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Fraternity registry

By: Erik Espina

HIGHLY disturbing to read the recent expose of a senator regarding statistics of over a hundred cases filed against fraternities with just a handful of families victimized, getting justice and some consolation, over the painful loss of their children. I recall neophyte days undergoing initiation of 35 punches many decades ago. Fortunately, in our dining table, democracy and debate is entertained, but after meals.

I intimated joining a group to my folks and the rites attached. My father patiently listened. Despite nary parental interruptions, I was reasoning out with positive propositions even before disquisition begun. What followed was the slow and calm voice of a loving parent. “Son when your brother argues with you, what do you do? You answer with your point of view.

How about when he teases you? Do you not give back in turn. When he quarrels or fights with you? You always hit back. So why do you allow someone who is not even related, to beat you? Why do you permit a person not your own blood to hurt you?” This was ice water poured on me. My father continued, “Do you recall my words? The first day you went to school?

I said, never take advantage of others. Specially the weak. Do not begin a fight. But never allow yourself to be pushed-around. Jesus loves a person who can defend himself from trouble-makers.” Indeed, certain life decisions we make are best presented to those whose primary concern is always our welfare. The choice between trusting parents vs. fraternity is “no contest.”

You do not need a “brotherhood” that validates loyalty by a culture of physical torture. That is middle ages. When I became president of San Beda College Student Council, I proposed fraternities be recognized like any regular student association or club. “Masters,” members, applicants identified. Activities are transparent with an accredited fraternity alumnus as adviser. Campus office or cubicles provided them. Their heraldry proudly displayed in the hall ways. The psychosis of street gangs, hooliganism, and “omerta” is a “no-no.” Hence, grounds for immediate expulsion of one, or all. A ‘One strike policy’.