Saturday, June 18, 2005

SFT called to lifted the ban

UPDATE: The Student Federation of Thailand (SFT), also the executive committee of the Asian Students Association (ASA) in the Southeast Asia, has petitioned Education Minister Adisai Bodharamik to override the decision of the Higher Education Commission to halt all initiation rituals in the universities.

This year the Commission circulated a letter to all universities calling for a halt to this year's rituals following last week's suicide of a freshman.

According to Bangkok Post, the latest incident involved a fourth-year student at Rajamangala Institute of Technology's Northeast Campus in Nakhon Ratchsima. Patipan Inyapho, 21 claimed he was tortured along with other students. He sneaked out of the campus and returned to his home with serious bruising and cuts.

Student raped in initiation camp!

At the same time, the Student Federation of Thailand also disclosed that a freshman university student had been raped by the one of her seniors at an initiation camp. According to Kotchawan Chaibutr, the executive member of SFT, "he woke her up in the middle of the night claiming she had to attend a cheerleading session. When the student went out with him, he raped her."

Due to the security and the feelings of the victim, SFT decided not to expose the identity and the name of the university of the victim. Without the proper protection, it may cause unnecessary humilation and threats to the victim.

Ban can solve the problems?

The SFT and some university presidents have agreed to the request. “Initiation activities are intended to promote camaraderie, but it’s important that we know how to organise useful and constructive activities,” said Kotchawan.

The purposes of the rituals are helping the freshman to used to the new environment of the university life. There were a lot of malpractice by the seniors in the initiation rituals, however we can't deny the importance of the rituals. Can we ban the people to using car because it cause the accident? Can we ban sexy cloth because of it caused the sexual desires of the man?

Sometime the call from the student can show how outdated and competence of the government officials in making their decision. SFT called on the Education Ministry to host a meeting to gather opinions from all parties concerned and set guidelines for initiation parties. I think that was a good move at least to address the issue in a more healthy way.

Well done SFT!