UP Cebu students told to ‘express themselves truly and freely’ during graduation rites
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Graduating students of the University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) can wear their preferred clothes that will allow them to express their “genuine selves” during their 83rd Commencement Exercises scheduled this July 29.
“UP Cebu is allowing ALL graduates who will march on the 83rd Commencement Exercises to wear their preferred attire in accordance to their lived identities in terms of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression,” the university student council wrote in a statement published on social media.
This means that graduates will not be required to send a formal request the university’s administration if they want to wear graduation clothes that do not conform to ‘heteronormative standards.’
“As long as the graduation guidelines for academic costumes, such as color schemes and lengths, are still observed, graduating students may dress themselves how they see fit,” they said.
“The graduating classes of academic years 2020, 2021, 2022 and beyond deserve to culminate their journey in UPC wearing attires that stand for who they are, and not who they are expected to be,” they added.
The announcement of the UP Cebu student council was made shortly after the student council of UP Visayas based in Iloilo province denounced the decision of the school administration to require students who are part of the LGBTQIA community to first send a letter before they would be able to dress up according to their gender preference during their commencement exercises on July 21.
READ: Students decry graduation dress code for LGBTQIA
“Cebu is home to a diverse student body full of people with different backgrounds and identities. Consequently, the institution recognizes this and is continuously trying to uphold a safe space where students can express themselves, truly and freely, up until they leave the school,” the student council said.
UP Cebu’s graduating classes of academic years 2020, 2021, and 2022 are set to march with their sablay, which the university defined as its ‘official academic costume’, this July 29, 2022.
It will be UP Cebu’s first in-person graduation rites since the COVID-19 pandemic forced all schools and academic institutions to refrain from conducting face-to-face activities, including classes and graduation ceremonies.
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