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Are You Familiar with Your School's Policies on Sexual Harassment?

Here are ADMU, DLSU, UP, and UST's policies on sexual harassment 
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We're pretty sure you all know that it's only been a few days since a concerned brother narrated on Facebook a nightmare that unfolded to his younger sister while she was riding a public vehicle on her way home. According to Geo Celestino, his sister who attended UST was sexually harassed by an upperclassman from the same university. This call for help caught the eye of many netizens, garnering over 73,000 reactions, 33,000 shares, and 2,500 comments—many of which offer words of support to the brother and rage towards how the university handled the issue. If you don't know what we're talking about, here's the full post on Facebook:

Sexual harassment is a serious issue, one giant BOO! But we wonder why issues like these continue to happen and are dealt this way, even with The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 in place. There's still quite a way to go for victims of sexual harassment (male and female) to feel ready enough to come out with their experiences. And while change is still a long way to go, we want to make sure you are aware when sexual harassment is happening, that you know your rights in your university, and the steps you can take to combat sexual harassment offenders. Below are four sexual harrassment policies from four different universities. 

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Ateneo de Manila University

For Ateneo, sexual harassment is a big no-no, as it violates human respect and dignity, as well as the Sexual Harassment Act of 1995.

According to the university student handbook, sexual harassment can be anything from open sexual advances, unwelcome acts of affection, asking or demanding sexual favors (like forced dates, for example) and basically any sexual act for the gratification of the offender. Offenders better beware, (be it school officials, faculty, employees, and even students!) as they will undergo disciplinary action and may even be dismissed when proven guilty.

De La Salle University

Sexual harassment hurts everyone in the community and DLSU takes prevention of sexual harassment seriously as it has a permanent committee that investigates sexual harassment cases and organizes meetings to increase awareness on the issue. Neat, right?

Some examples of sexual harassment in DLSU's student handbook include: attempts at sexual assaults, acts of a sexual nature done on purpose (like touching, brushing, grabbing, pinching, and even poking), unwanted sexual advances or comments (like gestures, "jokes," or commenting about anything sexual to someone who has made it clear that he/she doesn't appreciate that behavior), making life harder for someone to pressure them into giving in to harassment, and much more.

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Level of punishments depend on the gravity of the act, but if proven true, sexual harassment offenders will take full responsibility for the crime through reprimands, suspension, and dismissal. While there are protections for these cases, there are also safeguards for malicious accusations to ensure justice is served for all.

University of the Philippines

UP is determined to provide a good environment for their employees and students, which is why it also has a special Anti-Sexual Harassment office that aims to spread information, investigate cases, and provide support to victims.

Apart from following the definitions of the Anti- Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, UP's student handbook mentions that their policy extends to people in peer-to-peer relationships (student to student, faculty to faculty etc.) and not just those in different levels or a top-down approach for those who abuse their power. UP aims to provide support to its members who are victims of harassment, one of which is by investigating and taking on legal and disciplinary actions with the consent of the victim. People who try to retaliate or interfere with the justice process in sexual harassment cases won't be let off easily—disciplinary actions awaits!

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University of Santo Tomas

UST has really gotten itself in hot water with how they handled the sexual harassment issue. While UST does cite some provisions of Anti- Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 in their student handbook, they also defined many instances of sexual harassment which include giving favors (more attention, dropping cases, admission and re-admission) in exchange for sexual ones, touching sensitive parts of the body maliciously, sexual threats, sexual assault, persistent sexual jokes or innuendos, showing offensive gestures or pictures, asking personal sexual questions, and other actions that can contribute to an environment of harassment.

Students who have been sexually harassed are encouraged to approach any school official, and the matter will be handled according to the Anti- Sexual Harassment Act of 1995.

While this may not have been a comprehensive guide to university policies, it's important that you school yourselves on your own universities' policies, and that you use your smarts to spread awareness about these policies in your school or community for other people who might find themselves in similar situations and wouldn't know what to do about it.

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Let's all support each other to make this world a better place to be in, and that includes standing up for other people who can't stand for themselves. Be the change, Candy girls!

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Serene Fae A day ago

"The paradoxical idea of attaining a happier life and how to withstand these beliefs."

The Revolting Truth About Happiness by Theserenefae

If people ask you about your vision of a happier life we automatically envision ourselves having more money, true love, a better job, Instagram-worthy vacations, etc. But let me break this to you this, According to Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the voice behind The Happiness Lab podcast, "Most of the goals we think would make us happy do not really make us happy." And why is that? Simple, being happy is all in our minds. The human mind ploys us with these lenses on how we envision ourselves and our lives to be happy. The perception of "having" or "gaining" is the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. So how can we really be "happy"?

