Cover Photo Screenshot From Benilde Central Student Government’s Proposal
Cover Photo Screenshot From Benilde Central Student Government’s Proposal.

CSG pushes for mass promotion, partial refunding for Benildean students

CSG once again maximized the use of online resources, specifically Facebook, to connect with the Benildean community regarding their proposed solutions for the conclusion of this academic year’s second term, including mass promotion and partial refunding.

By Benildean Press Corps | Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Benilde Central Student Government (CSG) President Jason Anchores and Vice President for Finance Darren Cabarrubias clarified and explained the details of CSG’s “Proposal in the Conclusion of Second Term [Academic Year (AY) 2019-2020]” through another Facebook livestream yesterday, April 14. The 50-page proposal was addressed to Benilde Chancellor Robert Tang and included their survey results as well as a detailed plan of action in case the proposed partial refunding of tuition and miscellaneous fees is approved.

CSG urged the College to recall the conclusion of the second term on May 5, 2020; and to consider the factors that affect the learning experiences of Benildeans stating that, “Benildean education whose core is innovation and inclusion that is inclusive and accessible to all.”

CSG pointed out the decision to end the term by May 5 would hinder students from receiving their right to quality education given they depend on the equipment and facilities provided by Benilde.

Anchores, in the livestream, also said the general well-being of the students must be sought out for especially in this pandemic, emphasizing that there are large stressors that may affect student learning.

“More than just dependence on the internet and facilities, is our general well-being. Even if [we] are privileged, the quality is not assured,” he said. In line with this, CSG had also called on the administration to strictly implement the online class suspension which was set to end yesterday, due to reports of professors not complying with the suspension.

CSG’s recommendations

The first recommendation was to suspend grades and service hour requirements for scholars and student leaders under the Student Involvement Office (SIO).

Moreover, CSG proposed three solutions ordered according to importance namely:

(1) “Mass promotion, partial refunding”—where non-graduating students will be granted a passing mark (P) for the current term, same goes for graduating students however they may request for a numerical computation. This means that there will be no Dean’s Listers for the second term;

(2) “Extend the Term with a Numerical Grading System but with the Option to Defer with

No Additional Costs”—where online submission of final outputs is to be suspended, and the term be extended until students have access to their needed equipment and facilities. The proposal states that this solution assumes that normal classes will resume by May 15 and the term shall end on June 6. Students with incomplete grades shall receive a deferred grade (9.9); and lastly,

(3) “Conclude the Term on May 5, with a Numerical Grading System but with the Option to Defer with no additional costs and a Partial Tuition Fee Refund”—unlike the other two proposed solutions, this last one states that should the College push through with concluding the Second Term on May 5, students unable to complete their course are subject to a deferred grade (9.9), adding in a partial refund to all students.

A deferred grade as stated in the Section 5.5.4 of the Student Handbook A.Y. 2019-2020 “applies to practicum, thesis, and other courses as specified by the department. The various academic programs maintain specific rules in meting out this grade.’’ This entails that the student will be given the term succeeding the current term to complete their requirements.

Moreover, the partial refund proposed by CSG is to be done through Tuition Fee Credits. The student government requests for the following documents from the academic council to be able to provide a “concrete proposal in order to provide a refund for students:

  1. Financial statements
  2. Budget allocation for the tuition fee and miscellaneous fee of A.Y. 2019-2020
  3. Revenue and expenses for the 2nd term of A.Y. 2019-2020
  4. Final budget breakdown for 2nd term”

As Anchores emphasized throughout the livestream, these proposals are made with the goal of “[making] sure that no one is left behind and no one fails.”

Waiting for the reply

Dated April 13, 2020, CSG is still currently waiting for the response from Chancellor Tang as well as a confirmation from Vice Chancellor for Academics Geronio Ulayao in attending an online Town Hall Discussion on April 15 or 16, with final details to be announced.

Adding to this, Anchores also brought up Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Advisory No. 6 released last April 14 that had “complicated” the proposal. Anchores clarified that this will be addressed in another livestream.

Anchores and Cabarrubias concluded the livestream by expressing gratitude to the frontliners and the Benildean community for their participation. He also reinstated that CHED is still the one to be held accountable for academic concerns and scheduling.

Read the complete and detailed proposal here.

Last updated: Wednesday, 9 June 2021