UBC expresses "grave concern" over reports of FROSH chant endorsing nonconsensual sex

Not only would it violate UBC's code of conduct, it also has fundraising implications

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      UBC officials are promising to work with students to conduct a "thorough investigation" into reports of a chant by Sauder School of Business students that allegedly promoted underage rape.

      The story was first revealed in the Ubyssey student newspaper.

      "This is of grave concern to all members of the UBC community," Sauder school dean Robert Helsley and UBC vice president students Louise Cowin declared in a statement. "Such behaviour would be completely inconsistent with the values of UBC and the Sauder School of Business and completely inconsistent with the instruction that the Commerce Undergraduate Society receives on appropriate conduct prior to FROSH." 

      The UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society has already promised to take "all feasible steps going forward to ensure all unacceptable behaviour is fully eradicated from our orientation events".

      Ubyssey reporter Arno Rosenfeld discovered a tweet, which claimed the chant said: “Y-O-U-N-G at UBC we like em young Y is for yourrr sister O is for ohh so tight U is for under age N is for noo consent G is for goo to jail.”

      It was remarkably similar to a chant during FROSH week at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, which led to the resignation of the student-society president.

      The statement by the Sauder school dean and UBC vice president pointed out that UBC's student code of conduct calls for all members of the university community to act "in a manner that contributes positively to an environment in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity, and inclusivity are valued".

      The trouble has erupted at UBC just as B.C.'s second-largest postsecondary institution, Simon Fraser University, has launched a major 50th-anniversary fundraising campaign.

      "Philanthropy has propelled SFU over the past 50 years," SFU president Andrew Petter has declared as part of his pitch to raise $250 million.

      It's not a stretch to suggest that UBC fundraising officials—who will have to compete for philanthropic donations with SFU—aren't happy with the timing of the Sauder School of Business controversy.

      In tough economic times, universities are increasingly reliant on donations to finance capital expenditures and bursaries. This is particularly true in the United States, but it's become a bigger issue in B.C., particularly after the Christy Clark government's recent cut to the budget for advanced education.

      Keep in mind that the Sauder School of Business has been the beneficiary of numerous large donations, including $20 million from the Sauder family and $5 million from real-estate developer Robert H. Lee.

      Image is crucial in the fundraising game, especially when there's so much competition out there. And it's not just coming from SFU.

      Emily Carr University of Art + Design is trying to raise $21 million to fund a new campus being built at False Creek Flats. The province has promised $113 million for this project if the fundraising goal is met.

      Kwantlen Polytechnic University has also emerged as a rival, raising $12 million last year from lululemon, its founder Chip Wilson, and his wife Shannon. That was matched by the university and the provincial government to fund a new school of design named after the Wilsons.

      There aren't a lot of head offices like lululemon left in Vancouver. That's another reason why UBC officials must nip this controversy as soon as possible.

      Commerce students who were on FROSH week buses and who may have participated in the rape chant are going to learn an important lesson in business if and when the university metes out any punishment.

      If the reports are confirmed, students can expect a message to be sent that this must never happen again, not only because it violates the university's code of conduct, but also because of its potential to jeopardize UBC's fundraising prospects.



      Just looking

      Sep 8, 2013 at 11:51am

      Doesn't anyone else see that the problem might be with business schools themselves (Saint Mary's Unniversity seems to be predominantly business). What kind of people do business schools attract? Aren't they all rape-and-pillage capitalists?

      Lizabeth Jane

      Sep 8, 2013 at 12:38pm

      Nothing short of an expulsion is acceptable. By the time people are old enough for college or university, their personality and characters have formed. Is this the type of character that UBC wants to associate themselves with? If these people sucessfull complete their degrees at UBC they then become part of the Alumuni. I am UBC Alumui. Boo!

      Some more fun ideas

      Sep 8, 2013 at 2:01pm

      As this chant has apparently been going on for 20 years or so with the condoning knowledge of the Administration officials, how about SOMEONE take responsibility for encouraging their students to go rape some underage girl? Or, if that is not a big deal, why not add more cool bonding chants to sing - maybe something racist or genocidal would be a lot of fun. In fact, the officials could all join in the fun and do a line and dance chant for tv cameras everywhere. Come on! Don't be a prude! Entertain us with with more rape chants! So fun!

      Green Billy

      Sep 8, 2013 at 3:32pm

      re: Just looking

      Yes! I'm glad someone really gets it.
      The voluntary exchange of goods and services is clearly morally equivalent to rape.

      And spouting off about how running a business is just like raping people isn't offensive to actual rape victims at all!

      Mr. Palmer

      Sep 8, 2013 at 4:45pm

      What a ridiculous angle. The school obviously cares very much about actually having a healthy culture first and foremost. Why would it not? Over 60% of the students are young women, it wants to continue to attract and retain students, faculty and staff. What on earth does philanthropy have to do with it? People donate to their alma mater, they donate to promote education, to make a difference in the world. If anything, problems like this are exactly WHY people donate money: to fix and improve the conditions for future students.

      Just maybe for example, a wise donor would look to supporting a research chair, or program to support inclusive education, women in leaderhip, or ethics training.

      Mike Walse

      Sep 8, 2013 at 4:48pm

      What evidence do you have to support this claim: "As this chant has apparently been going on for 20 years or so with the condoning knowledge of the Administration officials"

      According to STUDENTS the chant has been going on for 20 years. Why on earth would you assume the administration is privvy to such chants at orientation, run and attended only by students?

      Why on earth would the university official risk this continuing when they have nothing to gain from it?

      Think for a moment, and learn to read.


      Sep 9, 2013 at 8:58am

      If that chant has really been going on for 20 years, it's pathetic that in that time only one student has come forward to decry it.

      Alan Layton

      Sep 10, 2013 at 8:49am

      What I don't understand is how so many female students have been part of this event, and clearly chanting and laughing while doing it in the videos, and not have said anything about it. I would expect young women today to be hypersensitive about this subject, yet not a word. This says to me that the chant wasn't as sinister as it is made out to be and the 'grave concerns' are more about image and fundraising than anything else. Young people know that non-consensual sex with a minor is wrong but as young people tend to do they will make light of the subject. So hopefully everybody will calm down and make the adjustments without ruining people's careers before they've even started.

      Count R. Evolutionary

      Sep 10, 2013 at 12:52pm

      Universites are institutes of higher learning - not churches. Let students have their silly chants - never has it been demonstrated that the suppression of speech leads to a better world. We are not Americans, we are not Puritans, and we are not senile old moralists bent on beating the waywardness from youth. Hey teachers - leave those kids alone.

      Jason Willes

      Sep 19, 2013 at 4:19pm

      Who really cares? Has anyone heard the lyrics of 2live crew? Or other hip hop, football (soccer) chants, if you dumb enough to participate you will be assosiated with that juvenile behaviour...not my problem. Non news, more like gossip.