Friday, May 28, 2010

Insights from the 1st Academic Council Meeting

Posted on 6:51 AM by tonton.neri

Yesterday morning, Louie Jarales, Kevin Salazar and I attended the first Academic Council meeting for AY2010-2011. Eventhough it was a sudden event still that made us very excited to meet the council, represent the students and to know how to hold an academic council, the knowledge we will get from this meeting will be applied for the proposal of creating a Student’s Academic Council. While on our way to the board roam we are already thinking of questions, concerns, and issues that students are having and will be having for the incoming academic year, we want to assure that students will be well represented to this extent. The moment we entered the board room there’s this awkward feeling that I felt, you don’t really know how to act once you are there, at the back of my mind I should be fierce and be professional-looking like everyone else in the room but I’m worried for it might bring a wrong impression about me so I decided to display my meek-ish face. I am going to be with the notable and remarkable people in the university and not just with my fellow students, that made me quite uneasy. But I was then relaxed when the atmosphere seems to welcome our presence there, anyway I am with Louie and Kevin so I should make myself comfortable. ^_^

First of the agenda is the Presentation of Approved Resolutions for the previous academic year by Dr. Lina Kwong , the Academic Vice President. Going over with the past resolutions, we affirmed that the Council is continuously making laws to attend to the academic needs of the students, and there were about 25 resolutions made for that academic year alone. And as a second agenda of the meeting Dr. Kwong reported some unfinished business they have on the previous year, we can actually create some ideas for a project out of the resolutions being laid out. Third on the list is the Proposed Implementing Guidelines for Instructional Materials Development by Mr. Jony Berjes from the XU Press, the objective of the presentation is that to ensure that students will have a good quality of textbooks made or compiled by the faculty. Instructional Materials are important tools in learning and it is just right for the university to double check these materials to make sure that students will get the best lessons from it. While sitting on my chair I was thinking of suggesting of requiring proponents of such instructional materials to include IPP, but this is still a matter to discuss further by the council. The fourth agenda of the meeting is the OICN Proposal, the Integration of ECDI into XUCL by Ms. Elizabeth Enerio. The rationale of the proposal is this, the integration of ECDI (English Communication and Development Inst) into the XUCL (XU Center for Languages) is premised on the following justifications and reasons: (1) The courses offered by ECDI and the Center are meant to improve the communication skills, oral or written, intended for different needs; (2) The target clientele is mostly practicing professionals and those about to practice their professions with specific needs. The Center may accept XU students who want to enhance their communication skills provided they meet the requirements; and (3) A centralized office facilitates the supervision, management and administration of the Center and provides greater uniformity, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and visibility. Xavier University is indeed training men and women to be globally competitive in their own respective profession, now with this kind of proposal, Foreign languages are now being offered to other courses aside from International Studies. Right now, the SBM is taking Chinese language lessons to give them an edge on their field. We can expect that nurses, engineers and other courses can enroll too if they want. The program has regular, tutorial and modular approaches, they can choose which way is convenient for them. Aside from that, Foreigners who wants to learn English in our country are also being accommodated with the integration of ECDI, they will be learning English and at the same time get to learn the Filipino culture. The next agenda is the Inclusion of New Provisions in the Student Handbook on Code of Conduct by Ms. Irene Guitarte. In bold letters the Code of Conduct aims to provide ample guarantee to the right of all XU Community (students, faculty, staff, and administrators) to due process, the following procedures shall be adopted in the investigation and adjudication of filed complaints and disciplinary cases. Every year the Office of Student Affairs received a number of complaints from students against a faculty, staff or administrators and yet there’s no formal action being taken and some cases were left unsolved, now to resolve this, the OSA together with CSG STRAW provided a complaint’s form where students, faculty or staff can write their concerns and then will undergo a certain process that will be provided in the Student’s handbook to be released this coming Academic Year. This is to fill in the informality of the system and also to further protect the rights of both parties. This is also to encourage students to voice out their complains, and be assured that there are bodies in the university that will help them in the process. The complain forms are also for records sake and could be used as evidence to prove that the allegations are true. This proves that the university will not deprive us of our right to social security. Lastly on the meeting on the “other matters” agenda, Louie Jarales air out the concerns of the students about teachers who haven’t submitted the grades of their students to the registrar. This problem will affect the enrollment system this June, and we asked the administration to take care of this problem as soon as possible. Another thing is that we introduced to them about the idea of creating a Student’s Academic Council, it seems that everyone is okay with it and Dr. Panopio suggested that we should include the professionals in the council, like Law, Medicine, and Graduate students, because they are the ones who are not well represented in this university. I think Dr. Panopio made a point on that, after all professional students participated also in the electoral system, I asked myself, why not give it a try? But this is still a matter to discuss with. After the long hours of sitting and talking we finally stand up from our seats to have lunch. The experience is very different, as what Louie said after the meeting “murag True”. I cannot imagine myself being there, but I was, and we are able to make sense there.

Yes, I can say that the meeting was very fruitful, we get to learn a lot of things and there’s this one realization that I think all of us three have discovered, is that we really need the help of these people. It doesn’t mean that CSG is autonomous and can do whatever it wants but for it to function well, it still needs the guidance of these people, who have more knowledge about the university and how to make everything better. Few hours after the meeting we (Jennese, Kevin and I) consulted Ma’am Irene about what she has discussed in the meeting and also clarify some things about the STRAW. The conversation also lead to review some of our programs and projects, and we didn’t actually expect that we are going to abolish one and replaced it with a better one. It made our day, at some point we are also worried about it and now we finally have reasons to let go of it. It’s very amazing to seek the help of the wise, you get to understand a lot of things and come up with brighter ideas. This enables us to be fully equipped for the upcoming Academic Year.

by Regine May L. Abarquez
Chair, Department of Academic Affairs

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