College punishes students for sexist chanting at party, even those not there


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Fascists: The University of Mary Washington has punished its entire rugby team of 46 because 8 attended a party where some had participated in “sexist chanting.”

The microaggression unfolded last November at a house party near the Fredericksburg, Virginia, campus, according to Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan. Some students, likely drunk, sang a demeaning song about raping corpses and “wiggling it” inside whores—inappropriate stuff, to be sure, though not really targeted at a specific entity in a threatening way. The chant apparently has its origins in rowdy “pub” songs. It’s a curious tradition, though not one intended to inspire actual malice, it seems.

But someone at the party recorded the chant; eventually, UMW’s Feminists United on Campus found out about it and made sure university administrators were informed. This led to an investigation, and eventually, the end of the rugby team. The location of the party was said to be a “rugby house”—even though only two members of the team actually lived there—and so the entire team had to pay the price.

First of all, the chanting, as ugly as it might have been, is perfectly legal under the first amendment. Not only was it merely speech, it took place off campus in a private residence, where the college has limited jurisdiction.

Second, what kind of justice is it for the college to punish all the members of the rugby team when only a few even attended the party? Even if it had to right to do so (which I question), punishing innocent third parties is beyond Stalinistic.

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4 comments

  • Cotour

    Looks to me like there was a “hit” put out on the rugby team and this was just the catalyst that gave the excuse to execute the hit.

    Rugby is a “violent” sport much like football and it may encourage too much rowdy male activity and head trauma which is unacceptable in the coming new world.

    Fascism? Sure, why not.

  • Nicholas Paizis

    “the chanting, as ugly as it might have been, is perfectly legal under the first amendment”

    The First Amendment only limits Government. If Mary Washington University is a private school then they can have any rules they want, as absurd as these are. If they receive Government money that may be a different issue.

  • How much do you want to bet that Mary Washington University gets a lot of government money?

  • Edward

    From the article: “No student on this campus should feel unsafe, ostracized, or threatened.”

    I guess that does not apply if the student on that campus is part of a team sport. How likely is it that the innocent members of the team are not being ostracized? How likely is it that all the other teams on campus feel threatened by this unfair punishment.

    And how threatened did the women who were not at the party feel during the chant? Or afterward, for that matter (since none were there at the time)? It is most likely that they never felt threatened but are (mis)using the system to threaten others into silence.

    So much for upholding the UMW values. They are applied to the team, but they are ignored when the team and others feel threatened into silence. The university may have no legal requirement to uphold the First Amendment, but its students have the right (and expectation) that their rights will be protected.

    From the article: “Some students have now been exposed to those offensive and lurid lyrics due to posting by others on social media.”

    Have the students who posted the supposedly threatening lyrics likewise been punished? Perhaps the punishment is being unfairly applied all around, punishing the guilty and the innocent, but none of those guilty of continuing to spread the supposed threats.

    When a student is not free to express himself in a private residence, off campus, and away from anyone who might be offended, what freedoms of expression does he really have?

    When a student is not free to express offensive thoughts, what freedoms of expression does he really have? It is only the offensive expressions that have to be protected. Otherwise all conversation would have to revolve around the weather (and even *that* is becoming a political — thus potentially offensive — topic).

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