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Hazing, the non-violent way

August 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Hazing, the non-violent way

by: Harvey S. Keh

The Manila Bulletin

http://mb.com.ph/articles/329741/hazing-nonviolent-way

MANILA, Philippines — I was disturbed when I saw the video of how new recruits of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were being tortured and abused as part of their so-called initiation into the ranks of the PNP.

Hazing, also found in several colleges and universities, has been a lingering problem that has caused the loss of several young lives in the past decades.

Two years ago, the sad story of a 14-year-old girl from a high school in Quezon City was all over the papers. The girl got pregnant due to a group sex initiation that she had to undergo to join a group in her school. She didn’t even know who the father of her child was!

Some fraternities use “tradition’’ as an excuse for hazing, saying this has been a practice for several generations now. Is the use of violence, torture and inhuman acts the only way for people to share a common experience?

Hazing only promotes a culture of violence and revenge. Those who have undergone acts of hazing would most likely also want to do the same to the next batch of recruits. This cycle goes on and on, destroying young lives or losing them in the process.

The challenge is for fraternities and other associations to think of more innovative, safer and productive ways of conducting their initiation. Here are some suggestions:

1.) TUTORING NON-READERS IN OUR PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS EVERY SATURDAY FOR 8 CONSECUTIVE WEEKS. Addressing the problem of access and quality of our basic education system is one of the main priorities of the present administration. But given the enormity of the problem, the government cannot do it alone. So why not engage and encourage fraternities and other associations to develop a reading program that assists non-readers in public schools. If one would like to be part of a fraternity, then one has to commit at least eight consecutive Saturday afternoons to help increase the reading comprehension skills of young students.

2.) ASK A NEW RECRUIT TO RAISE AT LEAST 300 BOOKS FOR A PUBLIC SCHOOL LIBRARY. Assign a recruit to a certain village or subdivision and ask him or her to write letters to the homeowners asking them for donations of books that can still be used at our public school libraries. Each neophyte member asked to raise at least 300 books given a limited time before s/he can be accepted into the organization.

3.) PARTICIPATE IN A COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP AND ASK RECRUITS TO COLLECT AT LEAST 60 KILOS OF PLASTIC WASTE EACH. All new recruits will be brought to a barangay and they will be tasked to develop a program to help maintain the cleanliness of the community. They will then help the barangay in educating the community about this program while each of them will be assigned to collect at least 60 kilos of plastic waste. The collected waste may be sold to junk shops and the money earned can then be used by the fraternity or association to fund their programs.

4.) CONVINCE AT LEAST 250 PEOPLE TO LIKE THE FRATERNITY OR ASSOCIATION’S FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK. One of the things that organizations and even companies are doing now is harnessing the power of social media to promote their products and activities. This is also one thing that fraternities can do which is to ask their new recruits to convince at least 250 people to like their organization’s

Facebook page. Imagine if a fraternity has at least 10 new recruits then that would immediately translate to at least 2,500 new likes on their Facebook page. This would allow the fraternity to reach more people when they promote their activities.

Through these small, simple suggestions, we can make the initiation process of any organization more productive not only for the individual who is being initiated but also for the organization and eventually, the community as a whole.

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Erratum to my previous column: In my last column, I featured the fellows for the Asia Society’s Asia 21-Philippines Young Leaders program. I would like to apologize to Michael Sandejas whose awards I failed to cite accurately. 
Here are the awards and the recognitions that he has received in recent years: Cinemalaya Audience Award, Cinemanila International Film Festival Selection, Gawad Tanglaw Presidential Jury Award for Film Excellence and National Council for Children’s Television Award in 2009, San Diego Asian Film Festival and Third Eye Asian Film Festival in India last 2010.

Comments are welcome at harveykeh@gmail.com

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The Asia Society’s search for the top young leaders in the Philippines – Nominate now!

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

The Asia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of the United States and Asia. We seek to increase knowledge and enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of arts and culture, policy and business, and education.

As part of its effort to build relationships among leaders across the Asia-Pacific region, the Asia Society has organized the Asia 21-Philippines Young Leaders Initiative on its sixth year. The Initiative has a goal to build a community of young, dynamic Filipino leaders from a cross section of our society. Nominated and selected yearly by a Board of Advisors, these eight to ten young leaders from various sectors – business, politics, civil society, military, government, media, arts & culture, and the academe – join a larger community selected from the Asia Pacific Region, under a program called the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative. Asia 21 gathers about 220 young leaders from the Asia-Pacific to meet, educate, and inspire each other; collaborate and share ideas on public service and other meaningful initiatives, and build relationships of trust and understanding, that will guide the peaceful and optimal unfolding of this Asia Pacific century.

Over the corner of 10 years, from 2006 to 2015, the Philippines 21 Young Leaders Initiative aims to identify 100 of the country’s top young leaders between the ages of 25 and 40 to represent the country to the annual Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit. This year’s Summit will be held in New Delhi, India sometime in November.

Nomination forms can be downloaded at

http://asiasociety.org/policy-politics/asia-21/changemakers-wanted-philippines-21-class-2010

Deadline for nominations is on May 31, 2011.

Please send your nominations via fax to (632) 7524374 or via email to info@asiasociety.org.ph