By Ian Zane T. Esparaga | News Writer
Vol. XCI No. 13
Dec. 13, 2019
Several student grievances were discussed during the second-day workshop of the Safe Campuses Project. In partnership with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives and the Active Citizenship Foundation, Silliman University is among the five pilot universities in the Philippines to have a Safe Space Desk on campus.
“It aims to establish safe spaces desk where students and faculty could forward sexual harassment cases”, said Gabby Cadampog, Safe Space project coordinator.
In relation to Safe Spaces Desk, Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) through its Students’ Rights and Welfare Committee said during the discussion that QR codes will be utilized in an effort to further promote the grievance tool kit which is one of the main platforms of the current SUSG administration. “It is a way for us to publicize and further give communication and disseminate this project,” said Ben Bensali SUSG STRAW Committee vice-chairperson.
He added that other information materials will be placed in most buildings where a lot of students are situated in. Complaints regarding academic matters or teachers having unprofessional misconduct or in the worst cases like sexual harassment were the cases they focused on.
On the other hand, concerns regarding sexual harassment on the campus were also tackled. An anonymous person shared that the Anti Sexual Harassment Committee under the SUSG does not hold any consistent and regular meetings. However, according to SUSG president Aprille Juanillo, the Anti Sexual Harassment Committee was not yet a committee, though they were already holding a meeting and before the university’s semestral was recent.
The stigma of students on guidance office was brought to the table. Silliman University Peer Advocacy Program’s Breather Room—launched last Aug.—was also facing issues. It was unknown to many that some colleges within the university do not have their own guidance counselor.
Shamah Bulangis, part of the technical group of the Safe Silliman Task Force explained that the system of complaints in the university is not working may it be through the student body or the administration. “That’s the problem or the fear that we have in terms of relying on the current structure that we have because a lot of times they really are not working”, she said.
The inauguration of the Safe Space Desk was moved January next year prior to the first target dates to further plan the said project.