February 4, 2023 (9:05 AM)

3 min read


ATENEO SECTORAL CODES. The Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral ng Ateneo de Davao (SAMAHAN) held a TED Talk-inspired event to spotlight the Multi-Sectoral Council of the university last February 1 at the Bapa Benny Tudtud Auditorium. Photo by Yvonne Baco

With multi-sectoral representation at the forefront of magnifying inclusivity in the university, the Samahan ng mga Mag–aaral ng Ateneo de Davao (SAMAHAN) through the Office of the Vice President (OVP) tackled pressing concerns of the various sectors and minorities in the campus through the Ateneo Sectoral Codes (ASC).

Mobilizing the Multi-Sectoral Council (MSC), as an operating council of the Student Assembly (SA), representatives from the student-athletes, Protection of Women’s Equality and Rights – AdDU (POWER AdDU), persons with disability (PWD), Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+),  Lumad, Muslims, and Christian sectors were given the opportunity for a 10-minute “TED talk” to advocate for their own sectors.

Most concerns raised by the speakers revolved around the lack of opportunities and facilities for their own sectors, although each one commended the entire community for being progressive, making them feel welcomed and included throughout their campus life.

Student-athlete Chrystophyr Trance brought up the need to maximize the use of facilities and equipment needed by players during training and competitions, including the use of lockers, shower rooms, training rooms, and university gym. He also lobbied for athlete scholarships and acknowledgment,  especially for the newly added E-Sports team of the university.

The PWD sector commended the university for providing PWD-friendly facilities, although some rooms remain inaccessible. Engr. Mikko Alinsub also reminded students to practice their sense of mindfulness to the right to access of PWDs.

“For able-bodied persons, elevators are the easy way, but for us, it is the only way.” 

POWER AdDU’s Keathly Masiglat raised concerns about the leniency of the university dress code, accommodation for female reproductive health, increased sexual health and education, and the creation of cyber-safe spaces and protection against harassment.

LGBTQIA+ sector’s representative, Sean Tan, raised their need for heightened representation inside and outside the community and access to gender-identifying services, such as restrooms, without the feeling of discrimination.

“I live my truth without regrets, without any apologies, and I want everyone in my community to feel the same,” Tan expressed.

Meanwhile, the Lumad community, represented by Ruby Bangunan, also wants their area to be fully recognized and to be given aid in transition and adjustment from rural to city life. She also advocated for the admin to allow them to wear their traditional attire during wash days, and implement more multisectoral activities to show no exclusivity in the community.

“Ateneo brought something in us, that we are special, and even though we had difficulties with the transition and adjustment, we can still feel that there is still discrimination in some way,” Bangunan said.  

The Muslim sector’s representative, Janna Matanguihan, lobbied for the availability of halal food in the cafeteria, alternative physical education activities, and increased awareness and consideration of their religious traditions.

Lastly, Rose Piilo of the Christian sector pushed for more publicity and representation in the SAMAHAN to highlight the liturgical events that are being celebrated apart from the events organized by the student government.

Despite the calls not being guaranteed for legislation, SAMAHAN Vice-President Mary Niñalyn Espuelas shared that their main goal is establishing the MSC as an operating council through the ASC.

“It is about time that the MSC should not just be a name but an operating council, so they could maximize what they want to do as a sector, and their representation that they can operate and lobby solutions themselves.”

The Ateneo Sectoral Codes was held on February 1, 2022, at the Bapa Benny Tudtud Auditorium.

End the silence of the gagged!

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