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Safer Silliman: Should students be scared?

by Nicole Anne T. Gatilao | October 23, 2022

With the recent incidents of sexual harassment and unjust vexation toward Sillimanians, everyone seems to feel anxious about their safety – thus, we become scared. Scared of the things that might happen to us when we leave class. But that does not always have a negative implication, it is good that we are scared.

Being scared allows us to better prepare for any possible scenarios. With the information given to us on the harasser’s whereabouts, we can be prepared if we are in those places. 

Being scared for those students that are incapable to protect themselves will empower the students and put pressure on the authorities to act. The emotional capacity varies for each person because of dependency. Some might be able to overcome their fear for a short time period, and some might take longer. Students that experienced harassment and unjust vexation might be traumatized, and it will take time for them to overcome the experience. We are aware of the after-effects of the act. Hence, we should be scared for students that do not have a firm emotional capacity to handle it.

Being scared will put pressure on authorities to address the incidents with urgency. Fear is one of the drivers of social unrest whereas in this case, the students are the factor. Students are capable of speaking up using various platforms protected by their freedom of speech and entitlement as one of the stakeholders in the university. 

Students being scared should be acknowledged. We applaud the administration for addressing the concerns on harassment and unjust vexation to Sillimanians. But with the upcoming midterms examination students cannot afford to be distracted, hence the sooner the harasser is detained, the better. In this case, it would be favorable to respect and follow the due process with urgency. 

With this, continue to be scared. The making of a safer Silliman is still ongoing, do not expect it to be done in an instant. It will be a heavy semester for all of us since we are dealing with academic requirements and external threats. The public place is not safe anymore, bring pepper spray or a taser to protect yourself. As much as we want to demand accountability from the harasser, there are laws that need to be followed. Hopefully, the trust we give to the due process of law will provide us with the accountability we want. Always be vigilant and stay safe!

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