“We have had enough.”
Up against one of the most enduring “traditions” on campuses across the country, a college dean and a group of students at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, are demanding sanctions against members of two fraternities who figured in a rumble recently.
The UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy—represented by dean Michael Tan and student council chair Carlo Brolagda—filed an administrative complaint against the Alpha Phi Beta and Alpha Sigma fraternities following a brawl on the latter’s turf or tambayan last week.
The complaint was filed in the Student Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) on Wednesday, citing the two groups for violating UP’s Revised Rules and Regulations Governing Fraternities, Sororities, and Student Organizations, an offense punishable by expulsion.
The complainants also wrote to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, calling for the preventive suspension of the fraternities’ leaders. And while the case is considered an internal matter for the UP community, Brolagda issued a statement to the media to condemn the incident.
“We filed a case against them because we want someone to be accountable. We have had enough,” Brolagda said in an Inquirer interview.
Tan (who is also an Inquirer columnist) and the CSSP Student Council cited the violent confrontation between the two groups at Alpha Sigma’s known tambayan at Palma Hall, the CSSP’s home building.
Seven Alpha Phi Beta members allegedly walked into the area to confront some Alpha Sigma members, an encounter that led to a fight that resulted in injuries on both sides and was witnessed by several other students.
Brolagda said the SDT is expected to conduct a preliminary inquiry in January next year, after the holiday break. This could be followed by hearings wherein the Diliman Legal Office will serve as the prosecutor.
“The safety of students is of paramount concern for the student council. During the incident, many students feared that they might be caught in the rumble,” Brolagda said.
He said the CSSP Student Council remained firm in its position against fraternity violence, whether in the form of street brawls or hazing rites.
“It is high time that we end the culture of impunity among fraternities in our university. This is merely the first step towards ensuring that violent fraternities do not go unpunished. In future incidents, we will be more than willing to file cases,” he stressed.
He noted that fraternity hazing, for example, claimed the life of UP student Cris Mendez in 2006.
University Student Council chair Heart Diño said student leaders who are members of the two fraternities must be held accountable.
“It is ironic that fratmen-student leaders claim to promote student welfare and yet condone their own fraternities’ acts of barbarism and violence. The student body cannot and will not let this pass,” Diño said.