By Nicole Skripkariuk
The University of British Columbia announced strict penalties Wednesday for student leaders involved in the infamous frosh week rape chant.
The chant referencing underage non-consensual sex was used in frosh week activities at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.
Eighty-one frosh leaders will participate in community service along with the frosh executive committee, Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) board of directors and executive council members.
The CUS will make a voluntary $250,000 contribution, to be issued over three years, to fund student counseling services and education on sexual abuse. The CUS will also deliver a public apology outlining its steps to foster an inclusive environment on campus.
A fact-finding report by the university found this was not the first time such a chant was used during frosh week. It also found that most first-year students at frosh would have heard the cheer.
“After serious consideration, we believe it is essential that the CUS and all frosh leaders make tangible amends,” said UBC president Stephen Toope in a statement.
“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.”
Sauder faculty efforts are underway to make curricular changes and engage students in endorsing a safe campus. The school will employ new student leadership training.
Louise Cowin, the vice-president of students, will lead a taskforce to address systematic issues within UBC. The taskforce will also tackle cultural issues related to sexualization and violence.
CUS leaders involved in the condemned chant are currently participating in sensitivity training.
To date, four CUS leaders resigned over the scandal.