By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
A coalition of student and campus organizations is set to open up an online complaint desk where students can report cases of abuse and repression of their school administration amid the enhanced community quarantine period.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, April 28, the Student Solidarity Network to Survive COVID-19 (SSN) said that it would be setting up a complaint desk on its Facebook page for students to lodged complaints on cases of abuse and repression by various school administrations. “Hopefully, with this avenue open, we can consolidate the reports of student repression across different universities, find common threads between them, and fight back against draconian school administrations,” SSN Spokesperson Jason Anchores said.
With this, the SSN, a coalition of student councils, governments, and campus organizations, also urged law students to volunteer their services for fellow students. The initiative came after the group received complaints ranging from lack of consultations to mocking of student leaders to threats of expulsion by school administrations in several colleges and universities across the country.
The SSN and another youth organization Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) have also called on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to intervene on cases of “silencing, threats, and the imprudent continuation of online classes by school administrators against university students.”
“We call on the CHR to step in and stand for student rights and welfare. School administrations across the country have proven time and again that their standard response to our legitimate concerns are coercion and repudiation,” Anchores explained.
Meanwhile, SPARK National Spokesperson John Lazaro blasted the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for its “continued silence on cases of repression.” Lazaro also accused the Commission that it is only “serving the interests of capitalist-educators” for its refusal to comment on these cases and to issue a memo suspending online classes. The groups have also released an online petition calling for the immediate suspension of online classes, which already gained over 15,000 signatures as of writing.
The SPARK and SSN are among multiple groups pushing for six key student demands, including giving general passing grades to all students, a moratorium on all tuition and miscellaneous fees, the retention of scholarships, refunding all unused fees, compensation of all school personnel for the duration of the lockdown, and for school administrators to provide financial assistance to all school personnel and students who have contracted COVID-19.