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    Aug 01, 2016

    NUS students union says sorry to freshmen

    THE beleaguered students' union of the National University of Singapore (NUS) has broken its silence about reported sexualised activities at orientation camps it organised.

    In an official statement posted on its Facebook page yesterday, the NUS Students' Union (Nussu) apologised to the freshmen who had gone through such activities, which they called "indecent, reprehensible and not condoned".

    Stressing that they were not endorsed by it or any of its constituent clubs or committees, it added that it was helping the university with investigations.

    On Friday, the university suspended all orientation activities, following a New Paper report about increasingly sexualised orientation games, some of which involved the simulation of rape scenes.

    In its post, Nussu said it had not been consulted on the suspension. "The hard work of our organising committees and volunteers should not have been sacrificed due to the errant behaviours (sic) of some students."

    It said the camp's organising committee had had their proposals subjected to "strict and thorough scrutiny by the school" beforehand, and that the activities in question "clearly fell outside of the scope of activities" that they had in mind.

    It also said it had received several reports of its students being called names and harassed by members of the public.

    The "inappropriate behaviour of a few errant students", it reiterated, "is not an accurate and conclusive representation of the entire NUS undergraduate population of over 28,000".

    "The Union would like to seek the public's understanding and we sincerely appeal to you to refrain from extending such treatment to our students."

    It stressed that student welfare remains its top priority, and said that it would work together with faculty and non-faculty clubs to see how it could still welcome the freshmen despite the recent developments.

    It added: "We will also work with the school in restoring the faith in all student-led events, to identify and rectify the issues arising from the surfaced inappropriate cases while not compromising the interest of our students."