NTU cancels union orientation camp

Student union cites lack of safety measures; students criticise move

ONE of the largest freshmen orientation camps at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has been cancelled.

Plans to hold NTU's union orientation camp this year were axed after safety measures were found to be "lacking".

A statement from the NTU Student Union says "the organisers were found not to have adequately planned for the camp".

"Measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our freshmen and students, in accordance with the university's guidelines, were lacking," it adds.

An NTU spokesman told The Straits Times that this is the only camp out of 50 others that did not get approval.

"The student union executive committee is exercising their responsibility as student leaders to ensure the safety and well-being of participants," he said.

It comes after four students were rushed to hospital after suffering seizures during a Nanyang Business School orientation camp last year.

Since the statement was posted on the union's Facebook page on Wednesday morning, it has attracted several angry comments from students, with some questioning the decision to cancel the camp.

One comment, which garnered over 70 likes in seven hours, said that it seems "daft" to suggest the organisers would overlook safety given the camp has been running safely for 18 years.

NTU student union president Wu GuoYi told The Straits Times that the decision to cancel was made in consultation with the university's management. "I think it was the right decision... We did not want to risk the safety of the freshmen."

Such camps are normally organised by ad hoc student committees. In previous years, they attracted close to 200 students. They are normally held in July. Calls for students to register for the camp went out on June 1.

However, registrations have since been put on hold.

The camp's website and the online application form have been taken down.

Incoming freshman Ng Lan Ying, 19, was disappointed to hear about the cancellation.

"I was looking forward to attending as I heard that unlike other camps, you can meet students from other faculties and seniors as well," she said.

teezhuo@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2015, with the headline 'NTU cancels union orientation camp'. Print Edition | Subscribe