Koko: Schools should strictly regulate, monitor frat activities
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III urged schools on Wednesday to strictly regulate and monitor the activities of fraternities to curb violence among these organizations.
Pimentel warned that fraternity violence would persist if schools would not use “vice-like grip” or tight regulatory policies.
“It’s been more than 20 years since the Anti-Hazing Law was enacted in 1995, but the recent death of UST law student Horacio Castillo III shows us that the law itself has failed to fully deter frat members from committing acts of physical violence against neophytes,” Pimentel said.
The Senate president made the statement following the death of University of Santo Tomas freshman law student Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III due to hazing. The young man’s death reignited the calls to ban the activity and for stronger regulation of fraternities and sororities.
He said that under the Republic Act No. 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law, school authorities should recognize fraternities and exert efforts to ensure that such organizations comply with the provisions of the law as a prerequisite to recognition.
“University and college officials should recognize fraternities and similar organizations so they can be subject to regulation. They should then be extremely strict about requiring fraternities to submit a list of their officers and members, as well as their activities for the semester or school year,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel said that a recognized fraternity would be required to name a faculty adviser who would help the school monitor the organization’s activities.
Initiation rites were allowed under the law, he explained, but only if there was a prior written notice addressed to school authorities seven days prior to the activity.
It also requires the presence of at least two school representatives during the rites to ensure that no violence happens during the initiation procedure.
Pimentel added that school officials should not hesitate to crack down on organizations that fail to comply with the law.
“If fraternities do not meet these requirements, then they should not be recognized and should have no business operating inside the campus. If school authorities receive information that these groups continue to defy their rules and regulations, then they should not hesitate to sanction erring students with suspension––or even heavier penalties,” he noted.
He also called on students to “follow and abide by school regulations.”
“If they do not, and they violate that sacred contract with the school, then they should be subject to severe penalties such as expulsion, and even criminal and civil prosecution,” Pimentel emphasized. /jpv
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