For weeks now, the death of a UP fourth year Public Adminitration student has been filling our news.

Chris Mendez was allegedly killed in an initiation by a prominent fraternity in the university he is in. According to most of his friends, he aspires to become a lawyer which is probably why he was urged to join the fraternity in prepartion for entering UP Law School. His death has however dragged the name of the fraternity and caused the hiding of almost all its incumbernt officers and resident members. Although, the police are now out to pin down those who are responsible for his death.

Chris' death stirred opinions as to the violation of the Anti-Hazing Law. Aggressive as they are, UP students have started lobbying that justice be served. The parents whose children also died through these violent exercise of brotherhood now surfaces one after the other, perhaps to extend concern and support. More importantly to reiterate their cries for vindication for the loss of a loved one.

On a personal point of view, my heart goes to them for a death offered for a cause I too cannot understand. Brotherhood (or sisterhood, as the case may be) is supposed to be for encouragement, support and mutual respect, and never, never for violence. They might have their "fraternal" reasons. I just shrug my shoulders. I just really cannot comprehend.


Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said that she will author a bill on the abolition of the Greek letter societies. To quote she said, “As far as I’m concerned, from my experience in UP Diliman for four years in the College of Law, these fraternities do not aid the academic tradition of the University. They are nothing but elitist enclaves...I really cannot be convinced of the necessity of joining fraternities and sororities. What is the benefit that is derived by these young, promising, idealistic students from the provinces who look at a UP education as their last ray of hope for success in life…”

I personally do not like the lady senator. I do not like everything about her--her points of view, her manner of speaking, her fashion sense and what have you. I infer that her statement may come from a personal, bitter experience of isolation or "post graduate bullying". The truth is no law school is without a fraternity or sorority. In fact, these societies has produced most of our prominent officials in the government. Members take pride in the association. But last night, while watching her on the news and letting out a smug, I have to partly agree on her observation, that in as far as one's stay in law school is concern there is a little that these societies offer. We are all equals. C'mon we study the same law.

Maybe I am speaking from the perspective of an outsider. Or perhaps as they say, the benefit comes after you are out of the school and is working you ass out there.

Or maybe, there isn't really a problem as to these societies. I think it's healthy to have "brods" and "sises", your so-called friends in law school. We too are social beings. We need people to cry with, whine and wine with, laugh with. Law school isolates such from the world outside, and sometimes they are all we have. However, maybe the prominence and privilege of brotherhood and the accumulation of "power" exercised over those who want to join their circle may have just gone overboard.

Sad but true.

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