The Fordham Ram

Students Demand Sean Kingston’s Removal from Spring Weekend Lineup

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By Helen Stevenson

Last Thursday, April 4, an Instagram account under the username @studentsagainstsean followed a number of Fordham students, demanding Sean Kingston’s removal from the 2019 Campus Activities Board (CAB) Spring Weekend lineup.

The creators of the account, Students Emily Mueller, FCRH ’21, Emily Andrade, FCRH ’21, Meg Vanecko, FCRH ’21, Grace Kubelka, FCRH ’21, and Arden Crawford, FCRH ’21, said they created the account in response to a 2013 court case, in which Kingston settled a $5 million lawsuit with a woman who accused him of gang-rape.

The account and the group’s advocacy generated a campus-wide conversation that addressed the kind of artists that Fordham books for Spring Weekend.

On Thursday, April 11, the “Students Against Sean” group addressed the United Student Government (USG) to voice their concerns.

That same day, USG put out a statement requesting Sean Kingston’s removal.

“We feel that hosting Sean Kingston contradicts our Jesuit identity, specifically Cura Personalis and being Men and Women for and with others,” they wrote. “While we recognize that under the law, all are innocent until proven guilty, as men and women for and with others, we must not participate in the silencing of sexual assault survivors, rather we are called upon to raise their voices.”

Kathryn Teaney, GSB ’19 and CAB president, said in a statement to The Fordham Ram on Monday, April 8, that although CAB does take these accusations very seriously, after careful consideration, they will not be removing him from the Spring Weekend lineup.

“Given that the accusations were brought to light in 2013 and this was settled outside of court, this will not affect the Spring Weekend proceedings,” she said.

Teaney said said CAB does take into account artists’ past controversies when scheduling a performance.

“Unfortunately, when completing our original search for Sean Kingston, these articles did not come up,” she said.

In a joint statement to The Fordham Ram, the “Students Against Sean advocates” said they had initially left comments voicing their concerns from their personal accounts on the Sean Kingston announcement post. However, shortly after, comments on the post were disabled.

“Because of issues in past years, we’ve decided to disable comments on all Spring Weekend announcement posts,” Teaney said.

However, in a statement found in the Students Against Sean Instagram account bio, the group argued against this explanation.

“Last year’s announcements were open for comments and so were Kingston’s until someone mentioned the allegations,” they stated.

The “Students Against Sean” said they have received pushback from other members of the Fordham community.

“[Adversaries] suggested we ignore this allegation and ‘just have fun’ since CAB members worked so hard to organize Spring Weekend,” they said. “Our supporters have found this unacceptable and, we need to hold CAB and our administration accountable.”

An Instagram account was created with the handle @studentsforsean, in support of Sean Kingston, stating the student body has the “right” to see him perform.

“It is also your right not to go,” one post reads. “You can simply wait for the other acts to come on the stage.”

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Students Demand Sean Kingston’s Removal from Spring Weekend Lineup