Protect students but try and accommodate their lifestyle

It has been more than a month since an 18-year-old South Korean undergraduate student fell to her death when attempting to climb into her locked room in a residential hostel in the National University of Singapore (NUS), but it still saddens me to think about the needless death.

I was especially troubled to read media reports state that climbing in like what the South Korean student, Ms Jung Haelin, did was not an uncommon practice among the students.

It appears there are two main reasons for this.

Firstly, the opening hours of the entrance door of the residential hall do not suit the students who have a more active social life and tend to come back late to NUS after meeting up with family and friends on weekends and public holidays.

Secondly, some students are just absent-minded and forget their admission cards or have problems with them.

The administration might want to consider adjusting the opening hours to accommodate students' lifestyle, and could perhaps set up a desk at the entrances of the residential halls with an assistant or guard during the opening hours to help those students who may have problems entering their locked rooms.

Students at that age tend to take risks and be reckless.

I hope the NUS authorities will act to accommodate them while trying to protect them.

Rosalind Sien Wai Sau Lan (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2017, with the headline 'Protect students but try and accommodate their lifestyle'. Print Edition | Subscribe