Law students graduate in virtual ceremony

Wenilyn Sabalo

A TOTAL of 35 Juris Doctor graduates were conferred during the first virtual graduation ceremony of the University of Cebu’s (UC) law school Tuesday morning, June 9, 2020.

Al-Shwaid Ismael, dean of UC’s School of Law, said they had eight graduates with thesis and 27 graduates without thesis.

“It is really nice because despite what’s happening right now, our students are in different locations. Some are in Mindanao and some of them are in the neighboring islands in the Visayas and their parents, though abroad, were able to participate,” he said. “These are the advantages of doing virtual; everybody can participate regardless of their locations.”

The UC School of Law is the first in the country to hold a virtual graduation amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, according to Marisol Anenias, president of the Philippine Association of Law School, who was the guest speaker.

Ismael said a mass was aired online via Zoom before the graduation rites.

The graduation ceremony last about an hour, he said.

The graduates’ processional march and the entrance of the school’s colors and administrators were replaced by a slideshow of photos the graduates, administrators and the school’s colors.

The message from the university president, presentation of the candidates, the acceptance and message of the guest speaker were prerecorded.

Ismael said preparing for a virtual graduation was harder compared to an actual graduation.

There were glitches, he said, but these were minor.

The idea of a virtual graduation was brought up on the second week of May and the official list of graduates wasn’t announced until Saturday afternoon, June 6.

What makes the UC School of Law’s graduation unique from all the other law school graduations in the country is that aside from the valedictory address, a speech is also delivered by the “voice of the class,” who is not necessarily the class valedictorian.

The practice, he said, started last year.

“I got the idea from US law schools. Basically, the graduating class will nominate someone whom they believe can speak on behalf of the class,” he said.

Present during the ceremony were UC president and chairman Augusto Go, executive vice chancellor Jack Sarausad and UC-Banilad campus director Dean Ofelia Mana.