Doors are forever open in Swedish student homes


By: Sunny Tan

I write in connection to the NUS undergrad, June Haelin who fell to her death while trying to climb into her hostel room on the seventh floor.

I have lived in student hostels in New Zealand and Sweden. Such a sad case can never happen because of the way they administer their student premises.

The O’Rorke Hall of Auckland University, New Zealand, a mixed hostel, ever close its doors for the men and women’s residences.

I had also lived in the student ‘hem’ or home of Stockholm University, Sweden.

This is not a hostel.

I signed a tenant’s agreement with the management, which is the students association of this university .

As a tenant and if I have any problem I will approach the husfru or housekeeper or the police.

But, no one approached the police because the students are supposed to be civilised and they are.

I am free to live with my girlfriend. I did. Others did too.

I live in a section. Each section has 15 to 20 rooms.

All the sections have male and female students. The two rooms beside mine were occupied by women students and they have their male live-in friends.
I was given two keys, one to the gate of my section and the other is for my room. I duplicated them for my girlfriend.

Sweden has a long history of living together, lara kanner or bor tillsamans and it had been going on since the days of the Vikings and that is as long as 1000 years.

It means that they know what they are doing as they have been fine tuning such a social system over such a long time.

I embraced their norms.

New Zealand has outdated Victorian values. But, the university people emulate the Oxbridge style on how to treat students and so they adopt a liberal approach on matters affecting the welfare of students.

As the facts here show the sorrowful case of June of NUS can never happen in the Swedish student homes and O’Rorke Hall as their doors are forever open.

Time for NUS to change its administration of its student hostels as we are now entering the internet-disruptive age.

NUS student falls to her death after trying to climb into locked dorm room


  1. Well…..their sex education from young would have been an advantage compared to our more conservative ways.

    Beside the universities here DO have admin to contact after office hours. If the students choose not to then tragic accidents occur.

    May June RIP n hope her death is not in vain. Something needs to change…. l am sorry l cant offer any solution.

  2. We need to know whether there is an admin fee to seek help? If admin fee cost 50cents, it is more logical to seek help. If it cost more, i rather diy myself since i have confident to dismantle the door handle. For her case, maybe she thought it was easy to climb, so she did it. Money is root of all evil. With money, sg is a safe paradise. Without money, here is your living hell and your last day on earth.

  3. When you are locked out of your homes, you are supposed to talk to the office of the homes to get a spare key or to get a locksmith. You are not supposed to climb over to get in.

  4. What is this post about? Liberalism is practised differently in every sector in different countries. Why don’t you tell us the flip side of the open-door policy you enjoyed in your campuses instead of making a case out of a freak incident? A reckless and impulsive soul will always put herself in the harm’s way even if all doors open automaticalky.

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