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

New Fantastic Beasts Twitter emojis out

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them has taken to Twitter.

Following the trend set by other films, such as Captain America: Civil War, the upcoming fantasy movie has released a range of Twitter emojis that fans can use when they tweet specific hashtags relating to the characters.

Using #FBNewt will give you a tiny version of Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander.

Other emojis include Katherine Waterston's Porpentina Goldstein (#FBTina), Dan Fogler's Jacob Kowalski (#FBJacob), and Alison Sudol's Queenie Goldstein (#FBQueenie).

Fantastic Beasts, a spin-off from the Harry Potter movies, opens here on Nov 17.


Tags: Movie, Twitter and emoji

Jurong West fire victims fear for their livelihood

Yong tau foo seller whose stall was destroyed in Jurong West blaze lost $10,000 and worries about supporting his wheelchair-bound wife, diabetic son and his family

AT A LOSS: What's left of the wet market and coffee shops at Block 493 and Block 494 in Jurong West Street 41.

At the ripe old age of 81, he's still the breadwinner of his family.

He used to earn enough money selling uncooked yong tau foo at a wet market stall to support himself and his wheelchair-bound wife.

Then, about a month ago, he also started supporting his diabetic son, who had to quit his job as a delivery driver after his right leg was amputated, and his family.

AT A LOSS: Mr Neo Chwee Eng, who had a yong tau foo stall at Block 493. TNP PHOTO: JEREMY LONG

But Mr Neo Chwee Eng is now at his wit's end on how to continue making a living after his stall went up in smoke in the huge blaze that destroyed a wet market and coffee shop at Block 493, Jurong West Street 41.

A coffee shop at adjoining Block 494 was also badly damaged in the fire that broke out at around 2.45am on Tuesday.

Mr Neo told The New Paper yesterday that he was heading to his stall at Block 493 at around 3am on Tuesday to prepare for the day's business when a woman alerted him to the fire.

"The fire was very big. I ran away because I was scared that there would be explosions," he said in Mandarin.

He estimated his loss from the fire to be about $10,000. It cost him $700 a month to rent the stall.

"At my age, I should probably have retired already. It's very tough to continue working, but I have to support my family," he said.

He takes pride that his stall, which he has had for almost 20 years, sold yong tau foo mostly at 10 cents a piece, which is much cheaper than at other stalls.

His pricing attracts around 200 customers, mostly regulars, to his stall daily.


But selling the items at such a low price also means that he makes very little profit, Mr Neo said.

"I'll be lucky if I can make $200 a day," he added.

Like the other affected stallholders, he has no idea what the immediate future holds for him.

While he hopes that he can resume his business at another location, he is also worried he might lose most of his regular customers.

Mr Neo said that his 78-year-old wife became wheelchair-bound after a fall several years ago. She also has heart disease, which costs a fair bit in medical bills.

"She sees the doctor one to two times a month, and each time, the medical fees can go up to $400. After Medisave, it'll be around $100," he said.

His son, who is in his 40s and lives on his own with his family, also needs a wheelchair because of his recent leg amputation.

"My son has a wife and two children, one in secondary school and a toddler, to feed. I try to support him as much as I can by paying for their food whenever I have money to spare," Mr Neo said.

Mr Neo, who used to sell fish on a bicycle before selling yong tau foo at the Jurong West market, said he has not much savings because he usually needs to spend whatever he earns.

"For now, I can still survive on my meagre savings. I just hope the authorities can rebuild the market soon."

A total of 46 stalls - 36 in the wet market and 10 in the two coffee shops - were destroyed in the fire.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted to the fire at 2.45am and put out the fire about 90 minutes later.

SCDF said in a Facebook post on Tuesday: "At the height of the fire, the roof of the wet market collapsed, and the exterior side wall of a coffee shop at Block 494, which was directly facing the raging blaze, sustained fire damage."


When TNP visited the area yesterday, about 15 of the affected stallholders had gathered at Block 395A, next to the scene of the fire, to discuss the loss of their livelihoods and what they could do next.

WORRIED: Stallholders gathered at Block 395A yesterday. TNP PHOTO: JEREMY LONG

An air of uncertainty hung over the area. Hoardings had gone up around the two blocks, denying the stallholders access to their stalls to see if anything could be salvaged.

