Students skip wearing uniforms amid scandal
Starting yesterday, college students were allowed to skip wearing their prescribed uniform in a Cebu City university in the aftermath of a sex video scandal involving one of its female students.
Officials were prompted to relax the regulation after receiving reports that some students were embarrassed by heckling, stares or rude remarks from passersby who were aware of the scandal and associated it with the Catholic school.
In the lobby of the university's main campus, an LCD screen announced that "Wearing of school uniform both male and female is suspending starting Feb. 5, 2013 until further notice. Please be guided."
The announcement was issued by the Student Affairs Office (SAO).
The female student, the possible victim of unauthorized video recording, has remained unnamed in news reports as well as the private school since no complaint has been filed.
The video, which went viral in the Internet sometime in January, raised a furor off and on campus because the coed was wearing the school's uniform and ID during her sexual encounter with a young man.
Since then the private university has been struggling to deal with the effect of the scandal while protecting the privacy of the college student, who was described as a scholar and a dean's lister. The young woman stopped showing up for class after January.
The school's SAO chief, who requested anonymity, yesterday said he received reports that other students were made fun of in jeepneys, restaurants and other public places.
"That is why we decided to tell them that they are exempted from wearing their school uniform until this issue is forgoten," the official said.
He said one student was mocked in a jeepney whose passengers clapped their hands when she boarded, dressed in the school uniform. Another female student punched those who insulted her.
The school official said a seminar will be held this Saturday during the students' Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) class. "We need to lift their morale," he said.
The SAO chief said the student's conduct in the video, believed taken two years ago, was an "isolated" case and did not reflect the values of the university or its students.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama urged the public to stop the proliferation of the video. He said the two young adults involved were also victims of the situation who need help.
"Let's not make fun of it. It could be your daughter, your child, or your relative. I am challenging all who have a copy of it, if you still have love for humanity, delete it. Give them their future," he said.
Dr. Rene Bullecer, country president of Human Life International said the incident should motivate Catholic schools to strengthen their values and enforce policies.
He said parents help shape the moral values of their children and should monitor them even if they enter college and achieve a certain independence.
"This is when they should actually watch over them more--if they are already in a relationship, who their friends are. That is why we have technology so that we may easily monitor them," he said.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7) said it can investigate and arrest those responsible for uploading the sex video in the Web.
Senior Supt. Eddie Benigay also ordered his men to check CDs and VCDs being sold on the street to see if the students' video is sold there.
But the police need someone to file a complaint and identify parties involved, he said.