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Lessons unlearned: NUS student arrested after allegedly filming female student in bathroom

Pervert learns the hard way as NUS' improved security measures against campus and assault begins to take effect.

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Singapore — Yet another university Peeping Tom has been nabbed, adding to the swarm of perpetrators in as many as 56 reported cases of at the country’s six autonomous universities during the period of 2015-17 alone.

A 26-year-old man was arrested on May 11, Saturday, for having allegedly secretly filmed a female student at a bathroom in Raffles Hall at the National University of Singapore ().

In responding to a call for help that came shortly after 8:00 am, police say they arrested a male resident of Raffles Hall for criminal trespass that same morning. He is now under investigation for insulting the modesty of a woman.

NUS “is working closely with the police in their investigations, and will take the necessary disciplinary actions,” the Straits Times reports a representative from the university as saying. NUS is also giving the female student “dedicated support and assistance”.

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Furthermore, the representative stated that in the wake of last month’s university voyeur incident that had sparked a national conversation on responses by tertiary educational insitutions towards on-campus sexual misconduct and assault, NUS is heightening security through the following measures: more patrols by campus security officers, better closed-circuit television (CCTV) coverage as well as improved locks and the closing of door aeration gaps in toilets, and shower cubicles.

According to the director of campus security in a safety advisory e-mail that was sent to NUS staff and students on the afternoon of May 11, “All these measures are in the midst of being implemented by Raffles Hall, including the secure shower cubicles which will be installed in the coming weeks.”

The university, as well as other institutes of higher education, have undoubtedly been on their toes concerning campus incidents of sexual assault and misconduct after NUS student Monica Baey posted on social media of how dissatisfied she was with the discipline that had been meted out to fellow student Nicholas Lim, who had illegally filmed her in the shower.

Police had only given Lim a 12-month conditional warning which is common to first-time offenders. He had also been suspended by NUS for one semester, banned from NUS campus residences and asked to apologise to Baey via a letter.

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Baey’s Instagram story went viral, and many netizens agreed with her that Lim had gotten off too lightly for his crime that had been perceived as a symptom of how normalised sexual misconduct had become at Singapore’s tertiary institutions of higher learning. Even Education Minister Ong Ye Kung then weighed in on the matter and said that he had asked all universities to review their disciplinary methods for such cases.

In response, the university’s president Tan Eng Chye issued an apology for not having provided sufficient support for victims of sexual misconduct.

NUS, which has had a “two strikes and you’re out” policy for cases of sexual misconduct, has said that it will review the policy, after having received much pushback from its students as well as members of the public in general.

The university also went on to hold a town hall meeting that was attended by over 600 students, several of whom came forward to tell of their own or their friends’ stories of having been victims of sexual misconduct on campus grounds. Attendees also asked for better safety measures to avoid such incidents in the future.

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According NUS’s representative, footage of last Saturday’s voyeur had been made possible by a CCTV camera that had been installed just the day before.

“The university is committed to accelerating the implementation of these security enhancements but in the meantime, we would like to urge all students to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to NUS campus security immediately.

“The university is also developing a course to educate our community on respect and consent,” he said.

Police said in a statement last month that there have been 25 cases of sexual offences that the NUS Board of Discipline has heard from 2015 through 2018. /TISG

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