Statements on the June 24 ’08 UP frat rumble

For what they’re worth, here are two statements on the June 24, 2008 rumble between two fraternities in UP, the Beta Sigma and APO.

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.For all it’s worth, here are two statements on the latest rumble between two fraternities in UP, the Beta Sigma and APO.

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.

On the morning of June 24, 2008, 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.
SOPHIA MONICA V. SAN LUIS
College of Law Representative
Chairperson, Student Legal Aid and Action Committee
UPD University Student Council

*UP HAS NO PLACE FOR BARBARITY AND VIOLENCE*

Last Tuesday, 24 June 2008, only several weeks into the start of the
academic year and just after UP marked its 100th foundation year, the
university bore witness once more to the rearing of the fraternity system’s
ugly head. Members of the Beta Sigma (BS) and Alpha Phi Omega (APO)
Fraternities figured in a violent rumble for which some fraternity members
sustained head injuries. While this latest incident of fraternity-related
violence may fail to offend the sensibilities of the largely resigned and
exasperated UP community, aspects of the incident cannot fail to provide
cause for heightened alarm:

According to reports compiled by the UP Diliman Police, the rumble erupted
when members of the Beta Sigma Fraternity staged a surprise attack against
APO members then at the AS Walk. Considering that the ensuing violence
occurred at around 10 a.m. in the busiest part of the most densely populated
building in the university, the rumble can only be described as a barbaric
display of audacity; and of an utter lack of consideration and sensitivity
to the welfare of innocent fellow students. At the height of the commotion,
Prof. De Villa of the Department of Philosophy even attempted to break the
fight up, only to find himself the victim of assault from one of the
malefactors. The rumble was also a product of clear premeditation, because
there was a conscious effort on the part of the perpetrators to breach and
take advantage of the paucity of security personnel manning the entry points
of AS.

As members of the UP community, there is no cogent reason for anyone of us
to take the stance of a passive spectator in the midst of this increasingly
brazen exhibition of barbarity. We have a duty to defend the integrity of
our institution and the safe and secure learning environment which it must
strive to create as a matter of moral obligation and imperative. All
existing avenues must be activated to send a clear and unequivocal message
that any fraternity wishing to engage in such barbaric intramurals in the
future shall face the full force of the law and the condemnation of the
entire UP community:

1. We call on the Student Disciplinary Tribunal and the Office of the
Vice President for Student Affairs to deal with the perpetrators accordingly
and expeditiously;

2. We call on all University, College, and Dormitory Councils to
swiftly adopt and implement concrete measures aimed at protecting the
welfare and safety of their respective constituencies, in coordination with
the University and College administration;

3. We call on the network of fraternity resident members and alumni
of Beta Sigma, Alpha Phi Omega, and all other fraternities to commit to
helping the police in the investigation and resolution of this case, and to
ensuring that such acts of violence shall never again be employed for any
reason;

4. We call on all students, faculty members, and administrative staff
to take small but significant steps within their personal circles to
continuously and emphatically condemn any and all forms of
fraternity-related violence in the University.

UP is an academic community. In this enclave of intellectual pursuit, there
is simply no space for the kind of barbarity and violence that only
unthinking and uncritical individuals subscribe to. We should set a clear
example for all fraternities to see. We should not let UP’s one hundred
glorious years be tarnished by this cancer in a supposedly healthy concept
of brotherhood. If we sweep this incident under the rug again, the cycle of
violence will continue, and the level of impertinence and malevolence will
also be elevated. It is within our capacity to deal with this latest
fraternity rumble in the proper manner – with unmistakable condemnation and
steadfast resolve to prevent its repetition.

* *

*UP SAWA *(UP Student-Led Anti-Fraternity-Related-Violence Watch Alliance)**

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One Response

  1. di ko lubos maisip na beta sigma ang nagpasimula ng rumble na yan, its better to find out more investigation in that case.

    not a fratman, but an observer

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