UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society pledges better behaviour after offensive Frosh chant

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The UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) has released a public letter to the Sauder School of Business and UBC community pledging to eliminate harmful behaviour towards their students. The pledge comes after an offensive chant by frosh leaders during Sauder’s frosh week, between August 30 and September 2.

The chant was tweeted by a Sauder freshman and originally posted by The Ubyssey.

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Public letter by UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society

To the Sauder and UBC community,

We have always held a no-tolerance stance regarding activities and behaviour that condone harmful actions towards our students in any way. In recent years, the Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) made the safety and comfort of all students at our events a top priority, increasing student leader training and deepening relationships with university administration to provide the best possible orientation experience for all of our incoming students. While we do our best to provide a safe and controlled environment during formal Sauder FROSH sessions, there is admittedly little we can do to completely control what some leaders may expose their students to.

It is difficult to determine to what extent inappropriate activities may have taken place in past years, but we will be taking all feasible steps going forward to ensure all unacceptable behaviour is fully eradicated from our orientation events. Furthermore, we will be turning a critical eye on all of our services to ensure that as an organization, the Commerce Undergraduate Society is inclusive and safe for all participants at all times.

Sincerely,
Enzo Woo – President, Commerce Undergraduate Society
Jacqueline Chen and Jonathan Li – FROSH Co-Chars
Gillian Ong – Vice President, Engagement, Commerce Undergraduate Society

 

According to an interview by The Ubyssey with Jacqueline Chen, Frosh Co-Chair, this chant has been going on for years and it has gotten into problems in the past. However, instead of changing the chant, they decided the chant must be kept within the Frosh group and away from the public.

Chen said they try to keep such chants private and from getting spread on social media. Frosh leaders caught exposing the chants can be blacklisted from Frosh events or can be handled by the CUS or escalate to the school’s dean.

Enzo Woo, president of the Commerce Undergraduate Society, stated that even when he did not agree with the chant, the final decision was to be made by the Frosh leaders.

Response from Sauder School Dean and UBC Vice President, Students

It has been reported that a chant endorsing non-consensual sex was recited on one or more buses taking students between events during FROSH orientation activities run by the UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS).

This is of grave concern to all members of the UBC community. Such behaviour would be completely inconsistent with the values of UBC and the Sauder School of Business and completely inconsistent with the instruction that the Commerce Undergraduate Society receives on appropriate conduct prior to FROSH.

The University is a community of students, faculty, and staff involved in learning, teaching, research, and other activities. In accordance with The UBC Student Code of Conduct all members of this community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that contributes positively to an environment in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity, and inclusivity are valued, so as to assure the success of both the individual and the community.

The University takes these reports very seriously. The Sauder School of Business and the Office of the Vice-President, Students will jointly conduct a thorough investigation of these reports. Any disciplinary measures will follow the University’s policy on discipline for non-academic misconduct. The University will also take steps to educate students about the harm caused by such behaviour and ensure that all students led activities meet the University’s standards of appropriate student conduct and are consistent with the values of the institution.

Robert Helsley, Dean, Sauder School of Business
Louise Cowin, Vice President, Students, The University of British Columbia

 

What are your thoughts on this chant? What do you think are the appropriate actions to deal with this situation and the people involved?

 

Feature Image: Sauder Frosh Facebook

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