Jurong GRC Member of Parliament Ang Wei Neng said on Tuesday that he was trying to help the affected stallholders resume their businesses elsewhere, or set up an alternative site nearby for the time being.

One proposed alternative is to set up a temporary wet market and food centre at a new basketball court in front of Block 498 that was constructed in July.

The stallholders are expected to meet Mr Ang and the owners of the market and the coffee shops tonight to discuss the issue.

Some residents of Block 499, a senior citizens' block that overlooks the wet market, told TNP on Tuesday that they had heard a heated argument at around 2.30am, a short while before the fire broke out.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

They asked me, ‘Mummy, what to do?’ I’m afraid I may not be able to pay their school fees.

— Madam Haw Mui Eng, who sold fishball noodles at the coffee shop

Tags: Fire, hawker and Singapore

Miss Universe Singapore 2016 - Cheryl Chou



Pursuing a Bachelor in Fine Arts (Fashion Media and Industries) at Lasalle College of the Arts has not been easy as most of Cheryl's education was in China.

When she was eight, her family relocated to Suzhou for three years before moving to Shanghai, where she completed her International Baccalaureate studies.

She loves exploring China, saying:

"In every city you visit, there is so much culture and you'll always find something very unique about it."

What is one cause you would champion if you become Miss Universe Singapore 2016?

I want to promote the idea of embracing a positive body image, especially on social media...

I have lived through a phase where I did not treat my body right, and I lost the sense of who I was and what I loved for a while.

So I understand what it feels like and I will do anything to help at least one person in this world from feeling the way I did.

Which influential living person would you like to meet?

Nick Vujicic, a motivational speaker from Australia who is one of my role models.

He was born with a condition called phocomelia, a disorder characterised by the absence of legs and arms.

About four years ago, I picked up one of his books - Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life - and I was so inspired by the positivity that he possesses despite his condition.

What is one food you cannot resist?

Durian. I eat it even though it (causes me to get) pimples.

What has been the most difficult part of moving back to Singapore last August?

The slang. During my first semester at Lasalle, our lecturer wanted us to "recce" locations for our fashion shoot, and in that moment I actually thought it was a term used by people in the industry.

When I called my mum later that night, I found out that recce has no link to fashion at all.

Why did you decide to become a vegan?

Being a huge animal lover, I feel strongly for the lives of animals.

I never understood the process of what it was like to put meat on my plate until I actually educated myself on this topic.

It was then that I realised I could never call myself an animal lover if I were to be a meat-eater.

Watch the video and more at facebook.com/thenewpaper



Joe Jonas reveals how he lost virginity

Joe Jonas gave up his virginity to "this girl named Ashley" when he was 20, he told social media website Reddit during an Ask Me Anything session on Tuesday.

The US singer, now 27, was dating US actress Ashley Greene, of Twilight fame, at the time.

He said he didn't have condoms, and went searching in drummer Jack Lawless' room.

"I demolished his room looking for them. Found them underneath his underwear drawer. When he came home, he thought somebody broke into his room," he said.

Jonas also said that he was on bad terms with brothers Kevin, 28, and Nick, 24, after the band broke up.

"I was a little envious of Nick. I was probably mad at him, too. I remember kind of losing it a little bit. I closed myself off and we cancelled the tour and didn't really know what was going on."

Minaj: Anything Jay Z can do, I can do too

US rapper Nicki Minaj wants you to aspire to "become an entrepreneur, a rich, career-driven woman".

In an interview with Marie Claire magazine, the 33-year-oldsaid: "I felt like anything he (US singer Jay Z) could do, I could do."

She said she sees many women marrying into money, as opposed to earning it themselves, which she found worrying.

She also talked about her collaborations with US singer Beyonce, who is married to Jay Z.

"I see how women are inspired and it has nothing to do with how we look," she said.

"It has to do with how we are owning who we are and telling other women you should be the boss of your own career and the brains behind your life or your decisions or your art."

Rocker Rod Stewart Knighted

Call him Sir.

English rock singer Rod Stewart is now Sir Roderick after he was knighted by Prince William on Tuesday at Buckingham Palace for his contributions to music and charity.

The 71-year-old has been active since the 60s and has released 30 studio albums.

