Freshmen students, colloquially referred to as “frosh” within the De La Salle University (DLSU) community, have annually been a target of frosh hate—a long-standing tradition practiced by upperclassmen at the start of every school year. Oftentimes, this is done through the sharing of negative remarks against the frosh on social media or to their peers. Although Lasallians have shared mixed views about this tradition, it has generally been a light joke among the community—until very recently.
While it has always been fun and games, a serious escalation in the practice of Frosh Hate is projected to occur in Term 1 of Academic Year 2023-2024, the next admission of term admitting first-year students, after a comprehensive proposal on how to treat frosh poorly created by DLSU College of Science (COS) students was leaked online. Titled, Move Over, Menaces of La Salle (MOMoL), the proposal contained 69 pages of potential ways frosh can be inhumanely used in COS laboratory experiments. This includes tests in biology, physics, and chemistry.
Into the labs
In the physics laboratories, MOMoL encouraged the use of frosh in material testing—particularly in an ongoing research project developing bulletproof body armors composed of aluminum and boron. After hitting a roadblock due to the scarcity of silicon-based human molds to test on, the researchers expressed their interest in using the frosh instead. In fact, lead researcher Richard Inman (III, PHY-MAT) strongly advocated for this substitution of silicon molds.
“To be honest, I do think those silicon molds are useless, even if we had them. By using human test subjects, strength, as well as weight and comfort can be measured. Also, humans aren’t even made of silicon. I believe using frosh would give us much better accuracy,” he explains in an exclusive interview with The LuhSallian.
Many chemistry students have also proposed Organic Chemistry experiments in MOMoL wherein frosh can be used to test the effects of synthesized acids. Ava Gadro (I, CHEM) expresses how difficult it was to characterize the strength of acids with equipment, claiming it would be more practical to conduct tests on real human subjects since it would be easier to identify the compounds based on their effect on the subjects.
Additionally, MOMoL also proposed the idea of harvesting organic compounds synthesized in the body, such as calcium and urea, from frosh. Nelia Basan (III, CHEM) suggested this procedure as a possible activity for advanced chemistry students who would need it for their Biochemistry experiments. “Obtaining these chemical compounds in the past was usually very costly and burdensome to do. Why should we go through that expensive and long process again when we can just use frosh? This would also ensure that the samples we use are very fresh,” explains Basan.
However, of the various experiments proposed in MOMoL, the most gruesome is arguably one planned by second-year biology students taking up their Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates class. According to Anne Lakimo (II, BIOMED), many biology students who are taking up the course for their pre-medical studies are uninterested in studying the anatomy of non-human organisms. As such, many of Lakimo’s coursemates proposed the use of frosh for dissection experiments to observe the different organ systems of the human body. “I want to be a doctor of people, not cats. What better organism to experiment on than a useless froshie?” she scowls.
Where the line is drawn
With the explicit details written in MOMoL, it is unequivocal that frosh hate has been taken to an extreme level. Interestingly, students and faculty of the University share mixed sentiments about the proposals, with some supporting them and others strongly rejecting them.
Full-time history professor, Mr. Weston Churchbill, shares his opposition to approving MOMoL in DLSU, claiming that the use of humans in unethical scientific experimentation should have been left in the past. “In all honesty, MOMoL reminds me of those horrible World War II tests. I thought we study history to learn from our mistakes,” he shares.
However, Dr. Heinrich Dufensymerch, head of the University’s nuclear research physics group disagrees, implicitly turning a blind eye to the atrocious plan, “We would get some good data out of it, don’t you think?” Various other COS professors agree with Dufensymirch’s reasoning; among them are associate professors Dr. Walturo Puti and Dr. Fe Latergawa from the Chemistry and Biology departments, respectively.
Unlike the professors, however, a vast majority of the student body has condemned MOMoL—save for some fringe minority in the COS and SOE camps. “I want to cancel all these students. How dare they sully the reputation of our alma mater! Expose their Twitter handles!” exclaimed University Student Government President Judy Toshoo.
Currently, at least 420 students from COS have been outed by their peers and are currently at risk of expulsion from the University after being found associated with it. About 50 of these students, who were among the main writers of MOMoL, are facing serious legal allegations and potential jail time. Petitions have also been made by the student body for the removal of COS professors who have shown support, particularly Dufensymerch, Frankenstein, and White.
A new movement beckons as posters have been drawn up and flyers were given away with the phrase “Frosh Lives Matter (FLM).” This overwhelming response by the DLSU student body has spread beyond the University, gaining the support of Ateneo de Manila University and University of Santo Tomas.