Don't let standards in gender equality slide

Students at the National University of Singapore.
Students at the National University of Singapore.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

In the wake of last month's sexual misconduct incident at National University of Singapore, the institution stated that while it will prescribe a range of punishments, it would not expel the offender unless he repeats the offence.

This suggests that offenders have a chance to do it once without major consequences, which worries me as a female student. It is especially puzzling when weighed against cheating in major examinations, which renders an immediate expulsion under most circumstances.

More seriously, it hints at the existing standards of gender equality in our society.

Thankfully, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has called on universities to review their discipline and sentencing framework for such offences. As a highly educated and civilised society, we should not tolerate such misbehaviour, or it would only set the stage for further misdeeds that may soon be misinterpreted as norms.

Low Zi Yen, 18

Junior College Year 2 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2019, with the headline 'Don't let standards in gender equality slide'. Print Edition | Subscribe