SMU student president steps down after sexist chant video leaked
MRU professionals encourage students to fight against ingrained rape culture in light of display held at Halifax university
“Y is for ‘your sister’ . . . U is for ‘underage’… N is for ‘no consent’ . . .” Early on in the month a video taken during frosh week at Saint Mary’s University (SMU) in Nova Scotia went viral on Instagram. A similar chant was heard at a University of British Columbia (UBC) orientation event.
The chant not only condones the sexual assault of a minor, it encourages it. According to the SMU student association, the chant has been part of frosh week for years. Jared Perry, the president of the Saint Mary’s University student association, recently resigned over the matter.
Many people are viewing this as an example of how ingrained rape culture is in the post-secondary system. Recently, a Canadian study reported that 25 per cent of all female post-secondary students had been physically sexually assaulted.
In some cases, there are many witnesses to an act of sexual violence, and, in the SMU video, freshman participants are seen joining in the chant. Evidence of rape culture in society include blaming the victim and requiring a physical injury to be “real”.
When asked what she thought about rape culture in university campuses, MRU student Jennifer Quintanilla De Paz said, “I believe that if you’re scared to walk to your car alone, then it’s an indication that something is wrong in the society.”
“The Students’ Association of Mount Royal University has always strived inclusive and safe environment for our students,” said Missy Chareka, Vice-President Student External Affairs.
“The recent events around the degradation of women and young girls, which have been highlighted across the nation, remind us once again that we cannot tolerate sexual discrimination in any form.”
Mount Royal has made great strides in helping students feel safer on campus. For example, many utilize the SafeWalk Program to safely arrive home or to their car.
In the midst of all the uproar, it is important to remember the victims of sexual abuse. Reporting incidents and attending counseling are important parts of the recovery process for a victim of sexual abuse.
“For any student victim of sexual assault, we would refer them to the university Wellness Center as well as the Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse, which provides 24-hour crisis intervention. If any students have concerns on this matter, we are always here and willing to listen,” Chareka said.