Tonight We Raise a Glass to UCONN SUBOG

On April 11th 2019, 2000’s pop sensation Sean Kingston was scheduled to perform at UConn’s Spring Music Festival UCONNIC. The singer, who was accused of gang raping a 19 year old girl at a concert in 2010, was later removed from the line-up shortly before the scheduled date, and concert-goers were offered a refund for their tickets. This decision was made in response to upset students who felt a singer with those allegations should not be allowed to perform. 

April, as you may know, is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In light of this, Tarana Burke, creator of the #MeToo movement, a campaign to raise awareness for domestic violence and assault, spoke Wednesday night at the schools Jorgenson's Center for the Performing Arts. Less than 24 hours later, Kingston was scheduled to perform inside Gampel Pavilion, just a few hundred feet away. After the announcement of Kingston being booked for the venue, The Daily Campus released an article titled, “Tonight we raise a glass to Sean Kingston”, which included a list of mixed drinks students could make to celebrate his arrival. Ironically, the women Kingston allegedly raped was intoxicated underage with alcohol and marijuana. One student caught on to the situation and wrote a “Letter to the Editor” response titled, “Disappointment in Student Orgs for Supporting Sean Kingston.” With the backlash that followed from the student body, the site respectively took down their original article.

SUBOG later announced the cancellation of the singer saying on their Instagram story, “SUBOG would like to acknowledge the students who voiced their opinions about this selection, and to assure them that the organization is sorry to have disappointed you...We pride ourselves on offering events ‘for students, by students,’ and are committed to learning from this experience as we move forward...We all stand with and believe survivors of sexual assault, and condemn those who do not support survivors of sexual assault...”. UCONN's WHUS Radio also canclled collarboarations with the music festival, "in light of the allegations". 

It is important that we acknowledge this organization for their tough, but very important decision. While many students were disappointed about the cancellation, in my opinion it was a smart choice for the University and it’s students to make. Domestic violence is already such a pressing, controversial issue especially on college campuses. While there is still so much to be done surrounding the topic, cancelling Sean Kingston was a small step in giving it the attention it deserves. And so, tonight, UCONN SUBOG, we raise a glass to you- a virgin, or legal one that is.