DLSU to create center for inclusion, gender sensitivity

Anna Gabrielle Cerezo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2020 02:10 PM | Updated as of Dec 03 2020 02:54 PM


MANILA -- De La Salle University (DLSU) said on Tuesday it would establish a new unit focused on creating processes, programs, and activities on inclusion, gender sensitivity, diversity, and well-being.

"The anthropological view of human nature that motivates Lasallians recognizes and dignifies every human being as being unique, unrepeatable, and educable. Discrimination based on gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation has no place in the Lasallian educational mission," DLSU wrote on its page. 

The Lasallian Center for Inclusion, Diversity, and Well-being will be effective in the academic year 2021-2022. Dr. Estesa Xaris Que Legaspi, chair for the Counseling and Educational Psychology department, will lead the transition and operation of the unit.

"In its commitment to maintain a safe and nurturing environment for all its members, De La Salle University recently approved the policies on the implementation of the Safe Spaces Act (RA 11313) and the Mental Health Act (RA 11036)," DLSU added.

The Safe Spaces Act or "Bawal Bastos Law" was passed in 2019, while the Mental Health Act was signed into law in 2018. 

The policy will condemn all forms of sexual harassment and discrimination committed within the campus, in connection with the university's programs and activities including those committed online, and will provide all victims who come forward with the necessary assistance and support. 

"The university hereby adopts the following policy on full promotion of the value of dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights. This also recognizes the role of women in nation building and ensures fundamental equality, security and safety," DLSU said.

The Catholic school also said they will issue the Lasallian community with a gender-sensitive education, tailor a gender-responsive curriculum, audit their guidelines, structures, and mechanism to support gender equality and safe spaces, and train and develop their faculty and partners accordingly.

"[The Center] will be tasked to develop programs that build awareness and deepen institutional commitment to creating safe spaces and promoting mental health," it said.

The reform came after sexual harassment complaints from Taguig Science High School students and alumni circulated online in October.

Earlier in March, students and school administrators from different universities called on their schools to comply with with the Safe Spaces Act and enforce grievance procedures that will accommodate concerns of survivors of sexual harassment.

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