About 150 students from fraternities and sororities at Silliman University in Dumaguete City have vowed to guard their organizations against hazing in a forum held early this week, and graced by a father whose son died after going through violent initiation rites.
“We have to make hazing stop because it is the devil who feeds this tradition into our minds, thinking that it's a test of loyalty,” Aurelio Servando of Bacolod City said in a press release from Silliman.
Servando lost his son, Guillo Cesar, to hazing in 2014. His 18-year-old son was a student at the College of St. Benilde. He died in the hands of some fraternity members of Alpha Kappa Rho after going through initiation rites.
Guillo's death made national headlines and sparked a nationwide protest against hazing, particularly in schools. Footages of some fraternity members apparently dragging Guillo's lifeless body were caught on a surveillance camera.
A representative from the Alpha Phil Omega, one of the registered student organizations in Silliman, expressed condemnation against hazing. “We assure you that our fraternity fully supports the Anti-Hazing Law,” the representative said.
The president of another organization, Tau Gamma Phi, echoed a similar commitment: “In our chapter, we will do our best to stop hazing. We will spread this message against hazing to our brothers and sisters, including those in other chapters.”
Silliman has an anti-hazing policy in the University Manual that affirms hazing as a criminal act under the law. The same policy articulates other forms of hazing, including psychological and emotional damage and trauma. Under the policy, initiation rites among student organizations in the University can only be done with clearance and the supervision of the adviser and a designated faculty or staff member of the University.
Since his son's death, Servando has been going around universities to talk about his tragic loss. “When you go home this afternoon, please examine the activities of your fraternities and sororities. Please review your initiation procedures; is hazing really necessary? If we people are to be beaten up to ensure their loyalty, does that mean that we have to be beaten up as well by our spouses in the future to make sure we are loyal to them?” Servando stressed.
The symposium, dubbed “Hazing Talks”, was organized by the Student Organizations and Activities Division headed by Abe Cadeliña.*JFP/PR
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