Not a single year has passed in recent memory without a student dying of fraternity-related violence: The latest was last Saturday, when 18-year-old Guillo Cesar Servando of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde was allegedly beaten to death by members of Tau Gamma Phi. Three other neophytes sustained serious injuries and are currently being treated at the Philippine General Hospital.
"Gusto na nila mag-back out, pero tine-threaten na sila with death," said Aurelio Servando, father of the deceased in an interview with DZMM.
According to their website, Tau Gamma Phi is a 45-year-old fraternity with around one million members nationwide. Wikipedia says that it is a “protest fraternity” that “aims to see a Fraternity System devoid of violence” and encourages members to strive for spiritual growth and to organize socio-civic activities. Famous members include Luis Manzano and Sen. Ralph Recto.
Members of Tau Gamma Phi during the fraternity's 43rd Anniversary
in October 2011 (Photo from Taugamma.info)
Almost all leading universities in the country have had cases of serious hazing, which makes us ask: WHY?!
Even President Benigno Aquino III was quoted saying, "To inflict such harm on people you will call brothers really escapes any logic that I can fathom."
We gathered the opinions of several fraternity brods and sorority members on why people would willingly subject themselves to hazing, despite regular deaths and the presence of the Anti-Hazing Law, which imposes the highest penalty of life imprisonment. Here’s what we found:
1) EVERYTHING ABOUT FRAT LIFE IS COOL—PERIOD
When asked why she joined a paramilitary fraternity in college, 22-year-old Anne said, “I thought the officers marching in uniform with all those rifles were cool, that what they’re doing was fun… The initiation was one of the best parts of my college life.”
For the Greek-letter frats, this video pretty much summarizes fraternity life:
"I think hazing still exists because if you're an applicant you want to get in [the group], and dyahe naman if hindi ka pa nga member, you question their rites na. Syempre you prove yourself muna, just agree with everything."
2) HAZING “HEALS” THE OLDER MEMBERS
But the thing is, once you've "proven" yourself, chances are you'd want to continue the tradition of hazing.
Studies show that for older members, subjecting neophytes to the same ordeal removes anger and other emotional baggage from their own hazing experience. Hazing then becomes a tradition that’s “nothing personal” and necessary for fairness and equality.