I am a fifth-year student at Saint Mary’s University. In light of recent events I felt it was important to acknowledge the situation of the frosh orientation chant. As a proud Huskie I am disheartened that this chant happened on our campus. It was inexcusable and devastating to the Huskie community.
However, the negative media attention that has been directed at the Saint Mary’s Student Union Association and SMUSA president, Jared Perry, has been very extreme.
This chant is not the only one of its kind on our campuses around the Maritimes. This act should be teaching us to look at the bigger picture instead of pointing fingers at SMUSA.
In Perry’s interview on Information Morning one of the many accusatory questions that was directed at him was, “how did you let this happen?” My answer to this question is, look around! Our media blasts sexually charged images at our generation all day every day.
For example, the Halifax Transit system just released a new ad “Do it ... on the bus.” This can also be seen as sexist and extremely offensive to some. These types of advertisements have caused people to make light of sexual harassment and sexism not just at SMU but also around the world. This chant should not be excused but I do not believe that Perry or SMUSA are to blame. Social behaviour and you the media are to blame.
In my final year at SMU I can still say I am proud to be a part of this community and I will stand behind Perry and SMUSA as they deal with the repercussions of this mindless act.
(Editor’s Note: Perry resigned as student union president over the weekend)