Fraternity Upsilon Sigma Phi is once again embroiled in allegations of hazing after a now-suspended Twitter account posted on Sunday evening photos and a video of several UP students, covered in blood and visibly distressed. One image showed a student kneeling in front of several Upsilon mementos and a paddle with the fraternity’s logo.
In a series of Tweets, the Twitter account @UPSILONLEAKS shared graphic images of the alleged hazing incidents. At least three individuals could be identified in the said Tweets, while another video showed at least four more beaten students.
“Ganito ang ginagawa ng mga binoboto niyo sa mga ‘amuyong’ nila,” the Twitter account wrote, accompanied with a photo of what appears to be a UP Open University student kneeling with his shirt torn around the neck. “Kung inaakala niyong wala nang hazing, [napag-iiwanan na] kayo.”
The mauled students were wearing a white shirt and denim pants. A paper was likewise taped on their chests which showed their name, degree program, general weighted average, affiliations, and “physical defects.” The date and place of the incident remain unknown.
The university administration has not yet released a statement regarding the incident, although the said Twitter account tagged various media outlets, student organizations, and UP’s official Twitter accounts before being suspended.
Upsilon has not yet also released a statement confirming or denying the veracity of the said photos and video.
This is not Upsilon’s first controversy in recent years. In 2018—during Upsilon’s centennial anniversary—a group chat of the fraternity was posted on social media which contained remarks brimming with misogyny, bigotry, Islamophobia, and sexism.
And a few days before that, a CCTV footage leaked in the media showed that Upsilon, along with another fraternity, Alpha Phi Beta, was embroiled in a violent rumble in Palma Hall and a car chase near the GT-Toyota Complex. As a result, the then chairperson of the University Student Council (USC) and Upsilon member, Yael Toribio, resigned from his post. A USC councilor, who is an Alpha Phi Beta member, also stepped down from the council.
During those incidents of fraternity-related violence, then UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan issued a statement which condemned the incidents, but at the same time, acknowledged the fraternities’ contribution to the UP Men’s Basketball Team.
A similar lukewarm response was also given by UP President Danilo Concepcion, who is also a member of the Upsilon Sigma Phi. Concepcion, speaking both as the UP president and as an Upsilonian, then said that he will “not protect any fraternity brother who may be found culpable” in the incidents. But nearly four years on, no further updates were given to the UP community regarding the frat brawl.
In a statement posted Monday evening, LGBTQI+ student organization, UP Babaylan, condemned the entire fraternity system “that [continues] to propagate violence in the name of ‘brotherhood.”
“We reiterate that [fraternity-related violence] are not caused by ‘just a few bad apples.’ We refuse to acknowledge the reasoning along the lines of ‘not all frats’ or ‘not all men’ in justifying rotten behavior. Toxic masculinity, systemic violence, and institutionalized sexism have always been the foundations of these brotherhoods,” the group wrote, adding that frats should already be abolished and banned in the university.
Under the 2012 code of student conduct, both the victim and the fraternity involved could be penalized for hazing incidents. The fraternity officials and members could face expulsion, while the victim may be suspended from one week up to a semester and will undergo counseling. The fraternity’s registration before the university could also be canceled as a result of a hazing incident.
The frat members who joined the hazing may also face jail time and fine, if found guilty of violating the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018.
As of writing, only UP Babaylan has released a statement regarding the incident. The organization likewise called on the USC and the university administration to investigate the incident and hold the perpetrators accountable.
The organization, however, cautioned that it remains a possibility for the fraternity to get away scot-free owing to their “allies in the USC, [Inter-Fraternity and Sorority Council (IFSC)], and university administration, in the same way they have in the previous years.”
The USC formed the IFSC last March to serve an avenue for Greek-lettered organizations to address their “concerns and grievances.” The IFSC also launched a manifesto which condemned formation-related violence. It is, however, unclear if Upsilon partook in the manifesto.
“It is time to prioritize the welfare of the students and not allow our political leaning or formations get in the way of promoting safe spaces and justice,” Babaylan wrote. “There is a need to recognize that, so long as fraternities are institutionally entrenched, backed, and tolerated by people in powerful positions, UP will never be safe.” ●
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