While I was in law school, I received several invitations from fratmen who made me think that life will be unbearably hard if I didn’t join their group. I didn’t budge. True, I later settled with one, but this was a fraternity where no physical initiation was required. It actually looked more like a scholastic organization.
The benefits of being a “brod” are no secret: camaraderie, assistance, belonging, an extensive network. All these are touted to extend beyond the boundaries of school. But I was quite sure I can get all those even without a frat.
When we took our bar review, we were witness to another trait instilled in a brod: extreme courage. This means fear of nothing, since the frat’s behind him anyway.
My first brush with frat-related violence was when one law student was reportedly mauled by hooded men using baseball bats at the parking lot. The victim was severely injured but I guess nothing came out of the investigation.
Next came the incident at the library (it was open to both students and reviewees) where a co-reviewee was harrased by a frat just because he had the gall to approach one lady who happened to be a brod’s girlfriend. The poor guy was forced to apologize and never went back went back to school.
What bothers me is the fact that those who were all too ready to ignite violence in the name of brotherhood are people knocking at the door of the bar. These would-be lawyers seem to have no qualms about committing infractions of law. Is that because they know that their illustrious lawyer-brods will be using their legal expertise to extricate them from whatever trouble they get entangled with?
I can only surmise that Cris Anthony Mendez was planning to go to law school and applied for membership early on. With dreams of becoming a lawyer, he thought being with a frat will help him sail through it.
You all know what happened. All his dreams mean nothing now. With him now dead, it’s even improbable that he gets to pursue justice, as a victim.
What’s more pathetic is, despite many publicized deaths due to hazing, young people still flock to these exclusive organizations. I’m pretty sure that one of these days, another life will be offered at the temple of violence, but they will never learn.
(Note: Check Mendez’s Friendster account and cry.)