My dear Viscans,

The VSU Board of Regents met online last Tuesday, 28 April 2020, for our 1st Quarterly Meeting. We have arrived at important decisions regarding our classes and other university operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on these decisions, I signed a series of memorandum circulars, which details what we will do after 30 April 2020.

Here are some of the highlights:

  1. After April 30, students will no longer go back to our campuses to complete the 2nd semester. Given all the quarantines, border controls, and the scare of the virus itself, it is for everyone’s best interests that you stay at home for the time being.

  2. Your teachers will give you a numerical grade, which will come from your performance until we suspended classes last March 13. However, your teachers may think it best to contact you and arrange for you to complete your requirements or add more. There are very specific guidelines on how you will be graded (OP Memorandum Circular No. 49, S. 2020), guided by our philosophy that no Viscan must be left behind. For one, under no circumstance will you be penalized if you fail to comply any class activity given during the suspension. Please study the memo carefully for more details.

  3. Has the semester ended already? No, because there are still deadlines: June 15 for graduating students and June 22 for non-graduating students (see OP MC No. 46, S. 2020). We wanted to give enough time for students to submit requirements and for faculty to work on your grades. As always, maximum leniency and utmost consideration.

  4. I know graduating students have been looking forward to #VSUGrad, but unfortunately, we cannot do in-person graduation rites. However, we cannot just let you go without recognizing you. So we are planning to hold a virtual graduation ceremony for you and hopefully we can make this happen. It’s the least we can do.

  5. There will be no summer classes. Classes at VSU will be back for the 1st Semester of SY 2020-2021. We will announce dates and specifics in due time.

  6. We have set guidelines for the “new normal” at the university. For the mean time, all faculty will work at home, while staff will spend half of their time at the office and the rest at home. The details are in OP MC No. 47, S. 2020. Employees, please read the memo and be guided accordingly.

  7. I’ve said in my last statement that our faculty are preparing for flexible class arrangements starting the next school year. The Committee on Online-Ready Instructional Materials and Classroom Design led by VP Beatriz Belonias wrote instructions and pointers on how to make our classes ready for flexible learning (OP MC No. 48, S. 2020). That is what they will be working on until classes resume, hopefully by August.

The memos are very extensive because they capture comprehensively all that we’ve considered and discussed in the many meetings we’ve held. Please read them carefully and be guided accordingly.

As your chief steward, leading this university to brave this ‘new normal’ will be challenging, but I rest in the thought that Viscans have time and again rallied towards the common good. We will do this one day at a time.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon. For now, please stay safe in your own homes. God bless us all.

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