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UPD frats and sororities hold summit

USC Chairperson Gabriel “Heart” F. Diño

(September 6)—In the face of bad publicity suffered by Greek-letter societies due to violence and even deaths, an Inter-Fraternity and Inter-Sorority Summit (IFISS) was held in UPD on September 4 at the Claro M. Recto Hall, Faculty Center.

Organized by various UPD fraternities and sororities, in collaboration with the University Student Council (USC), Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) and Office of Student Activities (OSA), the highlight of the historic event was the signing of the Manifesto of Unity that aims to promote peaceful co-existence among 13 fraternities and eight sororities who attended the summit.

Among the speakers were Prof. Neil Martial Santillan, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy associate dean for administrative affairs and extension; UP President Alfredo E. Pascual, and Prof. Giovanni Tapang, College of Science associate dean for student and public affairs. They discussed the history of the Greek Letter Societies; leadership of fraternities and sororities in UP and the fraternity-related violence and inter-fraternity relations, respectively.

Prof. Ma. Corazon J. Tan, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, provided a brief introduction about the summit.  She said she believes that the participation of representatives from various fraternities and sororities in the University in the IFISS is an indication of their fervent desire to help resolve the issues concerning fraternities and sororities and strengthen the true essence of  ‘brotherhood’ and ‘sisterhood.’

Furthermore, she expressed her gratefulness and admiration on the efforts and contributions of various fraternities and sororities, particularly the Engineering Fraternities United (EFU), to the students and the UPD community which were in fact recognized by the OVCSA during the Parangal sa Mag-aaral in February 2012.  The EFU, composed of the Beta Epsilon, Epsilon Chi, EMC 2 and Tau Alpha, was given a special award for re-painting the interiors of the Ilang-ilang Residence Hall, a female student dormitory on campus, for free in October 2011.

Tan also said that UP students, faculty and staff as well parents and other concerned universities are anticipating the result of the summit. She challenged the participants to inspire, be responsible, and collectively act to end frat-related violence and deaths.

Aside from the issues, the participants discussed the efforts and contributions that fraternities and sororities could provide for nation building and peaceful co-existence.

Towards the end of the program, the participants signed the Manifesto of Unity after discussing its resolutions per cluster.

According to Francisco Jayme Paolo Guiang, USC councilor and head of the Committee on Organizations, Fraternities and Sororities, “Ang manipesto na ito ay isang tanda na mayroon tayong adhikain na paunlarin pa ‘yung lipunang mayroon tayo, gumawa ng mabuti sa ating kapwa at gayon rin ay respetuhin ang bawat kapatiran na siyang lilikha ng isang university environment na angkop sa imahen ng isang fraternity at sorority na iniisip natin—service-oriented with peaceful co-existence with one another.” (The manifesto is a sign that we have an advocacy to develop the society we have, to do something good to our fellowmen and respect each other to create a university environment that is appropriate to the image of the fraternity and sorority that we envision—service-oriented with peaceful co-existence with one another.)

Although they signed the manifesto, the participants agreed it will still be subject to final revisions.

USC Chairperson Gabriel “Heart” F. Diño delivered the closing remarks. She said the summit is one of the activities that the USC hoped to launch nationwide to promote peaceful co-existence among the fraternities and sororities in the country.

She also urged the participants to support the efforts on cleaning the image and ending the negative issues about the brotherhood and sisterhood by highlighting excellence and service to the nation.

Prof. Rommel Rodriguez, Office of Student Activities (OSA), opened the program and welcomed the summit participants.

Cultural performances were provided by the UP Arkaira and Sinagbayan as intermission numbers.—H.C.P.