Seeing the overwhelming torrent of new and familiar faces walking up the doors of the university gymnasium, bustling and noisy, signals the opening of classes, but those are the memories of the past. Today is a different day – a new day. With the new virtual form of the annual welcome ceremony, students met new and familiar faces appearing on the screen in a blink of an eye, flooding hearts and likes, commenting ‘mine’, ‘present’, online products, Among Us codes, and a lot more – just like the noises of the past.
Palawan State University (PSU) started off the academic year with the online University Orientation and Welcome Program 2020 for its new and returning students through Facebook and YouTube. The program was set to be premiered September 1 but due to “consistent power interruptions and poor internet connection due to bad weather,” the program was rescheduled to the next day.
Against all “uncertainties” like the unexpected power interruptions, poor internet connection and the bad weather, the university managed to successfully conduct the online program just like how the new normal pushed everyone “to adapt and become flexible to uncertainties.”
“As we cross the junction on the physical and digital fields of education, the new normal is pushing us to adapt and become flexible to uncertainties. This pandemic teaches us to be open to changes, to show empathy to all living things and to always be prepared in season and out of season,” said the Director of the Office of Student Affairs and Services (OSAS) Dr. Grace N. Abrina in her welcome speech.
Students and professors adapt with the new norm of education within the comfort of their homes but this form of education demands proper allocation of time, this is what the University President Dr. Ramon M. Docto imparted in his message.
“You may be studying from the comfort of your homes and away from your classmates and professors most of the time. The readiness and your time here will be academically demanding but deeply rewarding if you are able to properly allocate the time for your academic work and other activities,” said the university president.
On the other hand, because of the pandemic, many of the students’ most-awaited programs in the past few years in the university will be shelved, but other online activities are lined up.
“This year we may not be able several most expected activities by the university which includes of course; the Freshmen Walk, the Intramurals, the Student’s Week, the different college activities and the most awaited Music Festival. Moreover, the University Student Government (PSU-USG) and your respective College Student Government (CSG) including the college-based and university-wide organizations have prepared some interesting activities that will be held online,” said the PSU-USG president and Student Regent, Elijah Daniel B. Geanga in his message.
This year’s University Orientation and Welcome Program was hosted by Jesse Barret Mamaid and Lindsy Angela Uedora. The participants of the event were also greeted by ‘CAHptain Beybe’, also played by Jesse Barret Mamaid, and his fight with the goons – depicting a creative representation of the safety measures against COVID-19.
The PSU officials as well as the services offered by the different departments in the university were introduced during the program. On the other side, the participants were also guided by the superhero ‘CAHptain Beybe’ a cartoon show inspired tour around the different colleges in the main campus with his pal, ‘Map’.