Nussu apologises for 'indecent' freshman orientation games

The beleaguered students' union of the National University of Singapore (NUS) has broken its silence about reported sexualised activities at orientation camps it organised.

In an official statement that was posted on its Facebook page yesterday, the NUS Students' Union (Nussu) apologised to the freshmen who had gone through such activities, which it called "indecent, reprehensible and not condoned".

Stressing that such activities were not endorsed by Nussu or any of its constituent clubs or committees, it added that it was helping the university with investigations.

Last Friday, the university suspended all orientation activities, following a New Paper report about increasingly sexualised orientation games, some of which involved the simulation of rape scenes.

In its post, Nussu said it had not been consulted regarding the suspension. "The hard work of our organising committees and volunteers should not have been sacrificed due to the errant behaviours of some students."

Nussu said that the camp's organising committee had had its proposals subjected to "strict and thorough scrutiny" by NUS beforehand, and that the activities in question "clearly fell outside the scope of activities" it had in mind.

Nussu also said that it had received several reports of its students being called names and harassed by members of the public.

The "inappropriate behaviour of a few errant students", it reiterated, "is not an accurate and conclusive representation of the entire NUS undergraduate population of over 28,000".

"The union would like to seek the public's understanding and we sincerely appeal to you to refrain from extending such treatment to our students."

It stressed that student welfare remains its top priority, and said that it would work together with faculty and non-faculty clubs to see how it could still welcome freshmen despite the recent developments.

It added that it would also work with NUS in "restoring the faith in all student-led events, to identify and rectify the issues arising from the surfaced inappropriate cases while not compromising the interest of our students".

Olivia Ho

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2016, with the headline 'Nussu apologises for 'indecent' freshman orientation games'. Print Edition | Subscribe