So much has been said about the recent tragedy that happened to Sigma Rho's neophyte, Chris Mendez. So many shattered dreams...
I am still appalled by the way how the Sigma Rho handled their initiation rites considering the fact that they are considered as one of the most prestigious fraternity in the UP wide-system with all those well-known alumni.
Back in college, I was a member of a confraternity that has the same initiation rites as the usual sorority or fraternity. I have my own share of experiencing those paddles. Because we practice equality in our organization, men and women do share the same equal rites. Naalala ko pa nga, ung tukmol kong ex ang unang humataw sa akin ng paddle.
I had bruises all over my legs. Yet, despite of the fact that our "brothers" swing those paddle to our "sisters", we never had any casualty. We know how to distinguish the difference between "hazing" and "determination." Sometimes, people would foolishly negate someone's determination based on the numbers of "swings" his body can survive. Stupid!
My father is a dignified alumni of Alpha Phi Omega Delta Chapter of Mapua way back 50's. Based from the stories he told me a long time ago, their initiation rites was community service. Being a fraternity man himself, he didn't have any objection when he learned that I joined a confraternity. He trusts me. He told me though that we should be careful enough because fraternity men of the new generation tend to snap during the initiation rites. Certainly, killing someone is not a principle any fraternity would imbibe.
Sana naman, wag isipin ng karamihan na puro "hazing" lang ang fraternity
my dear brothers and sisters
because certainly, that is not the case. Aside from the fact that you will find your sense of belongingness and prestige when you join a fraternity/sorority, it will also mold you to be a leader. Just think of Sen. Ed Angara (bulok!) and Ex-Solicitor General Atty. Frank Chavez as product of Sigma Rho. Tuturuan kang maging palaban, hindi pumatay ng tao
I do not agree with Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago's initiative of abolishing fraternities. That would only make things worse. An organization (be it academic, socio-cultural, or political) that wants to be recognized in our campus needs to fulfill some qualifications first before it can be called as "legitimate org." An organization that is recognized by the admin is being monitored and is expected to follow the campus' standard and code of conduct. Otherwise, necessary sanctions/repercussions will be implemented. Abolishing fraternities will make these group as "underground org." They are going to implement things on their own. There will be chaos. Activities will no longer be under the radar of school authorities. Barbarians
will be in the making.
What I would rather prefer is a legislation iniative pushing for heavier sanctions for group leaders if cases like that of Chris Mendez' should happen again. Chain of command, chain of responsibility. As a leader, he should be able to evaluate the "over-all operation of the organization". Hindi naging lider ang isang lider para lang umupo sa isang tabi at tignan ang isang tao na nauupos na parang kandila
. He should exercise his power, and maybe overturn the decision of the "majority" if he finds that a life will be at stake. Napaka laking katangahan
I am a member of a confraternity. But I condone hazing. Killing someone is not the real essence of brotherhood.