Risque orientation games: Could NUS have done more to guide students?

I strongly condemn the risque activities carried out at the National University of Singapore freshmen orientation camps and agree with the need for disciplinary sanctions such as behavioural rehabilitation programmes, statements of reflection and official reprimands that will be on permanent record ("Improper orientation games: NUS disciplines 30 students"; last Friday).

While such orientation activities should in no way be accepted, as a widely respected institute of higher learning, could NUS have done more to guide and correct the students involved?

NUS must not forget its role in this debacle and accept its shared responsibility.

The institution's lack of action over the years might have led to the false perception that such wrong behaviour is accepted.

The formation of the Orientation Review Committee is a good start.

However, it appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to this matter.

Instead of pushing the entire responsibility to the students, it would have been more meaningful for NUS to strike a balance between corrective and cautionary intention, and guidance over mere punishment.

The other institutes of higher learning should draw lessons from this, as such unacceptable orientation activities are not exclusive to NUS.

Peh Xin Yi (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2016, with the headline 'Risque orientation games: Could NUS have done more to guide students?'. Print Edition | Subscribe