By Joshua Corcuera
In my previous column, I wrote about the unfortunate demise of John Matthew Salilig, a Chemistry student from Adamson University, due to alleged hazing. Dear reader, I am also a student at the same school; it is where I am taking accountancy since 2019. In fact, I have disclosed this piece of information in some of my columns in the past.
As a student from the said university, I was able to witness firsthand how the university community mourns the untimely and violent loss of one of our ‘klasmeyt’. For context, Adamson has a so-called klasmeyt culture, where we call one another, especially those who we do not personally know, as klasmeyt.
Soon after the university administration confirmed the passing of Salilig, a vast majority of students wore black the following day to express their sympathies. Furthermore, a requiem mass was held that same day in a chapel inside the school which was fully packed by students. An even larger crowd attended the final requiem mass presided by the University President. Moreover, a student movement occurred recently where hundreds of Adamsonians, last March 3, gathered to light candles and make a statement demanding the end of fraternity-related violence.
Despite all of these, however, it is unfortunate to hear news that some Adamsonians who wear their school uniform and ID lace are being frowned upon by strangers outside the university. Some students share that they feel discriminated against in public as some people connect a negative connotation among students of Adamson due to the recent incident. “Yung isa po nakita yung ID lace niya and pinagke-kwentuhan sila sa harap mismo and sinasabihan na ‘killer’,” one Adamsonian said in a Facebook post. “Meron din incident sa jeep na tinitingnan ka mula ulo hanggang paa and alam mong jina-judge ka,” the same post continued.
Another student shared a similar experience after commuting home. “Nung tinanong ako ng isang kasabay ko sa LRT pagkakita ng lace ko nagtanong kung taga-AdU ba daw [sic] ako,” he wrote. “Nung pagkasagot ko na ‘opo’, sinagot ako ng napakababoy ng ginawa niyo mga estudyanteng mamamatay-tao,” he continued.
With these shared experiences, it did not come as a surprise that the suspension of face-to-face classes due to the jeepney strike was, from one perspective, a good thing as well; so that Adamsonians do not need to report to school for the meantime especially that the Salilig case is still widely talked about by the general public. Even if the strike ended by Tuesday evening, the university administration decided to resume face-to-face classes this coming Monday, March 13, a decision which I am grateful for.
Hopefully, people outside Adamson would realize that we, Adamsonians, are also mourning the loss of our klasmeyt. We are also humans, we also condemn violence, we also demand justice, accountability, and the swift passage of the rule of law. After all, we do not also want ourselves or our friends or family to become victims of such violence and other similarly barbaric acts. With these facts mentioned, I hope that the public would not discriminate against us simply because of this unfortunate incident which no one wanted to happen in the first place.