Stewart was joined on Tuesday by his wife, English model Penny Lancaster-Stewart, 45, and their two sons, Alistair, 10, and Aiden, five.

"It feels wonderful, it really, really does. It's mind-blowing," Sir Rod, 71, told reporters afterward.

He also said he was likely to continue touring.

After the ceremony, Stewart was greeted by Queen Elizabeth II.


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'Tyranny will perish'

New HK lawmakers challenge China at swearing-in. One shouts:

REBELS: (Above) Ms Yau Wai Ching with a flag that says 'Hong Kong is not China'.
REBELS: (Above) Mr Nathan Law was a leader in the 2014 Umbrella Movement.
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Lim wants to do more for grassroots football

FAS VP hints he could run for election as Tan clarifies spending on NFL  

It depends on belief and conviction, if one can move the pen to justify, I’m sure sources of funding will be there. If I’m at the helm, I’ll ensure that grassroots football will enjoy greater weightage. — FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong (above)

Football Association of Singapore (FAS) vice-president Lim Kia Tong gave the first hint that he could be running for office when the governing body eventually calls for an election of its leadership.

Speaking at a media roundtable at the association's Jalan Besar headquarters yesterday, he defined his stance on community and grassroots football - specifically the National Football League (NFL) and Island Wide League (IWL) - that have been described as a major battleground for votes of the 46 affiliates.

"Two years ago, I already saw something, and I nudged for a change of direction but, if there is a change of direction, and I'm quite confident that there will be - we will attach more weight, more value to grassroots football," said Lim.

"If you attach more value, then we can justify an increase in funding, we can even set up a department totally dedicated to running the NFL. It's all about the policy at the moment.

"Supposing I'm the team leader, I have already revealed that my mindset is to see more attention given to grassroots, and that will be the mindset of my team… that will be the signal."

Of the FAS' 46 affiliates, nine are S.League sides, including those that are sitting out, 10 NFL clubs, 14 from the IWL and 13 others, including five clubs participating in the Women's Premier League.

Led by spokesman R Vengadasalam, the former manager of the now-defunct S.League club Woodlands Wellington, only one team have openly declared their intention to run for office, and they have focused their attention on garnering support from clubs in the NFL and IWL.

The FAS has called for an Extraordinary General Meeting on Nov 7 to pass constitutional changes that will allow for the election of a new president and Council.

Lim explained that the "change of direction" will move away from a rigid focus on developing elite players for the national team, and instead look at broadening the base at the grassroots level.

"Last time when we moved the pen, we moved it towards elite football - we tried to get funding on the angle that we want to push (NFL) football for the national level," he said. "I do not believe that there is no cogent argument for broad-based football to get funding."


While clubs in the NFL have claimed that there is poor administration of the league - they have complained of games being called off because of double-booking of pitches and referee no-shows - the FAS asserted that processes have been fine-tuned, while the wheels are already in motion for other plans.

There have been no cases of double-booking of venues this year, with FAS staff adding layers of checks ahead of matches every week.

Ambulances have also been deployed at games starting in the last third of the previous season, after clubs raised concerns.

Lim asserts that more will be done.

"We're looking at getting a stadium dedicated solely to NFL and, if that's successful… we'll see the NFL played in a more professional environment. But this is all about policy, and it has to start with policy, and justifying funding," he said.

At the talk, FAS vice-president Bernard Tan clarified that the FAS has spent close to $250,000, if staff costs are included, on grassroots football instead of about $70,000 quoted in recent media reports.

"We don’t mind losing for the right reasons, if the (winning team) have competence, integrity, professionalism, and has the interest of football at heart. We believe that we can do something for Singapore football."— FAS vice-president Bernard Tan (above) on the upcoming election. ST FILE PHOTO

 "We organise 161 matches (in NFL and IWL) in total. They're played largely in stadiums and referees are of a higher calibre, and there is also prize money that is completely footed ($31,000 by the FAS)," said Tan.

Pitch bookings cost more than $100 per game, and about $250 if the game is played under floodlights.

"If you think about the cost of the stadiums, the referees, cost of people running the competitions and all that kind of stuff, you can never meet $70,000. It's not possible. You can't run these leagues on $70,000.

"So I want to clarify that the numbers we are talking about are substantially more."

Tags: FAS

Westwood eyes Ryder Cup captaincy

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