NUS to work with students to tighten security on campus in wake of Monica Baey case

The National University of Singapore will introduce educational seminars on respect, consent and awareness for all students, faculty and staff, from August 2019 when the new academic year starts.
The National University of Singapore will introduce educational seminars on respect, consent and awareness for all students, faculty and staff, from August 2019 when the new academic year starts.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The National University of Singapore (NUS) will work with student representatives to tighten security in the bathrooms of all students' halls of residence.

It will also introduce educational seminars on respect, consent and awareness for all students, faculty and staff, from August when the new academic year starts.

Professor Ho Teck Hua, NUS senior deputy president and provost, announced these "immediate actions" on Friday evening (April 26) in an e-mail to students.

His e-mail, which was seen by The Straits Times, followed a town hall held at the NUS on Thursday. More than 600 students attended the meeting, where the university said it would take immediate action to set up a victim support unit and improve campus security.

It also acknowledged that it had failed undergraduate Monica Baey, who was filmed by a male student while she was showering in a hall of residence.

Ms Baey, 23, an NUS communications and new media student, had said on Instagram that she was filmed at Eusoff Hall last November and identified the 23-year-old perpetrator as Mr Nicholas Lim, a chemical engineering student.

She reported it to the police, who gave him a 12-month conditional warning.

 
 
 
 

NUS also made him write an apology letter to Ms Baey, undergo mandatory counselling, banned him from entering Eusoff Hall and suspended him for a semester. Ms Baey had said at the town hall the sanctions were a slap on the wrist.

Prof Ho added in his e-mail: "The town hall is just the first step in a broad consultation with the NUS community to hear from our students, faculty and staff. We are committed to providing further opportunities for consultation and feedback in the coming weeks, including more town hall sessions."

He said the points raised at the town hall would be shared in full with the committee that has been convened to review the university's disciplinary and support frameworks.

The committee will be chaired by Madam Kay Kuok, a member of the NUS Board of Trustees and chairman of its nominating committee. Its initial members are: Singapore Management University president Lily Kong; law firm WongPartnership managing partner Ng Wai King; NUS president Tan Eng Chye; and a representative from the NUS Students' Union.

Prof Ho said: "I would like to state emphatically that we take our responsibilities very seriously when it comes to protecting everyone in our community from harm... We are committed to a transparent and consultative process, and our proposed actions will continue to be published for your feedback before they are implemented by the start of the new academic year."