Saint Mary's University's student union president quits over offensive chant

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By The Canadian Press -  The president of the Saint Mary’s University students’ association has resigned after a frosh-week chant glorifying the sexual assault of underage girls created a national outcry.

Jared Perry said in a release issued late Friday that he is stepping down to allow the student association to focus on remedying the damage done earlier this week when a video of the chant was circulated on social media. Perry also says in the release he intends to run as a candidate for the president’s job in the next election. Perry says he believes it’s up to the students to assess his leadership. The student association news release says Carrigan Desjardins, the vice president of student life, also resigned. She was responsible for the student association’s frosh week program. Earlier on Friday, Saint Mary’s University announced it has hired an outside expert to lead a task force on sexual violence. University president Colin Dodds says Wayne MacKay, a law professor at Dalhousie University, will head up a council that will examine ways to create a “culture change” at the school’s campus in Halifax. The appointment and resignations were in response to a Labour Day chant performed by student leaders that contained explicit lyrics. The video showed a group of students, including student orientation leaders, chanting “Y is for your sister ... U is for underage, N is for no consent.” The university says MacKay will look at methods to inspire respectful behaviour and a safe learning environment within Saint Mary’s. His group will produce recommendations by the middle of December. MacKay, a former president and vice-chancellor of Mount Allison University, recently authored a report on preventing bullying and cyberbullying for the Nova Scotia government. He has also served as the executive director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and the vice-chairman of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.

Organizations: Saint Mary's University, Dalhousie University, Mount Allison University Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission International Centre

Geographic location: Saint Mary, Halifax, Nova Scotia

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