The University of the Philippines Open University further operationalizes its gender diversity and inclusivity principles by allowing transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals to freely be and express themselves based on their gender identities and expression during graduation ceremony.
With the recommendation from the UPOU Office of Gender Concerns (OGC), the Chancellor’s Advisory Council (CAC) at its 221st meeting on August 10, 2022 approved the following guidelines for the graduation ceremony:
- Candidates for graduation will be given an option to add their lived names or preferred lived names in the Graduation Programs
- The Graduation Programs will contain the legal and lived names of the candidates, with the lived name in parenthesis
- Legal names will be announced during the Graduation Ceremony, before the lived names of the candidates
- “Male” or “Female” will be removed from the instructions about the graduation attire to allow TGNC individuals to dress based on their gender identities and expressions
During the special CAC meeting on November 15, 2023, the same guidelines were likewise approved for the upcoming graduation ceremony 2023. These guidelines come as a strengthened affirmation of the university to the growing recognition of the importance of inclusivity and respect for diverse identities within educational institutions.
The guidelines above mentioned are aligned with the UP System’s UP Gender Guidelines and Safe Spaces Act. Moreover, other UP Constituents Universities currently practice gender-inclusive guidelines during graduation rites.
By embracing diversity and providing opportunities for self-expression, these policies not only validate the experiences of TGNC individuals but also contribute towards building a more inclusive university and society as a whole.
Candidates for graduation may request their lived names to be included in the graduation program and be read in the ceremony alongside their legal name through the link below until November 24, 2023: