Today, we take the first step among the many.
This year, UP ALYANSA has decided not to field a fratman as a candidate for the University Student Council (USC). Ever since, we have been steadfast in fighting for a safer, more peaceful UP and campaigning against all forms of violence. However, some still inflict pain and even death, all in the name of brotherhood. Even the innocent and unaffiliated become victims to this senseless violence. Worse, institutions have failed to adequately address this concern of transcendental importance: to serve its obligation to protect the community. At the end of each day, a truce between the “affected” parties happens, the perpetuators of violence run scot-free, and the general public remains clueless and anxious as to what hit them and when the next incident will be.
As an institution, the USC has always been mostly occupied by leaders who come from fraternities. The status quo sees Ace Ligsay as the only non-fratman among male councilors. Nonetheless, the only thing we saw from the USC was statements condemning frat-related violence.
We believe that fraternity-related violence has no place anywhere. We believe that the USC, as our highest representation, should be part of this call to attain 0% tolerance for frat-related violence. In light of the fatal hazing of San Beda’s Marvin Reglos, we need not witness another death just to have a USC that will uphold our right to a secure and violence-free campus. We do not need another Cris Mendez as a wake-up call.
We do not want a USC headed by individuals whose fraternities remain tainted with violence. We do not want a USC that remains silent on an issue involving students attacking one another within the campus. We do not want a USC that protects fraternities over being accountable to the students. We want a USC that pushes for justice and for students’ rights and welfare over affiliations.
Today is the first day we challenge our fellow Iskolars Para Sa Bayan to take the first step among the many. We urge everybody to commit to a brand of leadership that reflects accountability and an uncompromised stance in favour of students’ rights and welfare. Today, we decide not to incentivize tolerance, lack of accountability and impunity. Today, we depart from the irony of violence and UP, come back to our vow not to forget, to seek justice, to ensure that the casualties in the long history and vicious cycle of campus violence will not be another statistic and pursue steps beyond indignation and protests.
Today, UP ALYANSA calls on everyone to be part of history and take the first step that opens to many beginnings.
This is a press statement from UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran