With the recent death of a UST student, many concerned people have expressed support to stop hazing. But in reality, hazing is very hard to stop. Many fraternity/sorority members say: “If you stop hazing it is like you stop initiation, and if you stop initiation, entering to these organizations would have no meaning anymore.” This means that in order to stop hazing, we have to stop fraternities/sororities from entering our schools.
On the other hand, it is also difficult to stop fraternities/sororities from entering our schools because many of the faculty members of colleges and universities are members of these organizations. Thus, by all means, these school faculties would fight against any suppression of their freedom to form an organization. We must understand that these organizations are strongly bonded on the principle of “one for all and all for one.”
There are many states worldwide that prohibit hazing yet they fail to stop the practice. In the Philippines, we have a law (Republic Act No. 8049) that regulates hazing. The key word is “to regulate” and “not to prohibit.” In other words, we still allow hazing in the manner allowed under the law. But RA 8049 was approved in 1995 and we have not stopped hazing.
The logic is: In the Philippines, if hazing is done lawfully, it is not a crime. Conversely, if done unlawfully, it is a crime. This kind of thinking makes people decide what actuations to make when doing something. For example, hazing per se is not a crime unless to harm or kill a person; and to decide the criminal liability depends on the exercise of the law. As such, the investigation may or may not penalize the suspected violators.
However, hazing can be stopped if we start strengthening our laws and imposing them to the fullest. Who knows, many people will stop hazing for fear of the law.
ARSENIO UNAJAN BAQUILID, firstname.lastname@example.org