Warning: Article and video contain explicit content
A controversial video of frosh activities at Saint Mary’s University is causing quite a stir.
In the video posted to Instagram, a group of students are heard in a chant that seems to encourage non-consensual underage sex.
The chant was performed by 80 student leaders in front of about 300 of their first-year peers on Monday and the whole thing was caught on tape.
The students are heard chanting “SMU boys we like them young. Y is for your sister. O is for oh-so-tight. U is for underage. N is for no consent. G is for grab that ass.”
University officials say they were unaware of the chant until today and are extremely disappointed in their student leaders.
“This is a disappointing, discouraging and, quite frankly, an offensive video,” says Keith Hotchkiss, the senior director of student services. “We’re, I guess, taken aback.”
He says the school is taking immediate steps to deal with the issue and the video, although a decision about disciplinary action is yet to be made.
As a result of the incident, student government leaders are being made to participate in a sensitivity training session which covers sexual assault and sexual violence.
Jared Perry, president of the university’s student association, heads the group that organizes frosh week events. He says he regrets the message the chant sends.
“We’re sorry this went through and, you know, now we’re looking forward into the future and ensuring it won’t take place again,” says Perry.
Many students who watched the video said they were shocked by the chant and expressed concern over the school’s reputation.
“I would just say that that wouldn’t be something to be associated with Saint Marys. It’s a good school,” says student Kayla Osborn.
“I’m glad I wasn’t part (of it). I don’t want that to be the face of my school,” says Cory Taylor. “I came here because I wanted to get a good education, not listen to a bunch of people sing about stuff like that. It’s just inappropriate.”
“Personally, I don’t agree with it, not at all. I think it was pretty unacceptable in today’s day and age,” says Corbin Williams.
University officials say they don’t believe the students considered the negative message the chant sends, or realized there could be consequences for their actions.
They say frosh week is typically used as an opportunity to welcome new students, convey important messages about student life and set positive examples of leadership.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl