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On-campus sexual misconduct and sexual grooming in NUS

I am an NUS student formerly from Tembusu College and I am a victim of on-campus sexual misconduct and sexual grooming by a former student tutor in CS1010S: Programming Methodology, who also happens to be an MOE scholar. Over the past year, under the guise of being a friend who needed a listening ear, he made multiple sexual advances and sent me various disgusting text messages about his sexual urges. It got so bad that, under the advice of my close friends, I made a report to NUS. I had also contacted MOE about this: The official’s responses were initially non-committal, and then downright ridiculous. I cannot guarantee that he will not be a teacher as the MOE official whom I contacted was unwilling to “disclose any details”. (See Annexe A for the relevant email threads)

Despite my initial trust in the institution, I have received compelling evidence to the contrary. The support and investigation process that NUS provided me had lacked the probity and sincerity required. I was left in the dark during the investigation process. I also received insulting comments from the staff coordinator of CS1010S. As far as I am concerned, no action was taken when I had previously notified the Vice-Dean of Computing, and then Vice Provost (Student Life) Florence Ling of the tutor’s inappropriate conduct. I was also given hard deadlines and other administrative tasks just to secure the support I needed; meanwhile, they took all the time they needed to even respond to my call for help. There is an emotion that evokes deeper rancour and resentment than mistrust: It is betrayal.

For almost two weeks since my first report in February, I had to bear attending classes under the perpetrator before getting any sort of protection or class transfer.

The entire process to seek help was unclear and unresponsive as they pushed me from one department to another, just to even have my basic protections and case heard. I felt so dehumanised by NUS’ Victim Care Unit. My care officer made mind bogglingly insulting and insensitive remarks that made me doubt my sanity, even as she told me that “it is good that you are moving on”. She did not seem to care about the integrity of the internal investigation or how the module coordinator had taken the opportunity to insinuate that I was academically weak, despite knowing that I was a victim of sexual assault by one of his members of staff. I did not feel supported at all. The memory of her telling me, “Consider that your past experiences in CS1010S is making you biased against the staff of CS1010S” — and prefacing that with saying that I had failed the module in the past — is still fresh in my mind not only for its sheer absurdity, but also its callousness. She was also unavailable on multiple occasions as she had to attend many meetings.

As a victim, it was difficult for me to process what had happened on my own. However, no one from the NUS staff had helped me through this when I filed my complaint. I was confused and traumatised. Yet, the Head of the investigation division was hurried to get my statements recorded in a single session. He even said he wouldn’t have bothered to interview me, if not for the presence of my care officer. The incomplete and rushed statement would later adversely affect the outcome of my case, which in the end was dismissed. In fact, I have proof that evidence I had submitted was not even admitted for consideration by the Office of Student Conduct. (See Annexe B2 for the relevant documentation). I had also disclosed to the investigation officer that there were multiple recipients of such disturbing messages from the accused. However, none of them were contacted for further investigation prior to the initial dismissal of my case.

I made repeated efforts to communicate with NUS on the lapses of the investigation and support process. Among the many lapses I discovered: No one had informed me that former Associate Director Esther Tan — who was administering my No Contact Order — had left the University in July 2020. All my attempts to use the contact number provided in the NCO in August failed. I went to research on the possible reasons — only then had I noticed that she had left for Nanyang Technological University. I then informed the school administration first regarding this issue on 19th August. They did reply, albeit over a month later. NUS has thus far, refused to accept any responsibility or demands for greater transparency in measures taken to protect victims. The onus is on victims to prove that they are worthy of protection and justice.

When the Vice-Provost finally deigned to speak with me regarding these lapses (after a Herculean effort on the part of both me and my friends), it was on the condition that I came alone or with the support of NUS staff only. When I had made a clear request for my close friends to be there with me for emotional support, they said no and that this is the “NUS process”. They said “In all NUS process, we only hear from the victim. Even lawyers and parents are not allowed. We want to directly hear from [the victim] only”. When asked what ‘process’ this was, no further elaboration was given. She had also refused to disclose the existence of the Staff Code of Conduct during the meeting. Instead, she made an offer to “override any staff member” if any staff member is found to be abusing their authority. Essentially, the victim has to make a false choice between privacy and dignity because of her desire to retain discretion, instead of having members of staff follow pre-existing rules. The reader can read her responses in Annexe D and judge the degree of impartiality and decorum (or lack thereof) she has exercised in her capacity as Vice Provost. However, I am willing to concede that if NUS does not consider itself a public institution, then all of us should not hold it to such high standards. Please refer to the 120th and final point in the list of facts in my essay — for what has been stated by NUS on its public character, in the High Court of the Republic of Singapore.

In all, due to systemic failures and a dehumanising, victim-blaming culture, I am of the opinion that NUS is facilitating and has facilitated predatory behaviour in the past — and this is not just those of a sexual nature. I present relevant evidence and explore this issue (or non-issue, depending on who you ask) in the essay attached below, and leave it to the reader to judge. What is the point of requiring students to attend workshops on Respect and Consent, when the Vice Provost cannot even recognise the inherent dignity of the students she owes a duty of care to? Does she need to attend one of these workshops, or does she really need a dictionary to understand the meaning of these two words? I leave it to the students of this institution to decide. Having exhausted all possible internal processes within the University, I am already sick and tired of explaining the difference between due process and favourable outcome to people who, frankly, should know better. I hope I will be the last one to have to do this.

