NUS proposes tougher sanctions against sexual misconduct for consultation

Following the nation-wide uproar on its light measures against sexual misconduct, National University of Singapore (NUS) has proposed tougher sanctions recommended for further consultation. 

In an email sent out to the university alumnus, NUS said its Review Committee has conducted a comprehensive review of the sanctions framework.

Student representatives from student groups and hostels, and subject matter experts have been consulted, the university added. This is to "ensure that the proposed changes reflect best practice, and the needs and expectations of our whole community".

"There is a clear need to recalibrate the sanctions framework and toughen the penalties for sexual misconduct to serve as a strong deterrent, and to reflect the severity of the offenses," NUS said in the email.

Photo courtesy: NUS
Photo courtesy: NUS

The committee has proposed a minimum one calendar year suspension period from the University for sexual misconduct offenses. For severe offenses, the perpetrator will be expelled. 

A certification of rehabilitation by a counsellor and/or a medical professional is also required before any sexual misconduct offender can be permitted to return to campus. This applies to both suspensions and expulsions.

In addition, there will be a notation on the transcript (disclosed for internships and employment) of sexual misconduct offenders, to reflect their suspension. The notation will remain on the transcript for a period of time after graduation.

The university proposed the establishment of a dedicated Care Unit for victims of sexual misconduct offences. The unit will be staffed by trained and experienced care officers to support victims from the point of incident until special care is no longer required. The proposal is currently being reviewed by the committee. 

The email added that the committee is pro-active in seeking wider consultation on the changes already put in place by the University, and the proposed recommendations to strengthen the sanctions framework.

The Committee will publish its final report by mid-June.