Student leaders resign over UBC Frosh chant controversy
Last week, an offensive chant led during UBC Sauder School of Business’ Frosh week went public via social media and caused an uproar in the community.
On Sunday, the Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) and Alma Mater Society (AMS) of UBC released a statement apologizing “for the offensive and unacceptable conduct of the leaders tasked with welcoming students.”
The two student co-chairs of the CUS orientation have since resigned from the organization.
Full statement from the CUS and AMS
Numerous reports have circulated of inappropriate and offensive chants depicting non-consensual sex being lead by student leaders during first year orientation events organized by the Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) of UBC.
Both the CUS and its governing body the Alma Mater Society (AMS) of UBC Vancouver are deeply troubled by this behaviour, which strictly opposes the attitudes and opinions of both societies. As societies representing the needs of students, we vehemently condemn any conduct that promotes or endorses sexualized violence.
We sincerely apologize for the offensive and unacceptable conduct of the leaders tasked with welcoming students to our institution.
The AMS stringently follows the policies outlined in the UBC Student Code of Conduct and requires the same from all members and constituencies. Both the AMS and CUS will be actively and transparently participating in UBC’s investigation into this incident and the AMS will be conducting its own investigations into the orientations run by all undergraduate societies. The co-chairs of the CUS orientation team have tendered their resignations but will continue to assist with the investigations as needed.
The AMS and CUS will be working together to ensure all members of the CUS leadership team attend training with our Sexual Assault Support Centre. Going forward we will be working to ensure such chants, or any offensive or derogatory conduct, never again occur within an AMS sanctioned event.
Students who are in need of support are encouraged to use the following resources and services offered by the AMS:
AMS Ombudsperson, assist [at] ams.ubc.ca
AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre, www.gotconsent.ca
AMS Speakeasy (peer support), www.ams.ubc.ca/services/speakeasy
Caroline Wong, President – Alma Mater Society of UBC Vancouver
Enzo Woo, President – UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society
Robert Helsley, Sauder School of Business Dean, and Louise Cowin, UBC Vice President of Students, released their own statement Saturday:
This is of grave concern to all members of the UBC community. 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.
They also said the university is taking this very seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation, and disciplinary actions may follow. They plan on educating students about the harm caused by such behaviour.