NUS to hold town hall this week to address concerns of sexual misconduct on campus

The National University of Singapore (NUS). (Yahoo Singapore file photo)
The National University of Singapore (NUS). (Yahoo Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — The National University of Singapore (NUS) said on Monday (22 April) that it will hold a town hall meeting this week amid the furore over an NUS male student who was caught filming a female undergraduate showering on campus.

“The University has heard your concerns. We are holding a town hall this week for NUS students, faculty and staff to gather feedback and concerns about sexual misconduct on campus and to discuss how the University can further strengthen its disciplinary and support frameworks,” NUS said in a post on its Facebook page.

NUS said admittance to the closed-door session is by student or staff card.

The post comes a day after almost 500 NUS students – with support from 194 students from other local universities and educational institutions – wrote a letter to the top management of NUS, urging them to take immediate steps to tackle sexual harassment on campus.

The letter was in response to the complaint by Monica Baey, who was filmed in the incident, over the perceived light punishment imposed on the male student.

The NUS Board of Discipline had ordered the male student to be suspended for one semester, banned from entering into housing premises on campus, undergo counselling, write a letter of apology, among other punishments. The first-time offender was also given a 12-month conditional warning by the police.

In their statement, the students wrote that the punishment signalled that NUS “does not credibly enforce its stance against sexual voyeurism as a serious offence” and that “those who commit such an offence can arguably expect to receive a relatively light sentence”.

The students also proposed four sets of recommendations to tackle sexual harassment on campus and asked NUS to implement them. Among them were providing “stronger immediate redressal” for Baey by making a stronger statement against sexual harassment on campus and the setting up of an Office of Sexual Harassment Prevention, Reporting, and Response.

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