Resounding call against views of frat members in #LonsiLeaks chat

November 23, 2018 - 4:09 PM
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UP rally against frat-related violence
A gathering of UP students was held at the Arts and Science parking lot to denounce the views in #LonsiLeaks. (Facebook/UP Babaylan)

Members of student organizations of the University of the Philippines made a rare, unified protest on its main campus to end fraternity-related violence, bigotry and misogyny following the controversial #LonsiLeaks involving members of influential Upsilon Sigma Phi.

Other student groups have also called on the leaders of the fraternity to take action against the disturbing views of its brothers.

Rallies at UP

Screenshots of the group chat of Upsilon members circulated on social media this week amid Upsilon’s month-long centennial anniversary celebration.

The leak bares the members’ support for assaulting women and killing minorities like Lumads, immediately drew widespread criticisms both online and offline.

On November 22, several students of UP gathered in front of the Arts and Science parking lot—an area known to be a hangout of fraternity members—inside the campus in Diliman in Quezon City.

Tindig ng Plaridel, the official publication of the UP College of Mass Communication, reported that representatives from various student councils attended and spoke up in the assembly.

They denounced remarks conveyed in the viral chat and appealed for accountability from the fraternity’s leaders.

The event was shared on the official social media accounts other organizations such as the UP Babaylan and UP College of Law student government.

An online campaign was also launched using hashtags that sought to end fraternity-related violence, misogyny, bigotry and impunity in the UP community.

The protests did not end there. On the next day, November 23, the League of College Councils at UP Diliman sent out an invitation through its social media accounts for another rally in front of the university administration building, Quezon Hall. Those who wish to participate were expected to wear white.

Protest against frats at UPa
A photo released by student organization UP Scientia shows members of the university commuting staging a protest against fraternity-related violence and misogynistic views at Quezon Hall, the state university’s administrative building. (UP Scientia)

A separate gathering at the state university’s Los Baños campus in Laguna was also organized for the same cause. It was to take place at 4 p.m. at Carabao Park on campus.

Widespread denouncement

Concerned groups inside and outside of UP expressed their outrage against the leaked content, such as groups advocating the rights of women and Lumads.

The UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies in its statement made a general reminder to all sororities, fraternities and other groups in the university of the principles and values the prestigious educational institution adheres to.

While not naming Upsilon, the UPCWGS demanded that those involved in the fraternity-linked scandal be held accountable for their actions.

“We ask all other members of the UP community to interrogate and immediately address the ways by which we may be contributing to the breeding and perpetuation of gender and social injustice inside and outside the university,” the department said.

Meanwhile, sororities at UP, such as the Delta Lambda Sigma and Sigma Alpha Nu, also issued separate statements on Facebook against the fraternity-linked scandal. Delta Lambda Sigma did not name Upsilon in its post.

The two sororities form part of a coalition of student organizations that promote women’s rights at UP Diliman called Diliman Women’s Alliance or Diwa.

“We call on Upsilon Sigma Phi and other fraternities and organizations to re-align their actions towards the mandate of honor and excellence. In this political climate, it is imperative to stop the culture of misogyny and violence within our own ranks,” Diwa stated.

Beyond UP, Ateneo de Manila University’s Sanggunian, or student council, similarly condemned on Twitter the exposed conversation that mentioned Trisha Yap, an Ateneo student who passed away last September.

“The death of Ms. Trisha Marie Yap is not a joking matter and certainly did not deserve any of the inflammatory statements revealed in the chat. We condemn such insensitivity and continue to pray for the healing of her family and loved ones,” it said.