Student leaders punished for UBC rape chant
CTV British Columbia
Published Wednesday, September 18, 2013 11:02AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 18, 2013 1:00PM PDT
The University of British Columbia says it will take “comprehensive measures” to make amends for an inappropriate rape chant during frosh week events at the Sauder School of Business during the first week of the academic year.
UBC president and vice-chancellor Stephen Toope said an investigation into the incident found that there was no evidence that leaders of the Commerce Undergraduate Society planned or directed students to use the chant.
But Toope said the chant, which promoted non-consensual sex, as well as other offensive chants, were a CUS oral tradition and no student leaders stepped in to stop anyone from using them. Also, the majority of first-year students attending frosh week events would have been exposed to the rape chant.
“After serious consideration, we believe it is essential that the C.U.S. and all FROSH leaders make tangible amends,” said Toope. “At the same time, the whole UBC community needs to embark upon deeper, transformative and lasting change that would make such chants entirely and obviously unacceptable in our community.”
All 81 CUS frosh leaders will be ordered to do community service.
The university said the undergraduate society is setting aside $250,000 over three years to fund a professional position to provide student counseling and education on sexual abuse and violence.
A task force will also be appointed to look into deeper “systemic and organizational issues.”
Several student leaders resigned shortly after the probe into the rape chant was announced earlier this month. More than 60 students and four staff were interviewed for the internal investigation.
Toope said the university is also examining whether some students sang chants that were derogatory to aboriginal people.