By Shareen Anjali B. Warad | News Writer
Vol. XCIII No. 7
Sept. 27, 2019
Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW) Committee officially launched its Grievance Toolkit on their Facebook Page last Sept. 23.
According to Ben Bensali, one of the vice chairpersons of the STRAW committee, Grievance Toolkit is an online site for students to address their concerns legally, and to solve their complaints faster and more conveniently.
The toolkit was one of SUSG President Aprille Roselle Juanillo’s platforms. It was first introduced during the Freshmen Orientation last July 1.
Head of the Students Organization and Activities Division (SOAD) and SU Grievance Center’s Grievance Officer, Abe P. Cadeliña, shared his opinion regarding the toolkit: “It’s very helpful actually, because naa man gud mga students na mahadlok na muduol to file a complaint so maayo sya na option na there’s something online for the students to [share] their concerns.” (It’s very helpful actually, because there are students who are afraid to file a complaint [letter] so it’s better that there’s an option, something online for the students to [share] their concerns).
He also mentioned that even with the new toolkit, the letters would still be sent to the SOAD office which will be further handled by him and the SUSG. Cadeliña also mentioned that with the toolkit present, it will be more convenient for him and for the students as well. “It’s a good thing for my part because in the past while I received complaints, ako man na siyang i-forward to the right offices, I also copy furnished (or the letter is being copied to) the other people concerned but with this one [grievance toolkit], automatic naman siyang ila kong hatagan ug copy so igo na lang ko, ga follow up about this [certain] complain, he said.” (It’s a good thing for my part because in the past while I received complaints, I would forward them to the right offices; I also copy furnished the other people concerned but with this one [grievance toolkit], I automatically get a copy [of the letter] and then I just follow up about this [certain] complain.)
The great thing about this toolkit is while you address the letter to the SOAD office, the offices concerned will be copy furnished to the concerned offices, he added.
Cadeliña said that the only con he could see with the app is the convenience of directly talking to someone personally and be guided compared to just filling in information which, according to him, “murag limited na lang nimo ang unsa pay laing buhaton,” (it has a limitation to you and what other actions you can do) although he said that it is already great and helpful.
He also added that he likes that the toolkit is being handled by the SUSG because, according to him, it will be more comfortable for students to know that the toolkit is handled by fellow students. It will also give the student body the impression that the SUSG, through the STRAW committee, is doing their job.
So far, the toolkit has already received one complaint after the initial launching which was around late July and early August. And recently, they received another complaint. “It is tested and it is also addressed. I admire STRAW for having that [grievance toolkit],” Cadeliña added.
When asked regarding the choices the students can choose from, Bensali mentioned that “the students’ concerns are grouped into four categories: student to teacher concerns, student to student concerns, student to admin concerns, and special concerns which will be handled by the chairs of SG STRAW committee.”
The process of this toolkit starts with the students having to go to the grievance toolkit website and pick their concern. The students will then be given pre-formatted letters to be filled out. The letters will then be forwarded to the SOAD head and further handled by SOAD and SG, he added.