The University of Santo Tomas Office for Student Affairs suspended the recognition of new student organizations for the new school year but did not state any particular reason
MANILA, Philippine – The University of Santo Tomas Office for Student Affairs (OSA) has suspended the recognition of new student organizations.
In a memorandum dated April 3. OSA said it would not accredit new student organizations for school year 2018-2019, but did not state any particular reason.
The memorandum said that “specific details” regarding the recognition of fraternities and sororities would be issued separately.
Copies of the memorandum has already been distributed to student organizations, colleges, and local administrative units as of Friday, April 13.
The memo was issued weeks after the arrest of suspects in the fatal hazing of UST law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III. Castillo died in September 2017 after undergoing the initiation rites of the Aegis Juris Fraternity (READ: UST law student Horacio Castillo III dies in suspected frat hazing).
During a Senate hearing on the hazing incident last year, if was discovered that the fraternity was able to present during the UST college freshman orientation in August last year, even while it was supposedly under suspension.
OSA Director Socorro Guan Hing, however, said during that hearing that it was only by September – prior to Castillo’s death – when the fraternity’s suspended status became official (READ: Aegis Juris not an accredited UST organization in 2017).
Nilo T. Divina, UST Law dean and a member of Aegis Juris himself, had clarified that the fraternity was still deemed to be compliant with its accreditation in June last year.
Guan Hing stated before the panel that the college’s freshman orientation was not meant for recruitment. “There is also a schedule for recruitment done by organizations which come after they have been recognized. If and when recruitment really happened, that was not authorized,” she said then.
In a statement released on February 18 regarding the expulsion of 8 law students linked to Castillo’s case, the OSA said it conducted a seminar for organization advisers and student leaders on the Anti-Hazing Law and recommended a review of the UST Student Handbook as well as organization accreditation processes.
In the same statement, the office also said that it issued an indefinite moratorium on recruitment and activities of all fraternities and sororities in UST following the incident. – Rappler.com