By Lorena Osorio (Class 2021)
UPCM organizations, fraternities, and sororities (OFS) gathered for a forum on the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 (RA 11053) last October 16 at Buenafe Hall.
The orientation was organized by the Office of the Associate Dean for Faculty and Students (ADFS), with the UP Manila Office of Student Affairs (OSA).
The forum was attended by officers and faculty advisers from the fifteen organizations, fraternities, and sororities of the College, namely UP Agape, UP Medicine Choir (UP MedChoir), UP Medical Students’ Society (MSS), UP Medical Students for Social Responsibility-IPPNW (MSSR-IPPNW), UP Medics, UP Meridian, UP MedRhythmics (MRX), Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity, Mu Sigma Phi Sorority, One’s True Nature (OTN), Pangkalusugang Lingkod Bayan (PLB), Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity, Phi Lambda Delta Sorority, UP Pangkalusugang Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral (UP Pagsama), UP Physician-Scientists Association (UP PSA), and Regionalization Students Organization (RSO).
It was also attended by class presidents from LU1 through LU7, the Medicine Student Council (MSC), as well as other members of the UPCM administration.
Dr. Liza Antoinette Gonzales, Associate Dean for Faculty and Students, began the orientation by providing a brief on the Anti-Hazing Law, which had been signed into law on June 29, 2018. This law is an amendment of RA 8049, which regulates hazing and other initiation rites in OFS.
She was followed by Dr. Blesile Suzette Mantaring, Director of the Office of Student Affairs. She differentiated the definitions of initiation and hazing, among other terms. She then elaborated on the revised rules and regulations governing fraternities, sororities, and other student organizations, as stipulated in the 2018 student handbook, and discussed UP Manila’s present grounds for suspension and expulsion.
Finally, Atty. Vincent Tagoc of the UP Manila Legal Office discussed the more technical aspects of the law, and shared various incidents and factors that define the present climate and perceptions regarding hazing in the country.
Throughout the talks by the three speakers, students and other attendees were free to clarify and ask questions.
While the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 at present does not have implementing rules and regulations, the forum served to inform the College OFS of the salient features of the Act, how it would affect regulation of induction processes, and that the University’s existing rules and sanctions would enforce its provisions.
A downloadable copy of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 is available at the website of the OSA: http://osa.upm.edu.ph/node/330