• Seek happiness inside you. This is a quintessential reason for our vision of happiness: misconceptions about having a lot of money would make me happy; owning this and that would make me happy; entering a relationship would make me happy. This is not the case, if you want to be truly happy with your relationship, you have to be already happy on your own. If you want satisfaction from others, you have to be satisfied with yourself. And so on.

• Fill that hole righteously We all have that tiny hole inside our hearts, tampering it with temporary band-aids. Fill this hole with purpose. Have you ever heard about The Three "M's"— Master, Mission, and Mate? Define who will be your Master, is it God? If that's so, your Mission could be following his words and will. Mate would be the last for they will be the best companion to fulfill your mission. Now hear me out, it is important to do this accordingly. We often times jumble it or invert it which can lead to failures.

• Give gifts to others. The wonderful grace in giving. There’s nothing like the rush of pure joy when you get a chance to give. However, this may not be something that we're used to. But apparently, openhandedness is our soul's true shape. As Eugene Peterson put it, "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born." This doesn't necessarily mean we have to give away our stuff but we can also present love, kindness, gratefulness, etc. in our own simplest ways to anyone such as giving time, encouragement, helping hand, or even forgiveness. Try giving and you'll receive inconceivable gifts in return.

• Savor moments. Savoring deeply intensifies our positive emotions while doing something that we love the most by simply stepping outside of the experience to review and appreciate the moment. You can practice this by having a delicious meal, reading a good book, or any activity that you enjoy and love. It can also be enhanced by sharing these experiences with others, appreciating such amazing moments, or staying present the entire time.

• Choose to Love Deeper Today's society relentlessly pressures all of us to have this "perfect" lifestyle such as pursuing careers that drain you, finding value through virtual world and purchases, letting achievements become your whole identity, and yet after all that you still feel empty and failure inside. Consumption is just skin deep—a shallow perception of happiness. Deep life brings the best out of us and others. It is about nourishing what you already have, focusing on the relationships than material wealth, becoming vulnerable at times, and being self-aware.

• Understand that Sufferings and Pain are part of Human Being. Always remember that loneliness and sufferings are inevitable. That is completely how life goes. You may be happy for a moment or a month but sooner or later great tribulation will start to kick in. Combat despair with graciousness. Count all the blessings that you have (and will have in near future, claim it!) by writing it down on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. Viola! an instant boost for happiness. We all know the fact that this superficial happiness won't work, but why do I keep on wanting? I already have all this wisdom about how to be happy for ages, but why can't I apply it to my own life?

First, you have to understand that simply knowing doesn't change your behavior. Care to realize that all the tips that I have mentioned are all verbs? Because at the end of the day, it is all about how you choose to be happy and initiate actions towards success. Know, reflect, visualize, believe, and do something about it. All of these are Actions! This is the secret of all the happiest and most influential people in the world—actions. Furthermore, do know that some of these tips do not work instantly most of the time. It requires a lot of time, motivation, consistency, and effort. I do know it's easier said than done. Take each of them slowly, one step at a time.

If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive. It may sound contradictory, but it’s true. Pain reminds me that I can feel, along with other emotions. Pain reminds me that I can heal, just like how I did in the past. Pain reminds me that I am strong and I can do better. It reminds me that life can be bitter, and it is up to us to make it a little sweeter (or saltier, depending on what the person wants).

With this epiphany, I take pain in a positive light. It’s normal that it can break me and make me want to stay in bed all day, but having someone or something remind me that there is hope is enough. It’s normal that I cry my heart out, but it’s important to remember that there’s a calm after the storm. If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be who I am now. It has shaped me and how I look at things. It has changed the way I approach circumstances that can challenge me and my beliefs.

Pain, back then, made me cower in the dark. Pain used to be my biggest fear, and I used to do my best to avoid pain. However, I realized that avoiding pain is like avoiding life. Because of how I wanted to protect myself, I closed myself off to people and opportunities. I used to tell myself that “this will end badly”, or “this is going to hurt in the end”. I always focused on how much pain I might endure in the end that I forgot to enjoy the process.

It’s inevitable, you see? Endings, most of the time, may hurt. It’s natural for us to grow attached to someone or something, and their disappearance might bring us a lot of pain. However, one should always remember that the pain is a reminder of how close you became, how many memories you had. If it wasn’t for pain, life would be pointless. If it wasn’t for pain, we would be nothing.

margaux marie A day ago
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