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Education UBC student leaders resign over offensive frosh chant

UBC’s Sauder School of Business has withdrawn its support for frosh-week activities after controversy erupted over a rape-themed chant at a frosh event organized by the Commerce Undergraduate Society.

RAFAL GERSZAK/The Globe and Mail

Outrage at frosh-week chants about non-consensual sex at a pair of Canadian schools has claimed the jobs of two more student leaders, this time at the University of British Columbia.

In a statement on Wednesday, UBC's Commerce Undergraduate Society said its president, Enzo Woo, and vice-president engagement, Gillian Ong, have resigned, taking "ultimate …responsibility" for offensive chants on a bus carrying first-year students to orientation activities last week.

"I am deeply remorseful at what has transpired," Mr. Woo said in the statement, adding that he hopes the move will "help heal the community that has been an enormous positive influence in my life."

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Both UBC and Saint Mary's University in Halifax have been embroiled in controversy since students at both schools were heard using nearly identical chants about non-consensual sex with underage youth during frosh events. The president of the Saint Mary's University Students' Association, Jared Perry, resigned last week, and administrators at both schools have promised measures to prevent a repeat.

At UBC, the Sauder School of Business has withdrawn support for frosh-week activities, and all student leaders from the CUS will take anti-violence training arranged by the campus sexual assault centre. Sauder dean Robert Helsley acknowledged the students' decision to take "steps they feel are appropriate to provide renewal to the student leadership" in a separate statement.

Last week, Saint Mary's president Colin Dodds appointed bullying expert Wayne MacKay to lead a task force on sexual violence prevention. The university announced Wednesday that the panel will include Laurel Broten, a former cabinet minister in Ontario, outgoing Nova Scotia Education Minister Marilyn More and a member of the Saint Mary's women's centre.

With a report from The Canadian Press

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