Last June 28, Guillo Servando, a student of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB), passed away due to multiple injuries that he sustained from the initiation rites of a fraternity, more commonly known as hazing. This tragedy has gained various reactions from different sectors as some want fraternities to be banned while others wish for their regulation.
Last July 3, Lasallians were encouraged to wear white shirts as part of the #WhiteForServs movement, a campaign which aimed to show a united Lasallian community expressing sympathy, support, and a thirst for justice for Servando and the other injured victims.
This movement was conceptualized by two La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) alumni who are currently freshmen in De La Salle University, namely Danny Corsiga (I, AB-POM) and Justin Dela Merced (I, BS-ENT).
The start of the movement
“So yun nga nung morning naisip ko sa LRT, yung vibe sa DLSU was so indifferent to what was happening. Nakakahiya yung fact na CSB is right in front of us, like we could care less about what’s happening and we know it’s sad pero yun lang,” shares Corsiga on his contribution to the #WhiteForServs movement.
At first, Corsiga thought of wearing a green ribbon to show unity, but it seemed unpractical. After which, he consulted Dela Merced who chimes, “Ang hirap nun kasi kailangan pa namin bumili, kailangan mag-provide unless ibibigay namin sa USG (University Student Government).”
They sought help from other members of the LSGH community including their former teacher Jay Malabanan and current students in the University among others. By 8:30 pm of July 2, Wednesday, the go-signal was given to blast the message via text and social media sites Facebook and Twitter.
They decided to do it without asking help from the USG because they were afraid that the process in the USG would be slow and by the time an action would be done, the news would have died down. Eventually, College of Liberal Arts (CLA) president Vjohn Dizon and 67TH ENG Legislative Assembly representative Abe Lozada offered their help to spread the campaign through the social media accounts of their respective USG units.
Dela Merced explains “I mean it could be better, yung parang mapupulitiko ang plano pero since it was our initiative and a small act of ours, hindi namin nagawa yun so basically, we didn’t expect it to be that big to the point na pati ang USG will talk to us, consulted us about it kung may magagawa pa sila to add on it or to begin the movement.”
One Lasallian community
Dela Merced and Corsiga felt that the #WhiteForServs movement was a success, especially because the campaign was prepared in just one day. Dela Merced professes, “We initiated it as a Lasallian. Walang kahit ano. That was the real plan. That was the real meaning of it.” Corsiga expounds “Umabot naman sa mga tao yung gusto naming iparating yun nga that Lasallians do care about each other.”
Corsiga corroborated that they felt the movement was really successful after one of the injured hazing victims posted in the LSGH Batch 2014 group page his gratitude for their support. Dela Merced shared how overwhelmed he was with the coverage of the campaign saying, “Actually since we planned it for our batch only, for freshmen lang since we’re freshmen only and we thought we can only do so much. The reality didn’t match our expectations eh. Kasi the reality is kumalat pati sa upper batches, kahit sa USG elected officers, even GMA tweeted our post so we could say that it was very successful.”
Both believe that this campaign exemplified the spirit of one Lasallian community. Corsiga concludes, “In a way masasabi parang no matter what happens to us as a Lasallian community, we’re all going to have each other’s backs, we’re always going to be there for each other and it’s a sense of unity and looking out for one another.”