Singapore

30 NUS students punished for 'sexualised' freshman orientation

The National University of Singapore (NUS) has handed down various penalties to 30 senior students responsible for inappropriate behaviour during its freshman orientation period in July.

The disciplinary sanctions included one-semester suspensions, fines of up to $2,000, official reprimands - which remain on the students' records - and statements of reflection.

It also included behavioural rehabilitation programmes focused on respect and socially-acceptable behaviour and up to 100 hours of service at volunteer welfare organisations.

The penalties were issued after investigations by the university revealed that the students had breached its Code of Student Conduct.

The activities happened during its Arts Camp and Union Camp, and also at one of its student hostels, Sheares Hall.

The New Paper reported in July that orientation games at some of the NUS orientation camps had become sexualised.

In the report, one freshman said she was asked whose bodily fluids she would drink, while another watched her peers re-enact an incestuous rape scene as part of a forfeit.

NUS later suspended all student-organised freshman activities including a five-day event called Orientation Week.

In a statement on Thursday (Oct 13), NUS said about 400 senior students and freshmen were involved in its investigations.

It conducted interviews with students and analysed social media content and videos.

Some students were found to have behaved in an offensive manner, while others were guilty of "organising and participating in improper orientation activities that potentially put other students' physical welfare at risk".

None of the students involved filed appeals against their punishments.

The NUS statement did not say how many students received each type of punishment, nor the identity of the students punished.

"The University will not be revealing or commenting on the details of individual cases to safeguard the privacy of the students involved in the disciplinary proceedings."

The disciplinary process took place between August and early October.

Professor Tan Eng Chye, Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost, said in the statement: "Many of the students involved have expressed regret and apologised for their unacceptable behaviour.

"We hope that they will learn from this episode and grow into responsible and respectful individuals."

He added that the Orientation Review Committee, which convened in August "to consult, review and make recommendations to further improve freshmen orientation", is expected to submit its report to the university later this month.


Earlier reports on NUS orientation camps:

Games at NUS camps increasingly sexualised, say students

NUS student dunking video was last straw

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