The University of the Philippines Cebu is allowing its graduates to wear their preferred attire based on their "lived identities" during its in-person commencement exercises on July 29.
Citing the recent meeting of the Chancellor's Advisory Council, graduating students will not be required to wear the traditional barong for men and Filipiniana dress for women during the university's 83rd Commencement Exercises, the UP Cebu University Student Council said.
"The University of the Philippines - Cebu is home to a diverse student body full of people with different backgrounds and identities. 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 council said.
"With this, 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," it added.
Graduating students need not ask for permission or write a letter to university officials to be allowed to wear their preferred attire, as long as the guidelines for academic costumes, such as color schemes and lengths, are still observed, the council said.
The UP Sablay serves as the official academic costume of the university, which should be worn over a white, ecru, or cream-colored barong for males or Filipiniana attire of the same color for females, based on the university's dress code.
Apart from the Class of 2022, graduates from 2020 and 2021 who didn't get an in-person graduation ceremony will be allowed to march in UP Cebu's commencement exercises.
"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," the university student council said.