NUS Students’ Union Students for a Safer NUS [LINK]

Documentation of my exchanges with MOE, NUS and the Singapore Police Force: [LINK]
Essay (with a list of facts) on my experience with the aforementioned institutions: [LINK]

N.B.: I recognise that this post and the attached documents contains logical inconsistencies and/or absurdities. I am merely stating representations made to me at the material time, and I expect that the relevant authorities will clarify these discrepancies.  *Will update this section when I am notified by the relevant authorities*

(In case any Ministry or Competent Authority is tempted to issue a Stop Communication Direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act 2019, I will declare in advance that I do not intend to comply. I believe I am acting in good faith and in the public interest, and the material being published is the truth of the matter — as it is known to me.)

 

* Facebook post by Tow Ying Xiang.

** Attached a reply to the writer’s post by “NUS Spokesperson”.

Hi Ying Xiang

The University is aware of this matter, and NUS colleagues have been, and continue to be, in touch with you.

In the earlier allegations made, the University had informed you on 17 June 2020 that internal investigations did not reveal grounds for misconduct and that the case was closed with no further action to be taken. We also understand that a police report was made in relation to the earlier allegations and police investigations into that case were closed with the police not taking any further action.

As you have provided new information to us in recent correspondence with the Whistleblowing Unit, NUS is in the process of investigating the new development. The Office of Campus Security, which is investigating the new information, has reached out to you on four separate occasions (5, 9, 17 and 20 Nov) to meet with you on this new development. Please contact us to help take this new investigation forward.

NUS takes a strong stand against any form of sexual misconduct on our campuses. All allegations are taken seriously and investigations will be conducted promptly.

 

yyy
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10 Responses to “On-campus sexual misconduct and sexual grooming in NUS”

  • Police CLOSE DOWN:

    What happened to NUS? Why so many perverts?

    GD Star Rating
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  • opposition dude:

    Seems like humsup university students are some sort of protected breed for whatever cockanaden reason PAP has. Maybe being elite has short circuited their brains to the point that these humsups can never be prosecuted for sex crimes of any sort.

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been a lot of noise made over this issue since it has been happening regularly in the last 2 years or so. As long as the authorities aren’t pressured by the public they will always have the tidak apa attitude when it comes to this.

    GD Star Rating
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  • rajkumar:

    I believe it is not too late to make a police report.
    Obviously NUS is dragging their feet , so that you
    will give it up .

    GD Star Rating
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  • Asd:

    I think it is clear what country has become over the years free riders pocket are full of money and no where in sight to offer any explanation

    GD Star Rating
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  • DavidNeo&IreneVanessa:

    Why don’t the victim harass the harasser?

    Mod: If you do not want all your comments to be deleted in future, please change her handle. It’s very rude. Thank you.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dear Miss Tow,
    Why are you so old school thinking ?

    Why not you adopt Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party new school thinking ?
    拍A片暴紅 獨家訪問母親:她開心我就開心 (ROC Taiwan mother’s happy for daughter to star in adult movie)
    https://news.ebc.net.tw/news/entertainment/233250

    Poke backside is new school thinking and organize a public poke backside party is even more advanced new school thinking.

    Under Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party 蔡英文rule,
    1. you can kill someone and get away scot free. 杀人无罪。哈哈哈
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmdHdDPt1NM
    2. LGBT can openly poke ass/rub puss* in public.
    https://formosapride.com/
    (you bring your private bed room affair in public)

    Dear Miss Tow, you must adopt new school thinking as above.
    The pro-democracy nuts like Roy and Oxygen called it Democratic you know…

    Ah hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha …. Democratic hahahahahaha

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    $PAP$ Tua Kee; Majullah $PAP$; $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy, Unmotivated, Whinning Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster.
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

    GD Star Rating
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  • DavidDim&VanessaDork:

    I noticed something going on. Many posters use vulgar words and yet you only say what I posted is very rude?

    Posts are also getting fewer for every article.

    And the artcle writers. One moment they critcise the govt and the next try to sing its praises. Flip flop action?

    I know your pop up ads are your income but they are also very annoying. Block almost 3/4 page.

    DavidNeo&IreneVanessa:
    Why don’t the victim harass the harasser?

    Mod: If you do not want all your comments to be deleted in future, please change her handle. It’s very rude. Thank you.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • #08-195 Old Coot + 2 slags:

    Why you jealous Taiwan allow poke backside? You can join them.

    Singaporeans R Free Riders:
    Dear Miss Tow,
    Why are you so old school thinking ?

    Why not you adopt Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party new school thinking ?
    拍A片暴紅 獨家訪問母親:她開心我就開心 (ROC Taiwan mother’s happy for daughter to star in adult movie)
    https://news.ebc.net.tw/news/entertainment/233250

    Poke backside is new school thinking and organize a public poke backside party is even more advanced new school thinking.

    Under Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party 蔡英文rule,
    1. you can kill someone and get away scot free. 杀人无罪。哈哈哈
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmdHdDPt1NM
    2. LGBT can openly poke ass/rub puss* in public.
    https://formosapride.com/
    (you bring your private bed room affair in public)

    Dear Miss Tow, you must adopt new school thinking as above.
    The pro-democracy nuts like Roy and Oxygen called it Democratic you know…

    Ah hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha …. Democratic hahahahahaha

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    $PAP$ Tua Kee; Majullah $PAP$; $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy, Unmotivated, Whinning Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster.
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Will Hong be future PM?:

    Why sg lack so many talents recruited from overseas?
    Why the sg IT education system result in so much india IT “gurus”?

    Education is old knowledge.
    Wisdom does not come from outdated knowledge.

    GD Star Rating
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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    Call a spade a spade.

    DavidNeo&IreneVanessa:
    Why don’t the victim harass the harasser?

    Mod: If you do not want all your comments to be deleted in future, please change her handle. It’s very rude. Thank you.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...

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