A Salute of Commitment: 1st Reception Rites of Criminology Program, Sulu State College

The world has never healed. The global community is in turmoil over the war between Israel and Palestine. Everyday, we hear crimes and injustices reported on television. Even a home sometimes never feel like one.

With all the inhumane acts we hear and unfortunately experience, who do we call up to for help? Definitely, those who have sworn to serve, champion and prevail justice for humanity. This is surely a formidable task, but the first and second year batches of Sulu State College Criminology Program are more than willing to take on the responsibility as they had successfully put up their reception rites on Oct. 14, 2023 at SSC open ground with the theme, “Embrace your dreams. Excel with purpose. Empower your tomorrow.”, the very first reception rites in the history of the college.

Before the clock hits 8:00 AM, the criminology students already had their formation at the facade of Arts and Sciences building in preparation for the opening program. As the presidential table were occupied by the dignitaries in attendance, the opening program began right away with the preliminaries. The opening remarks were delivered by Mr. Marhide H. Ladjahali, JD, Director for Disaster Risk and Reduction Management.

Afterwards, an inspirational message was given by Mr. Khaizar H. Barie, OIC-Dean, who represented Asso. Prof. Patricia Amilhussin, Dean of School of Arts and Sciences. Another inspirational message was shared by the guest speaker himself, Prof. Nelson Julhamid, Ph.D, Vice President for Academic Affairs, who congratulated the program especially the chairperson behind the event. He shared some pieces of advice to the criminology students whom he pointed out that as future criminal experts, they are significant in maintaining peace and order in the country. Prof. Julhamid received a certificate of guest appearance afterwards.

The reception immediately began after the program as Mr. Al-fauzi J. Ibno, RCrim, Program Chairperson, signalled its formal commencement.

The reception kicked off with criminology students running to their respective stations. There they had undergone tough challenges under the scorching sun — challenges which displayed and tested their strength, dedication, endurance and most especially, cooperation as they overcome the challenges with their platoon members by their side.

After all the platoons completed the stations, they all went back to their formation for the closing program where Mr. Ibno delivered the closing remarks. In his message, the program chairperson also unveiled the official batch names for the first and second year batches of the criminology program. The first year was officially named as Batch KALIS or Kawal na may Lakas at Ibayong Sipag which accordingly attributes power, courage and strength. Meanwhile, the second year or the pioneering batch was given the name Batch SAHAYA or Sandatahang Hangad ay Kalayaan which symbolizes the new light the batch has brought to the institution.

In my interview with Mr. Ibno, he has shared that this reception rites are a criminology tradition to welcome students to the program. He shared, “We gathered here two batches from the criminology program in order for them to be welcomed properly to the course.” It is accordingly significant as this occasion is mandatory to the program they took.

Since it is mandatory, the said rites are and should basically become an annual event. In his words, “This will be the first and will not be the last. So in other words, every year, there will be reception rites to welcome every batch for every academic year,” Mr. Ibno told.

Talking about the preparations, the program chairperson shared that they prepared for the event for almost a week. Because of limited manpower, Mr. Ibno made mention that the delegations of tasks were also limited. With this, he opted collaborating with different organizations in order to overcome the challenges — which obviously made the event a smooth success considering it being the historic first in the college.

In the words of Mr. Ibno, the said rites were not merely a formality, but the celebration of their commitment for the pursuit of knowledge, justice and leadership. Criminology accordingly is “not merely a course, rather it is a calling — a commitment in making a safer and just community.”

Furthermore, the awarding of certificates for participating groups took place after the closing remarks in which the Sihnag Publication and NSTP-ROTC, whom Mr. Ibno mentioned responded to the cooperation they asked, were among the recipients.

The event was hosted by Mr. Andrew Peñafiel, faculty member.