NUS: Risque games completely inappropriate

The National University of Singapore (NUS) will take "strong disciplinary action" against those responsible for "offensive and completely inappropriate" orientation activities.

NUS staff, who used to run spot checks on the camps, will now be at the camps throughout.

This was announced by NUS yesterday in response to an article in The New Paper , which highlighted complaints about increasingly sexualised activities at recent NUS orientation camps.

Among other things, students complained about a cheer that reportedly simulated ejaculating on a girl's face and a game forfeit that required a male and a female freshman to re-enact a rape scene between a man and his younger sister.

Students said they had joined the camps ahead of the school year to make friends, and were pressured into taking part in the activities.

"We do not condone any behaviour or activity that denigrates the dignity of individuals, and that has sexual connotations. Our students, particularly freshmen, must feel safe and secure at all times during orientation. If they decide to opt out of an activity, their wishes must be respected," said NUS.

Reports of such risque campus activities have dogged varsities for the past decade. NUS said that as part of its practice each year, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) had conducted sessions with students involved in organising orientation activities.

It is mandatory for students to go through written materials with examples of "dos and don'ts". They were also briefed about banned activities, such as those involving physical intimacy between members of the opposite sex and ragging.

All proposed orientation activities also had to be cleared by the relevant supervisors, as well as OSA.

NUS said the reported activities "were not submitted nor endorsed". It did not say what the disciplinary action would involve as investigations are ongoing.

The OSA has also met student leaders of the ongoing and remaining camps, and briefed them on acceptable orientation activities, it said.

Nanyang Technological University, which had also made headlines for lewd orientation games in the past, has introduced new rules this year to make orientation more inclusive. On its website, it stated that organisers will also take "special care to avoid activities which may result in ragging or harassment".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'NUS: Risque games completely inappropriate'. Subscribe