The National University of Singapore (NUS) has informed the media that it has suspended its annual Orientation Week next week.
Straits Times has reported that an emergency meeting was called by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on Friday (29 July) afternoon, and a decision was made to cancel the five-day event.
The emergency meeting is likely to be due to a viral video of a girl being dunked into a pool of water by four male individuals, said to be taken at one of the orientation camp held in NUS. NUS has since confirmed that the video does indeed show activities that took place at the school.
This is despite the public furor upon the university after The New Paper reported on how sexualised activities were taking place in the orientation camps held for NUS freshmen and how some were compelled to participate through peer pressure.
The other orientation programme, Rag and Flag activities will still go ahead. The programme is NUS Students Union's major annual charity fund-raising event.
Some commenters agreed with NUS's decision to cancel the orientation camp, Ai Lin Lim-Eng wrote, "It is about time such deplorable acts be stopped. What took the authorities so long? Imagine a freshman's first taste of uni life has to start this way What were these seniors thinking? Too much embarrassment, hurt and damage had already been caused."
Another commenter, Loh Wai Poon wrote, "Yes, NUS must break the vicious cycle of lewd activities n ragging we heard years after years! If the student cannot be trusted to do meaningful orientation by themselves then ban it 4 a while. NUS can organise orientation till it is satisfied that the students can do it responsibly."
While some others disagreed that cancelling the camps will resolve the root problems.
Liz Lisa Tay wrote, "NUS cancelling it will not resolve the issue. Thorough investigations and finding out who are the "organizers" of such uncalled for sexual related games is more of THE MAIN ACTION ITEM TO DO. So is setting the right cadence for future events. Otherwise, history will repeat itself and whatever your school says in future holds no credence what so ever."
Thomas Cai wrote, "This is just Band-Aids solution....they can't possibly ban it forever? NUS need to fix the core and start dispel a few of the student leaders for this year to show deterrence for the future pranksters. Sure, expelling these student leaders seems harsh but I believe deterrence is the right solution. No more half-hearted 'warnings'. You want to cure cancer, you gotta nip out the tumour...."
Gail Lam wrote, "Why cancel? Just don't play such inappropriate games will do, isn't it? Just have to remove perverted student council!"
Wilfred Lee wrote, "Those whom decided to cancel the orientation are extremists.
You allow the sexual games to prevail for decades and you simply cancel the whole orientation instantly."
Tay Tyn Long wrote, "All the camp Comm (who have been demonized as sex-deprived perverts by all these idiots shooting off their mouths) put in so much time and effort into these camps, planning, finding sponsors, processing freshman signups and payments. Why? Because they want to share the fun and bonding experiences that we went through to the next batch.
And now their time and effort is just going to go up in smoke. Some of them are in tears now. I hope you're happy."