EDITORIAL - In the name of brotherhood

The Freeman

Another student has died as a result of fraternity hazing.

Criminology student Ahldryn Bravante, 25, was brought to the Chinese General Hospital in Manila last Monday where he died after undergoing initiation rites in an abandoned house in Barangay Santo Domingo in Quezon City.

Police have arrested four of 13 suspects identified as responsible for his death. They are allegedly members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity and also Criminology students.

That the initiation rites had to be held in an abandoned house away from public eyes is telling of the intentions of the group. That they are Criminology students, who usually advance to become policemen --enforcers of the law-- makes it tragic and ironic.

What is it about people that they can be persuaded into thinking that membership in an “exclusive group” is worth risking their lives for?

What is it about some “exclusive groups” that they think they have to beat up someone so that that someone can be considered their brother?

Again we say that hazing is a vicious cycle. Those who experienced it entering a group want to inflict it on others who want to enter the group because of the “ganahan mobawos” and “dili paalkanse” mentality. Before you know it these “initiations” become more violent and out of control with each subsequent session.

In a way it also conditions members of such groups that violence against others, even against one’s one own “brother”, is acceptable.

Bravante joins the list of students who died because of hazing, like Chemical Engineering student John Matthew Salilig who died during the hazing ceremony of a fraternity last February 18 in Laguna, and Ronnel Baguio, a second-year student of a university in Cebu City who also died during initiation rites last December.

That list is quite a long one; there is no space for all the names here.

More must still be done by families, friends, and entire communities to convince people that they don’t have to be in an “exclusive group” to belong somewhere. More has yet to be done by police, prosecutors, and lawmakers to discourage fraternities from carrying on this vicious cycle of violence called hazing.

Not all things done in the name of brotherhood are right.

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