It’s official. Starting academic year 2017-2018, DLSU students will no longer be separated from their blocks after second term and instead will stay with their respective block sections until graduation. This also means that students will no longer need to plan their own schedules and enlist online every term. Only ID 116 students and below, as well as graduate students, will be allowed to continue with the online enlistment until they finish their academic programs.
In a historic meeting held last week, DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC signed this proposal into effect after months of research and deliberation with various sectors within the University. The drastic move came after years of unsolved enrollment issues concerning the systematic problems of Animo.sys, DLSU’s primary enrollment system, and other external factors caused by students.
No more enlistment issues
The plan to revoke the manual enlistment system that students have been partaking in for years now has apparently been in the works for the past six months by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academics headed by Dr. Robert Roleda. To address the enlistment issues that plague the student body, one of the original plans that was considered is the establishment of a manual enrollment system, where students will line up and select the classes that they wish to enlist in.
According to Dr. Roleda, the manual enlistment that was originally formulated was only temporary until the planned system upgrade of Animo.sys is completed. However, this plan was scrapped as it would not only bring about massive changes in the University’s operations and logistics but also cause too much hassle to students.
Enrollment issues in terms of administrative and external problems will be eliminated, and among these are site-crashing, wi-fi inefficiency, lack of classes or slots, students not following flowcharts, subject failures, and lack of faculty, among others. The issues that brought headaches to every student will be discontinued, and in turn, the University will provide ready-made schedules and a permanent block section. Dr. Roleda explains that another rationale of such policy is to make academic life easier for students.
“We believe that this policy is the best solution that will remedy the enrollment issues in the long run,” Dr. Roleda claims. “Not only will this address the problems, they will also relieve students the hassle of adjusting to different classes each term. Our students will have each other to help them get through academic life with ease, as compared to the previous system of having different classes every term.”
Flowchart-based, ready-made schedules
In lieu of manual enlisting, a schedule will be given to students every term and it will be based on the students’ respective flowcharts. The reason for this is to avoid the “flowchart traffic” or the high influx of students who do not follow their flowcharts, thus causing trouble and taking the slots of the students who need to enlist in courses, most especially seasonal ones.
College of Liberal Arts Academic Officer Maybelle Barraca was one of the proponents for this idea. “Of course, I see the students having a hard time every time the enlistment period comes. I can’t solve all the problems even if I want to. As part of the faculty, it’s my job din to take into account the student absences every time [enlistment period] comes,” Barraca answers in a mix of Filipino and English.
Barraca also noticed the absences that students make because of the previous enlisting periods. “It is really alarming. I want the students to learn. Personally, for me, it should have been implemented a long time ago since it’s already the 21st century. It’s now popular to have everything instant and ready-made. I think the proposal of the Vice Dean is really for the benefit of the students,” she shares.
Barraca also mentioned that the students need not to worry about their ready-made schedules. She said that it will be double-checked and timely with their flowcharts. If ever a student accumulates a failure, the ready-made schedule will adjust and therefore give more slots to classes that the student failed.
In comparison with other universities
The University of Santo Tomas (UST) shares the same system. Br. Suplido also reveals that the block section had been patterned after the 405-year-old university after a meeting with its chancellor, Bruno Cadore OP.
“We have been very observant for the past few years, and seeing as both of our presiding universities uphold educating the youth, fostering unity and dignity, and serving others with diligence and respect, I think it’s time to make these students aware of what is the genuine essence of ‘unity’ given the crisis that can be observed within our country today,” Br. Suplido asserts when asked about what prompted the execution of the proposal.
Meanwhile, UST Chancellor Bruno Cadore OP says, “It’s a humbling experience for La Salle to be patterned after one of [UST’s] traditions. Truly a humbling experience, indeed. I know the problems encountered by the students regarding the enrollment issues, and that is the reason why UST has this tradition, as far as I know. I am hoping that as two of the country’s most prestigious universities, we are able to unite the students’ experiences into one, with more projects to come in the near future.”
Dr. Roleda also shares the same sentiments as Br. Suplido, and is in support of the University’s recent action. “I was quite surprised also, but it can’t be helped. There had been numerous reports about the University’s system of enlistment before, and it was not a good way to get more students. The enlistment period alone is a turn-off, and as Vice Chancellor for Academics, I want students to be able to fully live their college lives without the hassle and inconvenience,”
Royanna Martin (II, AEF-BSA) was one of the few students who heard about the recent executed proposal. At first, she was hesitant to believe it but later confirmed through her political party’s incessant inquiries.
“I first heard it in Tapat, wherein my co-member is the son of a faculty who is a member of the proposal’s committee. I was really upset when I knew that it will finally be happening, because I am quite familiar with UST’s similar system. I feel for the students who will be under this new rule because they will have less chances of meeting other people in the University,” she replies.
Tom Dizon (I, BS-IT) claims that he is unlucky that he will not be part of the new block section. “I’m super bummed that I still have to manually enlist my subjects. I know that my friends in Ateneo de Manila University have the same system, and knowing that my enlistment will still be hassle, it is going to be a big blow for me. Everyone knows how hard it is to get classes. [The administration] should have thought of this sooner to avoid further complications,”