Singapore

NUS students investigated for stripping at Siloso Beach

Incident reportedly occurred during unofficial orientation outing in Sentosa

Two years after sexualised orientation games at the National University of Singapore (NUS) sparked a public furore, some of its students may find themselves in hot water again, this time by allegedly stripping naked.

The incident occurred during an unofficial orientation outing to Sentosa earlier this month when some seniors and freshmen took off their clothes in the sea while playing a game.

NUS told The New Paper that it is now investigating the students for inappropriate behaviour.

TNP understands that about 50 students had taken part in the outing at Siloso Beach on June 4.

After participating in Camp Blue Blood, an orientation camp organised by Kent Ridge Hall on June 2 and 3, they were invited for the June 4 outing and told not to wear anything that would identify them as NUS students.

In one of the games, the eight groups from the orientation camp competed to form the longest line using articles of clothing.

Several male students, including freshmen, allegedly stripped naked in the water and tossed their clothes to the beach.

...(the girls) felt pressured to (take off their clothes) after seniors and some freshmen called for more pieces of clothing. A female participant who requested anonymity

One female participant told TNP that a female senior from her group also tossed her top and bra to the beach while shielding her chest with a hand.

She said the woman's action shocked even some male students, but she just "laughed it off".

"Initially, the girls were told they did not have to take off anything if they were not comfortable, but they felt pressured to do so after some seniors and freshmen called for more pieces of clothing in their attempts to win," said the female participant, who declined to be named.

Several women subsequently took off their tops while in the water.

Other participants told TNP that many students, including men, were shocked and uncomfortable.

One of them said they were glad when a group facilitator "had the sense" to step in.

"He told us to stop as some people had gone too far by stripping naked."

Criminal lawyer Ravinderpal Singh of Kalco Law said that any kind of public nudity that is visible to other people is illegal.

He said: "The law does not differ whether the nudity occurs on land or water, as long as it is visible or seen by the public."

NUS said that it was unaware of the incident because no beach activity was declared as part of the orientation camp.

"The university takes a serious view of offensive and inappropriate behaviour by any of our students," its spokesman said in a statement.

"Based on our initial checks with the students involved, they stopped the game when some students behaved inappropriately.

"The university does not condone any behaviour or activity that denigrates the dignity of individuals.

"We are carrying out a thorough investigation into the matter and strong disciplinary action will be taken against those found responsible."

Orientation organisers from Kent Ridge Hall declined to comment.

In 2016, TNP reported on orientation activities that involved sexual chants and re-enactment of a rape.

NUS also received similar complaints in 2006, 2008 and 2014.

The university later implemented a new framework to stop activities with "negative features" from its freshman orientation camps.

Education