I have been studying for  years in this school and I have always believed that the school supports and upholds students’ rights that gear towards maturity, discipline, fairness and respect. Five people in your staff have proven my belief wrong.
In pursuance of our grievance procedure as indicated in the most recent Undergraduate Bulletin, I am writing this formal complaint against the [name here], supervisor of our Computer Lab, 2 Computer Lab Assistants and 2 Security Personnel.
Last [date of incident], I, together, with a classmate was rushing to the Computer Lab to print handouts for a group presentation that shall start in 20 minutes. Like normal, we went straight into the Computer Lab but were suddenly stopped by a Computer Lab Assistant (a girl), and who asked us to swipe our IDs. Although there is a note outside of the door that the ID is required, they never required this of me so for the past 2 years that I have come into the lab, I didn’t think it was ever needed and since time is of the essence at this point, I didn’t think I had the time to search through the three bags I had with me for my ID.
My classmate was able to find hers and she went in. I explained the situation to the Computer Lab Girl and requested for me to just sit next to my classmate and instruct her on what to print but the girl said “No, you should sit in the corner; and you can’t sit next to your classmate.” I find the first statement very inappropriate but we were pressured. I asked her to reconsider. Another Computer Lab Assistant (also a girl) then came and started giving me an attitude. I was forced to defend myself and answered back saying that “for two years no one ever asked me for an ID and you guys are giving me an attitude.”
They didn’t respond anymore so I went in with my classmate and sat beside her as I surf through my things for my ID. As my classmate started to type, the supervisor is suddenly there asking me what happened. I am guessing he has already spoken with the 2 Lab Assistants because when I started to explain, he interrupted me 3 times and then he went off and called Security.
A Male Security came and told me to “leave my stuff” as he escorted me outside. I followed, with my ID, now in my hand, and once outside, [name of supervisor] started narrating the story to the security as if he was there when it happened. I tried to butt in to explain my side but [name of supervisor] did not let me, nor was the Male Security willing to listen. After [name of supervisor] was finished, he snatched my ID from my hand and walked away. I started to protest and tried to explain but no one is simply, listening to my side of the story and that action was taken as a hostile behavior for they called another security.
When the Female Security came, she attempted to take control of the situation by screaming at me. [name of supervisor] was now back and told me that my name and info is in the system and he said, “You can’t use MY computer lab and library lab for the rest of the year!”
He gave my ID back and since I’m already severely humiliated, ultimately late for my presentation, I told him I want to get my stuff. [name of supervisor] said that’s not possible and that the security will get it for me. I protested. That was my stuff with money, gadgets and personal belongings inside and I’m supposed to trust the security guard who had treated me badly to get it for me, I think not. [name of supervisor] gave in and the security guard escorted me to my things and out of the Computer Lab.
Before leaving, I made an attempt to find out what was the [supervisor’s name]’s name and I said I wanted to file a complaint. The male security guard utterly refused to give me the name and the Woman Security started yelling at me saying that I’m harassing [name of supervisor].
I heard they wrote a report about me and they asked my classmate who was inside the lab for proper identifying details about me.
Looking at this situation, I believe:
(1) First and foremost, that the fact that I’m Jewish, I’m white and that I have an accent is one of the reasons why I am treated differently. No one gave me the opportunity to explain and no one was willing to listen to me. Even our Grievance Procedure supports two sides of the story. There should NOT be any discrimination in this school.
(2) Second, that the Computer Lab Assistants are not doing their jobs. If they were doing their job in the instance that I am complaining of, (i.e. asking us to swipe our ID), they should have consistently done it for 2 years so that people, like me are not misled. That is technically, neglect of duty, for them, not to add the fact that majority of their time is spent on pretend typing, music playing (ipod), cellphone handling or maybe nail polishing, I don’t know. I just know this is very unprofessional.
(3) Third, that the Computer Lab Supervisor should follow due process. He approached me with prejudice and without the respect that I am due. I do not think interrupting me while I explain, calling off security and relaying a one-sided story and grabbing my ID from my hand is respectful.
(4) Fourth, the Male and Female Security Staff should follow due process as well. They do not have to be rude or worse, they should not humiliate people more than they already are.
Due to the underlying circumstances, I am unable to write a formal complaint directly to the [name of supervisor], the 2 Lab Assistants and the 2 Security Personnel. If I may reiterate, this is because:
(1) The supervisor has already humiliated me in front of everyone. I do not think he has a problem of doing it again.
(2) The supervisor has explicitly made it clear to me that he has entered the fact that I am “banned” from using the library for one year into the system. Such being the case, if I do swipe my card, I will automatically be kicked out and maybe, since he’s always there, he can throw me out and add to the injury he has committed.
(3) The Computer Lab Assistants never helped me before and I don’t think they will help me now.
(4) This is an issue of discrimination and even if I do follow the grievance procedure, it will fall onto deaf ears. My only hope is to bring this up to you.
Knowing that you are my final resort in this particular matter, I believe I have the right to demand for the following:
(1) Lifting of the computer ban that was imposed because of a SINGLE, UNFAIR, UNJUST and DISCRIMINATORY instance.
(2) Appropriate action, a warning or a reprimand at the very least, against the people who have mistreated me.
(3) Clear and specific guidelines in the use of the Computer Lab to be included in the Undergraduate Bulletin and/or disseminated through the Computer Lab Bulletin. These guidelines should indicate all the lab rules [not just the minor ones, see sample announcements attached] specially, the PROCESS in facilitating and addressing complaints or situations such as mine; should specify the procedure to follow for people who DO NOT have their IDs yet and the sanctions for non-implementation of computer lab rules. Both students and personnel should uphold these rules.
I hope you understand where I am coming from specially as regards the Computer Lab. This service is part of the fee I paid for when I studied here and I am gratefully maximizing this fact. This is extremely important in my pursuance of good education.
I hope you help me achieve that goal and help me rebuild the distorted image I have of this school because of my experience. I wouldn’t want any others to experience the same thing.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Read also: “Co Curricular Activities Letter”