The Sean Kingston performance at the Orientation Week concert, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7, has been cancelled after Western learned that there is a civil court case in the United States in which Kingston is alleged to have been involved in the sexual assault of a woman.
The concert was part of the Orientation Week events and the decision to cancel Kingston’s performance was made jointly by the administrations of the University Students’ Council and Western. Neither Western nor the USC is taking a position on whether Kingston committed the offence, but it was felt that while the case is before the courts, proceeding with the concert would undermine the university and the USC’s efforts to educate students that Western has zero tolerance for sexual assault.
USC President Pat Whelan said that throughout O-Week programming, Western has a heavy focus on student safety, including messages around sexual assault.
“Having Mr. Kingston perform could cloud the values surrounding O-Week,” Whelan said.
Susan Grindrod, associate vice-president, Housing and Ancillary Services, said, “it is essential that all of our students, but in particular our incoming students and orientation volunteers, feel safe and valued at Western. This includes those who may be survivors of sexual assault.”
The orientation programming is built on values of inclusivity, human rights, and safety, including sexual violence prevention.
The orientation program organizers are looking into alternative entertainment for Sept. 7. The concert, however, is only one many activities planned for Orientation Week.
For more information, contact:
Jasmine Irwin, USC Vice President, Communications, 519-709-0244.
Jeff Renaud, Western University, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-520-7281.