Student services units buckle up for gender mainstreaming

| Written by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc

Representatives of offices dispensing student services meet in UP Diliman for the gender mainstreaming consultative workshop. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

The UP System consulted UP offices that deal directly with students and student organizations in the first phase of a “gender mainstreaming” effort for the entire University.

In a workshop organized by the UP Padayon Public Service Office (PPSO) on April 29 and 30, 2019 at the UP Diliman (UPD) Institute of Small Scale Industries, the UP Technical Working (TWG) on Gender Sensitivity and Equality consulted with the constituent unit (CU) offices of student affairs, the registrar, gender, housing, health service, counseling and guidance, anti-sexual harassment, and student councils.

 

Padayon Public Service Office Director and TWG on Gender Sensitivity and Equality Chair Jeanette Yasol-Naval orients the participants on the tasks at hand for the summit. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

Instituted by UP President Danilo Concepcion, the TWG is chaired by Jeanette Yasol-Naval of the PPSO, with the following members: Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Richard Philip Gonzalo; UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (CWGS) Director Nathalie Africa-Verceles; CWGS Deputy Director for Training and Outreach Excelsa Tongson; UPD Registrar Ma. Theresa Payongayong; UPD Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment (OASH) Coordinator Nancy Kimuell-Gabriel; UPD Gender Office Coordinator Teresa Paula de Luna; and, UPD Asian Center’s Maria Dulce Natividad.

Currently, the CWGS is at the helm of implementing the Gender Guidelines and Anti-Sexual Harassment (ASH) Code of the University, and the development of programs and the coordination of efforts at gender mainstreaming, according to Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Bautista in a message read by TWG member Verceles.

Yasol-Naval said, “The TWG was primarily tasked to further craft programs and recommend policies that will continue promoting gender sensitivity and responsiveness among students and student organizations.”

“We are now in the initial phase, which is the consultative workshop. The second one is the system-wide training of trainers on gender mainstreaming. The third one is the GST [gender sensitivity training] caravan where we will bring the training to the constituent universities,” Yasol-Naval added.

 

The members of the TWG on Gender Sensitivity and Equality conduct a meeting during the last break-out sessions. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

The summit, “Gender Mainstreaming Program for Students and Student Organizations: A Consultative Workshop”, was able to draft the following resolutions for adoption by the TWG as part of its recommendation report:

  • Ensure BOR approval for all gender offices/centers in all CUs;
  • Conduct system-wide regular capacity-building workshops among faculty, students, staff reaching out to other UP workers and organizations;
  • Craft standardized protocols, referral systems and processes related to student services and programs across CUs;
  • Provide adequate staff complement for Offices of Anti-Sexual Harassment and Gender Offices personnel across CUs;
  • Set standards in functional staffing for the delivery of quality services, including proper administrative load credit and reenergizing leaves;
  • Institutionalize ways to recognize student organizations that initiate and participate in gender sensitivity programs;
  • Create programs to address sexual and reproductive health, and mental health concerns in all campuses;
  • Implement preventive and responsive protocols related to student services and programs;
  • Institute required courses on women, gender and sexuality;
  • Monitor and evaluate ASH Code and Gender Guidelines implementation;
  • Create a System committee comprised of OASH coordinators to evaluate and review the ASH Code with particular attention to jurisdiction issues;
  • Engage and include CU budget and accounting officers in gender-related programs and projects;
  • Expand student financial assistance programs of the University;
  • Immediately conduct training of trainers among staff of offices that deliver student services;
  • Institutionalize GST in the University (make it a System-wide policy); and,
  • Build all-gender comfort rooms, child minding stations, maternal/paternal/parental and child-care facilities, wellness hubs, and other inclusive facilities.

 

Participants are divided into office clusters to gather gender concerns encountered in their delivery of services to students. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

Participants of break-out sessions, by constituent unit, discuss a plan of action. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

“UP stands firm in its commitment to the highest ideals of honor and excellence, to the practice of gender equity, and the promotion of rights for all,” said Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa in welcoming the workshop participants on behalf of Concepcion. “Our administration is ready to invest in and support the output and recommendations that will emerge from this summit,” he added.

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