It has been a tough few weeks for all those caught up in the saga over how a case of sexual voyeurism at the National University of Singapore was dealt with. Frustration among students was palpable at a town hall meeting last week. Surprise and anger at the revelations about some of the less savoury goings-on also came from beyond the confines of the university campus. In an era of technology and social media, interest in the incident has been rampant. It has also made it far more difficult to manage the fallout. And for those directly involved, it has been especially difficult for the issue to be addressed dispassionately, without having third, fourth and fifth parties adding their voices to what has become an already crowded and distracted forum.
There has been a lot of heat generated by the issue. But more importantly: what light has been shed, and how can those most directly involved deal with and remedy the issues that need fixing - with haste, yes, but also calmly and not by the dictates of the crowd. The two individuals at the centre of the incident have had their say. So too have the police. Most, if not all, relevant voices have been heard, including legal experts who said the matter has been handled fairly. The offender has been punished in line with existing guidelines. The NUS could have done better on several counts, not least in exercising greater sensitivity and transparency in its processes. The administration has owned up to shortcomings in this particular case and will review policies and procedures expeditiously, having heard from the victim and from the student body directly, and via petitions and numerous online posts. It has pledged to take a stronger stand against sexual misconduct and has taken immediate steps to improve security and, of particular importance, to set up a victim support unit. Such moves should be welcomed.