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  • Ateneo Vows To Keep Student And Faculty Safe Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

    The school is rocked by another sexual harassment case by a professor.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Ateneo Vows To Keep Student And Faculty Safe Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations
PHOTO BY Ateneo de Manila University/Facebook
  • Amidst allegations of sexual misconduct by faculty members, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) maintained that the school “does not tolerate or condone sexual harassment by any member of its community.”

    In a statement released Wednesday, October 16, 2019, the university added that “measures are in place to ensure the protection of our students and employees from any form of sexual harassment, at the same time guarantee that due process is followed, all parties are heard, and justice is served.”

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    The statement is in response to a protest staged by students and faculty members inside the campus last Tuesday, October 15, after another case of sexual harassment went viral on social media.

    In a Facebook post, a student alleged that a university professor harassed him during a one-on-one consultation and threatened to fail him in the subject he was taking under the professor. The student then filed a case against the teacher after finding out there were four other victims, two of whom were also professors.

    After an investigation was made, the school reached a decision this semester and gave the professor a 15-day suspension. The student alleged that the instructor will be allowed to teach again in the following term.

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    This is not the first time that sexual harassment cases rocked the university. In October 2018, the ADMU student council filed a case against a male professor who allegedly sexually harassed several students. This case also started on social media, after an anonymous post about the professor was uploaded on a Facebook page.

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    That same year the university administration urged victims to file official complaints as the administration refrains from “jumping on” anonymous complaints posted on social media as these have not been notarized by the school’s governing bodies.

    But Sanggunian, ADMU’s student government, said in a statement that “the systems put in place in institutions like the Ateneo have failed in creating a safe environment for its students and neglected to uphold the very morals that it aims to instill in its constituents.”

    It added, “We are not satisfied with the precedent action. We demand justice, transparency, and accountability—we demand change.”

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    Citing confidentiality restrictions in the country’s laws, including the “Data Privacy Act” and the “Safe Spaces Act,” the university said it cannot disclose any information that “might reveal the identities of individuals concerned, the content of the proceedings, and the consequent decision made by the University.”

    Luther Aquino, an instructor from the school’s Philosophy Department, and who led the campus protest, told reporters that the public should at least know who is included in the committee on decorum and investigation.

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    “They are the people who are trying the faculty members who are accused of sexual misconduct and we don’t even know who these people are? They could be their friends, they could be people who benefit from the system,” he says.

    However, the Ateneo assures the public that they are taking every step possible to ensure that students are safe from sexual harassment. “We are committed to improving our systems and working together with our stakeholders in building a safer and more gender-sensitive Ateneo.”

    Do you want to file a sexual harassment case but are afraid or have no idea where to begin? Click here to get help.

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