NUS to take 'strong disciplinary action' against those responsible for lewd orientation activities

Student orientation groups conducting activities at the University Town at National University of Singapore on June 27, 2016.
Student orientation groups conducting activities at the University Town at National University of Singapore on June 27, 2016.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The National University of Singapore (NUS) will be taking "strong disciplinary action" against those found responsible for "instances of offensive and completely inappropriate" orientation activities.

This statement was issued on Tuesday (July 26) in response to an article in The New Paper, which highlighted students' complaints about increasingly sexualised activities at orientation camps over the past two months.

In addition to cheers that referenced the male anatomy, and another that "simulated a group of guys ejaculating on a girl's face", one of the forfeits for a game required a male and female freshman to re-enact an incestuous rape scene. Students said they had joined the camps ahead of the school year to make friends, and were pressured into taking part in the activities.

"We do not condone any behaviour or activity that denigrates the dignity of individuals, and that has sexual connotations. Our students, particularly freshmen, must feel safe and secure at all times during orientation. If they decide to opt out of an activity, their wishes must be respected," said NUS.

Reports of such risque campus games have dogged varsities for the past decade. The NUS said that as part of its practice each year, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) had conducted sessions with students involved in organising and leading orientation activities.

 

It is mandatory for students to go through written materials with examples of "do's and don'ts", and students were also briefed about banned activities.

All proposed orientation programmes and activities also had to be endorsed and cleared by the relevant supervisors, such as heads of residence halls and vice deans, as well as OSA. Students were also asked to remove inappropriate activities.

NUS said that the reported activities "were not submitted nor endorsed", and that it is currently carrying out investigations.

The OSA has also met student leaders of the ongoing and remaining camps, and briefed them on the guidelines for acceptable orientation activities, it added in its statement.