Group of NUS students surface past disciplinary cases: Only one student expelled in last three years for outrage of modesty

(Photo: Facebook and National University of Singapore)
(Photo: Facebook and National University of Singapore)

An independent group of students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has surfaced data on the outcomes of disciplinary cases from the university in the last three years.

The move comes amid public outcry over communications undergraduate Monica Baey being filmed in the campus shower and calls by Monica and other members of the public for NUS to strengthen sexual harassment policies and victim support.

The data

Data on the disciplinary cases showed that in the last three academic years not including the current one, only one student was expelled for outrage of modesty.

In total, there were 20 reported cases of either insulting or outrage of modesty in the last three academic years not counting the current academic year.

There were also six other sexually-related assault or harassment cases that were reported in that same time period, according to the data shown.

The data is hosted on a Google Drive folder (and is accessible at this link) attributed to a group of students who go by the group NUS Students United.

According to a statement provided by the group’s spokesperson to Coconuts Singapore, the group is not affiliated to the NUS Students’ Union and is “an independent group of past and present NUS students”. The group has, in fact, criticized the decisions made by NUS on previous occasions on its Facebook page.

The group was started as a spoof of the NUS Students’ Union during last year’s student union elections, said the spokesperson.

The group said the data was found on NUS’ internal student portal and they “simply logged in, downloaded them and shared it on the Internet”.

“Don’t see why it should be confidential,” said the spokesperson.

The expelled student who came back

In the case of the student who was expelled, he was only expelled after a second incident; in the first incident, he was caught trespassing into the female toilet and peeping at a female student while she showered.

As a result of the first incident, he was only barred from campus housing for the remainder of his university term and was asked to complete 30 hours of community-based work.

In a second incident, he had outraged the modesty of a female student and admitted to the act when the victim confronted him.

Although his case was under review by the police when the NUS discipline board convened on the matter, he was given an immediate expulsion from his programme and the university.

However, he appealed over his “psychiatric disorder” and was allowed to return to the university but he was suspended for 18 months and was not allowed to graduate during that time.

The other cases

Other cases involving insulting or outrage of modesty on women and men, as well as sexually-related assault or harassment cases revealed a similar method of punishment.

Most cases involved receiving an official reprimand and a fine of between $500 to $1,000, and orders for the offenders to undergo mandatory counseling and psychological assessment.

Some of these cases involved the offenders writing reflection statements and apology letters to victims as part of the sentencing as well as completing a stipulated number of hours of community-based work.

Such cases also involved suspension from the school for a period between one to two semesters, and a ban on such perpetrators to enter campus housing if the incident happened in campus halls.

In one particular case in the academic year 2015/2016, a student was barred access to the university campus because he had trespassed into female toilets in NUS and had filmed videos of females on multiple occasions, including filming up-skirt videos.

In all the other cases, the offenders were not barred from campus premises despite having suspended semesters.

NUS has said that it would convene a committee to review current frameworks for disciplinary action and victim support and aimed to reveal its findings in the next academic year which is in four months’ time.


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