NUS professor linked to BDSM event sacked after sexual misconduct allegations

At left, Jeremy Fernando and the school’s poster for the canceled BDSM event at right. Images: NUS, tFreedom
At left, Jeremy Fernando and the school’s poster for the canceled BDSM event at right. Images: NUS, tFreedom

A college professor linked to a student sexuality awareness group behind a recently canceled BDSM talk has been fired by the National University of Singapore after two undergraduates complained of sexual misconduct. 

Jeremy Fernando was fired from the university’s Tembusu College weeks ago amid accusations that he made sexual advances toward the two students, the university said today. The allegations included kissing, groping, and performing sexual acts after a night of drinking, his accusers said. The university said that Fernando was sacked after internal investigations found he had behaved “inappropriately.” 

“An internal investigation was carried out and Dr Fernando’s conduct was found to have fallen short of the standards of professionalism that the University expects of a teaching staff. Based on the findings of the internal investigation, Dr Fernando, a non-residential teaching staff, was dismissed by the University,” its statement read.

Tembusu College was criticized for waiting two weeks to go public with Fernando’s termination and not providing further information about the accusations. 

“Tembusu’s directors have been disturbingly distant. The victims have been extremely traumatised throughout the process, the directors have remained detached,” Facebook user Gurprit Singh wrote Saturday, adding that the victims had been asking for a statement from Tembusu for nearly two weeks.

An email sent to an email listed for Fernando had not been returned as of publication time. Neither Tembusu College, Singh nor the organizers of the BDSM-related event had responded to requests for comment. 

Last month’s canceled Rope Bondage Zoom Sharing discussion had been planned by Tembusu College student group tFreedom. It was canceled after an online petition drew 10,000 signatures and exposed personal details of the event’s participants. 

In January 2019, Fernando wrote of his involvement with the group.

“We organise events to advocate and educate on matters regarding gender and sexuality, fostering greater awareness and understanding amongst Tembusians on such issues,” he wrote on a literary blog. “tFreedom also host private gatherings for LGBTQIA+ [identifying] members to create a safe space for them to freely express themselves.”

According to NUS, both students had reported complaints to the school instead of going to the police, and it was providing them support and assistance. One of the victims had claimed that Fernando sent her many gifts and asked for sexual favors, it added.

Other stories you should check out:

Sex-positive NUS group cancels ‘BDSM workshop’ after participants doxxed

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