An Instagram video posted on Monday revealed students of Saint Mary's University in Halifax partaking in a sexist chant that promotes raping underage girls. It that has angered the community and caused student leaders to step down.
In the 15-second video, student orientation leaders can be heard leading this cheer for the incoming Freshman class:
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.
Apparently the chant has been part of school tradition for years, and it's shocking that nobody has complained -- or perhaps, listened to complaints -- about its celebration of sexual assault.
If you know anything about college students, it's certainly not "unbelievable" that they'd taunt your sister. Yes, the chant is gross and offensive, but what makes it a big deal is that it's part of a much wider, more demoralizing problem. And yes, this is the part where I deploy the phrase "rape culture."
As a result of the video and outcry, all 80 orientation week leaders and members of the student union team will now be required to undergo training for sexual assault prevention.
"This is something that happens every year, and its a chant that has been done in the past, but it will not continue in the future," Jared Perry, the student union president, told CBC News.
The school administration claimed to be unaware of the chant, and have condemned it.
"People are mad. People are upset. People are angry," said Steve Proctor, a communications manager for the university. "People don't understand how it could happen. That's the reaction shared by the administration."
Jared Perry, Chair of Students Nova Scotia, stepped down, calling the chant a "mistake."
Some students "are highly ashamed, some are confused, some have said they don't think the chant is wrong, or that they didn't think twice about saying it," he said.