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Briefings, review, new module — NTU, SMU make changes to tackle sexual harassment cases

SINGAPORE — Two universities here have reassured students that their safety on campus is the top priority, a day after the president of the National University of Singapore (NUS) apologised for how it handled a peeping tom case.

Briefings, review, new module — NTU, SMU make changes to tackle sexual harassment cases

Nanyang Technological University said that a new online module on anti-harassment will be introduced, to go with mandatory briefings on harassment and misconduct for student organisers and freshmen taking part in orientation programmes.

SINGAPORE — Two universities here have reassured students that their safety on campus is the top priority, a day after the president of the National University of Singapore (NUS) apologised for how it handled a peeping tom case.

In an e-newsletter to students on Wednesday (April 24), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) announced that an online module on anti-harassment will be introduced in July this year for all freshmen and student organisers of orientation programmes.

NTU’s Student Life Team, which consists of provosts, school directors and a registrar, said that the module will include information on what constitutes harassment, how to respond and seek help, as well as support resources for victims.

This online module will complement the mandatory briefings on harassment and misconduct for student organisers and freshmen taking part in orientation programmes, and will eventually be rolled out to all NTU students.

“The anti-harassment policy and the student code of conduct clearly state that harassment is unacceptable,” the team said in the newsletter.

“A safe environment for our students is a top priority for the university,” it added.

The university revised its policies and procedures governing harassment for both students and employees in January this year, the team said. They include specific advice on what to do when faced with harassment, and where to seek help.

Similarly, in an email to students on the same day, Professor Lily Kong, president of the Singapore Management University (SMU), said that the university has begun to review its disciplinary framework related to sexual misconduct.

The review process will “consider international best practices” while seeking input from the school’s stakeholders, Prof Kong said. The outcome and follow-up actions will be made known to students at a later date.

“SMU does not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form. Every complaint of sexual misconduct will be investigated in a fair and objective manner,” she added.

The email also outlines the channels for students to report incidents of sexual misconduct, as well as counselling and administrative support such as re-scheduling of classes for affected students.

On Monday (April 22), Prof Kong was named as one of the members of NUS’ review committee on sexual misconduct.

The committee was formed to relook the disciplinary process — including sanctions — and support frameworks relating to such incidents after an undergraduate published her encounter with a peeping tom on social media.

Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, chairman of the NUS board of trustees, said on Monday that the university noted “the strong public interest in this matter” and the committee will “proceed swiftly and decisively” on the review.

THE INCIDENT

Last November, undergraduate Nicholas Lim filmed fellow student Monica Baey while she was showering at Eusoff Hall, a residence hall at NUS.

He was suspended for a semester after that and NUS made him write an apology letter to Miss Baey. It also assigned him to mandatory counselling.

The police gave him a 12-month conditional warning, meaning that if he were to commit another crime in the 12 months after that, he is liable to be charged and prosecuted for both offences.

Upset at the outcome, Miss Baey, 23, took to Instagram late last week to express her anger and it went viral.

Related topics

Nanyang Technological University singapore management university harassment sexual misconduct policies

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