It is an exciting time in the life of a university student: returning to classes, learning the ropes at your new school and getting into some shenanigans with new schoolmates.
Of course, all of that has gone terribly wrong if it combines in the form of a chant seemingly in favour of raping underage girls.
CBC News reports that students at Saint Mary's University are both shocked and ashamed of themselves after a video of just such a chant appeared online.
The video has since been removed, but its short existence prompted a massive backlash against the students involved. The Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports that the university will force the student leaders involved to undergo sensitivity training. Premier Darrell Dexter has also called the incident disturbing.
The chant, which broke out during a frosh event at the Nova Scotia university, is one of those dumb poems where you spell out a word and assign meaning to each letter. The word in question was young.
According to CBC, the poem went:
Y is for your sister […] U is for underage, N is for no consent […] Saint Mary’s boys we like them young.
Stay classy, Saint Mary's boys. You really thought this through, considering the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, the Nova Scotia girl who recently killed herself after having what she said was drunk, non-consensual sex with more than one boy.
Perhaps equally shocking is that the chant is said to have existed for years.
Dumb, repulsive and offensive frosh activities are far from new, not just in Nova Scotia but in universities across the country.
A stink was raised earlier this year when video of Ryerson University engineering students crawling through snow and mud in their underwear was released online.
The event was part of an initiation, with fully-clad students shouting at the victims, slapping them and hitting them with snow balls.
The event is bizarre, and seems purposely devoid of intelligence, but so many frosh events are. The purpose, arguably noble or otherwise, is to create a community and tie it together. Yoga marathons and movie nights can only go so far, the argument goes. Something more memorable makes for long-lasting connections.
The legitimacy of that argument is up for debate, and so are the lengths to which frosh groups should go.
But the question remains, what sort of bond is Saint Mary's University trying to form with a chant that promotes non-consensual sex with underage girls? Is it a bond that will later be featured on an episode of To Catch a Predator?
The student union that organized the frosh event has apologized and said they are ashamed of the whole thing.
A "dirty bingo" event has been postponed, although it is not clear whether the "unforeseen events" behind the delay have anything to do with the country suddenly paying attention to all the dumb things they are doing.
With that chant in mind, one has to wonder exactly what types of squares are found on a typical SMU “dirty bingo” board.
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