Apologies Offered Over Convocation Remarks

June 19, 2019

Officials at Western University, in Ontario, are apologizing for remarks given by Stephan Moccio, the musician, at the university's convocation ceremony. In his talk, Moccio said that he remembered fondly his time as a student, starting when he saw a sign as he arrived on campus that said, "Thank you, fathers, for dropping off your virgin daughters," CBC News reported. Other reports said that he recited lyrics of a song about a residence hall for women, including apparent references to oral sex.

Amit Chakma, president and vice chancellor, issued a statement in which he called the statements "unacceptable and not in keeping with what Western values in a respectful learning and working environment."

Moccio also issued an apology, which said in part, "I apologize without hesitation to the entire Western community, graduates, family and friends in attendance today. I realize the words chosen were not only wrong, but undermine decades of work on this very campus to bring justice to important women’s issues."

In October, the university apologized after a philanthropist said in a campus talk that he enrolled at the university in 1983 because Playboy had declared women there "among the best in North America."

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