Inadequacy of the Anti-Hazing Law

 

Fraternities are supposed to be grounds of brotherhood and support, but after numerous hazing incidents, including the recent case of Guillo Cesar Servando, a De La Salle University-College of St. Benilde student killed in fraternity initiation rites, these ‘comradeship’ grounds are gradually becoming deadly entities.

Initiation rites are traditional ceremonies established by most fraternities in accepting new members. In the early years, initiation rites are even deadlier and were in a massive scale, because of a form of initiation called hazing. Several fraternities are selectively picking only those who could pass and survive their physical, violent tests. Deaths and injuries caused by hazing are only slightly minimized because of the established laws opposing the practice of hazing. However, despite of the laws, violence in fraternities is still ongoing.
The Philippines itself has a law called RA 8049 or Anti-Hazing Law which penalizes offender ranging from life imprisonment to a minimum of four years in prison depending on the participation.However, many local fraternities still practice this atrocious form of initiation. This should be an outright indication that the penalties constituted by our Anti-Hazing law are not grave enough to frighten offenders.

As opposed to its name, RA 8049 Anti Hazing Law actually allows hazing activities under certain conditions, such as having the presence of two school representatives during the initiation, or having a written notice to school authorities a week before it is to be held. The mere idea of it is genuinely ridiculous. There is a great difference between hazing and initiation rite. Hazing is entirely dehumanizing, because it violates our right to be safe, and it inflicts direct physical injury or harm. An ‘initiation rite’ covers a much broader scope. Fraternities could choose or create a variety of ways to perform an initiation rite, and it does not generally need to be physically or psychologically harmful.Hazing is a form of initiation rite. Even under certain conditions, it is still generally wrong to allow hazing, and the Anti-Hazing Law ironically permits it to happen.

The Anti-Hazing Law should be broader, and penalties imposed upon offenders should be of massive gravity.Laws become insignificant if not established properly. There are too many holes in this law, and offenders could easily crawl into it, even escape from it.

The government could not just ban fraternities because it will violate the right of association. Instead, they should completely ban hazing. And if they ban, they have to make sure that it is quick, wide-ranging, less flimsy and effective. Hazing is depraved, and this practice should really be immediately stopped.

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