MANILA - The University of Santo Tomas has suspended the recognition of all fraternities, sororities and similar organizations for the next academic year, following the fatal hazing of UST law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III in 2017.
Asia's oldest Catholic university, through its Office for Student Affairs, directed fraternities and sororities to indefinitely "cease and desist from recruiting students or engaging in any kind of activities,” through a memorandum, a copy of which was tweeted Tuesday night by The Varsitarian, UST's student publication.
The memorandum, dated May 21, also barred students from joining fraternities, sororities and unrecognized campus organizations.
The suspension of fraternities and sororities is "in light of the recent incident involving the hazing death of a law student and in keeping with the duty of the University to take proactive steps to protect the students from the danger of participating in activities that will involve hazing,” the memorandum read.
Castillo died while undergoing initiation rites with the Aegis Jvris fraternity on September 17, 2017.
His death put the spotlight on fraternities and their culture of hazing, prompting lawmakers to amend the existing anti-hazing law.
A Manila court has ordered the transfer of the suspects in Castillo's hazing from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Detention Center to a city jail.