USC Statement on AS Walk Rumble

USC Statement on the AS Walk rumble

It is unfortunate that fraternity violence, in whatever form, persists despite the high ideals for which fraternities are founded.

It is even more unfortunate that in our University—touted as the training ground for the best and the brightest young minds of the country, bastion of academic freedom and excellence, and home of no less than the Iskolar ng Bayan—fraternity violence has remained so deeply ingrained in its traditions.

As we celebrate our 100 years of existence, we lament this decades-long tradition, and stand witness to yet another of its incidents.

Yesterday morning, the Beta Sigma fraternity reportedly attacked the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity at their tambayan along AS walk. The attack led to a violent rumble between the two fraternities. Professor Agerico de Villa of the Philosophy Department of CSSP attempted to stop the ensuing rumble but was allegedly kicked while doing so. As a result, five members of Beta Sigma were arrested, three were brought to UP-PGH while four members of APO were given stitches.

These incidents are not uncommon and, after all the resulting deaths and casualties, we in the University Student Council have realized that to condemn the act is nothing more than an exercise in futility. It appears that, from the failure of fraternities to arrest the rampancy of fraternity violence, the call falls only on deaf ears.

And so from this day on, we no longer condemn merely the acts of violence but the actors, the active participants who, despite being among the privileged few who were chosen to become Iskolars ng Bayan, failed to exercise good judgment and circumspection, and flagrantly flouted university rules, much less, basic decorum. We condemn the instigators who were expected, but failed greatly, to conduct themselves as gentlemen not only because such is inscribed in their fraternities' tenets but because such is expected from a scholar of the people. Lastly, we condemn the fraternities that find themselves constantly embroiled in these incidences, for their failure to uphold the ideals of brotherhood and for tolerating these criminal acts. For any incident of rumble or hazing that takes place, is a sad testament to their failure to curb a pattern of violence that has ripened into an ugly tradition that indelibly smear fraternities as student institutions and the name of our University.

We urge the witnesses to cooperate with the administration, in order to bring the perpetrators of this incident to justice. We urge the UP administration to identify and prosecute fully and swiftly all the active participants- -those who attacked and those who retaliated, while observing their respective rights to due process.

Nearly ten months have passed since the last incident of fraternity violence that resulted in the death of one of our students. There has been no progress in the prosecution of the Cris Mendez case and we, in the University Student Council believe, that this is due largely to the undue observance of technical rules of procedure that hamper substantial justice. In light of this, we call for the continued review and eventual revision of policies in relation to fraternities, sororities and organizations, particularly the highly judicialized rules of procedure in the Student Disciplinary Tribunal.

In turn, we extend our services to the administration and to the witnesses. We guarantee that we will cooperate and assist in the investigation, that we will ensure that the rights of those accused will be observed, that we will extend protection to the witnesses who will come forward and that we will take steps and attempt to reconcile the differences of the erring fraternities.

We likewise urge all fraternities, sororities and organizations to exercise restraint in similar situations, and to observe at all times, the rules set by the administration governing their conduct.

It is high time for these Greek-letter fraternities, premised on excellence and service, to set aside their differences and work collectively to finally put an end to fraternity violence.

Lastly, we urge the UP studentry to remain vigilant and to continue to renounce all acts of fraternity violence against fellow iskolars ng bayan.

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