrolled students for this semester.
The incoming USC said they “acknowledge the merits” of the shift, but called to postpone its implementation for much-needed preparations, citing academic and logistical concerns, among others.
Student groups opposing the shift, meanwhile, formed the Ctrl + Shift Movement, which listed nine reasons against the calendar shift. The alliance called for the BOR to rescind its earlier decision to approve the implementation of the shift in UP’s seven campuses and to junk the proposal for UP Diliman.
Members of the alliance gathered outside the Executive House early Friday to show their opposition to the calendar shift. The BOR meeting was held at the Executive House, as the administrative building Quezon Hall remains under repairs.
The BOR is the highest decision-making body of the UP system, composed of 12 members. UP President Pascual and Commission on Higher Education Chairman Patricia Licuanan sit as co-chairpersons.