By BSU UPAO - Posted on 05 July 2017

 

In affirmation to the provision of Republic Act No. 7877, otherwise known as the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, Benguet State University (BSU) presented its proposed Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy in a consultation meeting on June 21, 2017 at the RSDC, College of Home Economics and Technology.

Atty. Matias C. Angiwan Jr., Chief Administrative Officer and member of the Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI), said that the meeting which is attended by 128 employees of the University is hoped to come up with a policy that“is acceptable and that is functional within the University…andgives proper respect to the intentions of the law.”

As shared by Ms. Frances Noelle G. Escalera, Gender and Development director, the rules and regulations of the BSU Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures (BSU-SHaPers) “shall apply to all officials, faculty members, non-teaching employees, non-permanent personnel of the University within the jurisdiction of the BSU. In addition, it also covers all sexual harassment complaints from applicants for teaching or non-teaching positions, and applicants for admission as students.”

The said policy also defined sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual activity by a university employee in a position of power or authority to a university employee or a member of the student body. In addition, it was also defined as other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a university employee or a member of the student body to a university employee or a member of the student body.

According to the drafted policy, sexual harassment shall include, but shall not be limited to the following modes, physical (malicious touching, overt sexual advances, and gestures with lewd insinuation); verbal, such as requests or demands for sexual favors, and lurid remarks; use of objects, pictures or graphics, letters or written notes with sexual underpinnings; and other acts analogous to the foregoing.

Furthermore, sexual harassment may take place in the premises of the workplace or office or of the school or training institution; in any place where the parties were found as a result of work or education or training responsibilities or relations; at work or education or training-related social functions; while on official business outside the office or school or training institution or during work or school or training-related travel; at official conferences, fora, symposia or training sessions; by telephone, cellular phone, fax machine or electronic mail; or social media or world wide web.

Atty Angiwan emphasized that sexual harassment is dependent on the appreciation of who receives the act. He said that there might be instances when the receiver may not be okay with the act and that the actor is innocent.

Upon receiving notification of a sexual harassment complaint, the university is required to investigate such complaints for the protection of all students and employees from sexual harassment. The CODI of the University shall address and investigate all complaints on sexual harassment.

During the consultation meeting, suggestions on the inclusion of definition of terms, research and extension in a work-related environment, how to address sexual harassment complaints in the external campuses, among others were tackled.

These suggestions, according to Atty. Angiwan, will appropriately be included in the drafted policy to be submitted to the Administrative Council and the Board of Reagents for approval.// Juman Kevin Tindo