Stronger actions can curb sexual offences on campus

I read with much shock and anguish that some of the sexual misconduct experienced and reported by female university students was allegedly brushed aside and not taken seriously (Preyed upon on campus; Sept 30).

It really surprised me that despite the recent phenomenon of the #MeToo movement, not enough protection is accorded to our young women studying in what should be a safe place for them.

To eradicate, or at least ease, the worries of female students and their parents, as well as send a strong signal to male students, I would like to suggest that all our schools, specifically the institutes of higher learning, have a dedicated and prominent webpage for the reporting of sexual misconduct incidents.

Dedicated staff with substantial authority should also be made available for such reporting.

A compulsory one-to two-hour session to raise awareness of sexual misconduct should also be held for all first-year students during orientation. If possible, the police should be invited to share information too.

Students who are unable to attend the orientation should be informed via other channels, such as social media platforms.

Cases of alleged sexual misconduct should also be referred to the police for investigation to erase any perceived notions of a cover-up by the institute.

For substantiated cases, the student offender must be expelled from the school.

I strongly believe that once the above suggestions are implemented, these institutions would send an unequivocal messagethat they do not tolerate such behaviours, and that they will take stern actions to protect the women in schools.

Sebastian Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2018, with the headline 'Stronger actions can curb sexual offences on campus'. Print Edition | Subscribe