NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye shared the full implementation plan intended to build a safer campus in a message to students, staff and alumni on 13 June. The efforts by the University are in response to the recent recommendations by the NUS Review Committee on Sexual Misconduct, 15 in-person engagement sessions with students, staff and alumni, and the findings from more than 5,200 completed responses of a survey conducted with all undergraduate and graduate students by an independent research consultancy.
The full plan will be overseen by NUS Senior Deputy President and Provost Professor Ho Teck Hua, and is aimed at enhancing campus safety for the 39,000 students and 12,000 staff.
“Going forward, the University’s tougher stance on sexual misconduct will be complemented by greater support for victims and this will be reflected in enhancements to our disciplinary process, including an avenue for victims to request for a review of Board of Discipline and/or Disciplinary Appeals Board outcomes in exceptional circumstances, such as when new evidence comes to light. For past cases, the University commits to ensuring that victims get the dedicated support they need, until care is no longer required, and making necessary arrangements that will support the recovery process,” said Prof Tan.
The new sanctions framework, as recommended by the Review Committee, will take effect from 13 June, with the new disciplinary process taking effect on 1 July. The new sanctions and disciplinary frameworks are entirely separate from and additional to criminal proceedings by the law enforcement. A student being brought before the NUS Board of Discipline and receiving sanctions has no effect on investigation, sentencing and punishment by the Singapore Police Force and the Courts of Singapore.
Training for first responders such as officers from NUS Campus Security, Masters, Resident Fellows and Advisors, as well as other frontline staff and students will also begin in June, along with the enhancement of security measures, including installation of secure shower cubicles (conducted in phases and completed by October), restroom locks, additional CCTV cameras, additional security officers in hostels, and roving security patrols.
In August, a new Victim Care Unit with trained and experienced care officers to provide personalised and individualised support to victims of sexual misconduct will be established, together with the launch of an accompanying website with information and resources for victims. A compulsory module on “Respect and Consent Culture” for all students and staff will also start in the same month.
“The new measures mark an important starting point in an ongoing effort to improve not only our systems but also our culture. We will continue to engage students, staff and alumni to understand the efficacy of the new measures and how we might do even better,” said Prof Tan.
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