Wednesday, February 19, 2014

For the past couple of weeks, our classes have been visited by familiar colors and faces for one reason: to campaign. The student council election is coming!

University and college student council candidates have been consistent and insistent in making us remember their names, faces, credentials, and colors, encouraging everyone to vote for them.

Aside from supporting your friends and earning incentives on some subjects, here are five reasons why you should vote on February 19 and 20, 2014.

1. Voting is not just a right, it is a responsibility. As students of the University of the Philippines Los BaƱos, it is one of our responsibilities to choose reliable student leaders who are bold enough to raise our concerns, fight for our student rights, and represent the student body. Good governance starts from good decisions and responsible actions. If you are a responsible and sensible UPLB student, vote!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Activities of student organizations featured in this article are based on the activity permits processed by the Student Organizations and Activities Division.

The 2014 UPLB February Fair is here with the theme Youth Revolution: Advancing our Unified Call for Social Change. The event aims to educate the sectors not only of UPLB but also the surrounding communities about the present social issues, importance of collective leadership in instilling nationalistic values, and the democratic rights, we, as a people have to assert to gain genuine social change.

Every year, the UPLB community looks forward to the events in Feb Fair. What’s in store for us this year?

Isko't Iskas love their music. This year, over twenty musical acts will perform in the fair. Watch out for Up Dharma Down, Callalily, Sandwich, Imago, and indie bands like Penguin, Maude, and Hidden Nikki. Hip hop listeners will be buzzed to see artists like JLP, Gnarrate, Protege, and Zaito. Watch out for the special performances by Theater Horse and UPLB’s very own Kairos Band. This year’s special guest is political activist Juana Change. On Valentine’s day, be ready to rock on to Rock United, a concert organized by The UPLB Jocks. The UPLB Development Communicators' Society will also hold their annual Star in Carillon singing contest. Indeed, 2014 February Fair is the ultimate concert experience!

The much anticipated pageant is here! On February 12 and 14, watch the Gorgeous 2014: Classy, Stunning, Empowered of the UPLB Nexus Filiae Sorority. Sixteen beautiful ladies from various student organizations and sororities in the university will battle it out on the stage to be crowned the next Gorgeous.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

You heard it right. We'll let you text using our SMS facility again this season! Messages you submit until February 13 (4PM) will be delivered to your intended recipients on February 14.

Services such as this may be out of hand but rest assured that what we do at SOAD undergo careful planning and development. This service is used by our office to test our SMS facility. During the initial implementation last Christmas and last New Year, we tested the capability of our facility to send scheduled SMS.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

First Semester in UPLB will start on August 2014 while Summer Class for AY 2013-2014 will be on April to May 2014. The UP Board of Regents approved the calendar only for AY 2014-2015. This year's summer class may be the last summer class if the university continues with the pilot test as the term after Second Semester will be called Short Term. The following is the press statement released by the UP Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs.

The University of the Philippines has adopted, on a pilot basis, the shift in its academic calendar starting August 2014.

Recognizing the need to pilot test the shift, the UP Board of Regents approved the start of the school year in August 2014 in the following campuses: UP Manila, UP Los Banos, UP Baguio, UP Visayas, UP Mindanao, UP Open University and the UP College in Cebu.

The seven (7) campuses completed consultations over the past year and have written the Board of Regents that they are ready to shift their calendar to facilitate academic exchanges, joint research, quality assurance benchmarking, and promote students and faculty mobility.

UP Diliman has not completed its stakeholder consultations and will hold a forum on 10 February 2014 where experts will discuss historical, cultural, climatic and international context related to the shift in academic calendar.

The change in the academic calendar consist of:

First SemesterJune - OctoberAugust - December
Second SemesterNovember - AprilJanuary - May
Short TermMay - JuneJune - July

According to UP President Alfredo Pascual, “the decision to shift the academic calendar is part of the continuing efforts of UP to develop into a regional and global university and to maximize the opportunities offered by ASEAN integration and global educational partnerships”.

Under RA 9500 (UP Charter), one of the university’s mandates is to “serve as a regional and global university in cooperation with international and scientific unions, networks of universities…in the Asia Pacific Region and around the world”.

By 2015, ASEAN countries are expected to fully implement the Action Plan of the ASEAN Economic Cooperation that promotes, among others, the free flow of goods and services among its member countries. One of the challenges in promoting student and staff mobility is the harmonization of the academic calendar of the countries in the region.

Synchronizing the academic calendar with most ASEAN, European and American academic partners, according to Pascual, “will create more joint programs and partnerships with other universities, allow students to get transfer credits, particularly under ASEAN and ASEAN +3 Credit Transfer System (ACTS), and address the problem with semestral gaps with partner universities”.

The calendar synchronization of members of the ASEAN University Network (AUN) lays the groundwork for increasing students and faculty mobility within the region. Among AUN member universities only the Philippines starts its academic calendar in June. Most universities in China, Korea, Japan, and North America also start their classes in August or September.

Only three Philippine universities are members of the AUN: UP, Ateneo, and De La Salle University are all planning to shift to a new academic calendar either in 2014 or 2015.

Moving the calendar from June to August will also create a longer break for graduating high schools students before they enter UP. This period, added Pascual, can be used for a longer bridging program for entering freshmen who may need classes in languages, science and math before they enter start classes in UP.

Pascual further said that ending the semester in December and starting the second semester in January will create an uninterrupted semestral system that will reduce transport costs for students who go home during the holidays.

The concerns raised during the consultation process in the different campuses, such as the release of UPCAT results, schedule of licensure examinations, field activities, clinics and internship, and schedule of UP traditions like the lantern parade will be addressed by the different units during the pilot implementation period. An evaluation of the impact of the academic calendar shift will be presented to the Board of Regents after one year.


Prof. Prospero E. de Vera III, DPA
Vice President for Public Affairs
(63) 9178074722

You may download a copy of the statement here.