Former student: NUS expulsion usually involves academic dishonesty
As National University of Singapore (NUS) students call for harsher punishments for sex offenders on campus, a former student has suggested that the university is not looking to expel such perpetrators.
Mr Shermon Ong said in a Facebook post that when he was a student representative on the NUS Board of Discipline in the academic year 2013-2014, the university's main interest was to maintain its academic integrity.
He said: "Back in 2013-2014, the types of acts that attract expulsion from NUS usually involve academic dishonesty. Unfortunately, peeping and filming in showers/toilets did not fall within that category of acts that attract expulsion."
The current debate on the level of disciplinary action necessary for cases of sexual misconduct was sparked by NUS student Monica Baey calling for heavier penalties against a fellow student who had filmed her showering in an NUS hall.
The offender was issued a conditional one-year warning by the police.
NUS also suspended him for a semester and required him to complete 30 hours of community-based sanctions.
Other students who committed similar offences also received similar punishments, including suspensions, fines and bans from the school's on-campus housing.
Mr Ong said cases like repeated cheating, falsification of experiment results or fraudulent declarations during admission were more likely to warrant expulsion.
"It is not difficult to understand why," he said. "The university's main interest is to maintain the integrity of the academia environment."
"Academic dishonesty strikes at the root of such integrity and therefore deserves the highest sanction - expulsion."
However, Mr Ong believes that since then, society has become more sensitised and enlightened over sexual assault, harassment and crime.
He said: "I am sure that the NUS administration will review the range of sanctions for different acts and update them to be in line with societal norms and expectations."
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