What is the role of the universities’ management in administering their freshmen orientation camps

Published Date: 15 August 2016 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Ang Wei Neng, Jurong GRC

Question

To ask the Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) what is the role of the universities’ management in administering their freshmen orientation camps; (b) from 2014 to 2016, what is the number of freshmen orientation camps organised by the students in each of the public universities; (c) of these, how many of these camps have had their activity programmes amended as a result of the intervention by the respective universities’ management; and (d) what are the measures the public universities will take to prevent inappropriate activities from occurring again during orientation camps.

Response

Each year, the autonomous universities hold approximately 120 student-organised freshmen orientation camps (FOCs) – these include camps organised by the faculties, halls, and other student groups. The proposals for these camps are vetted by both staff advisors and the Offices of Student Affairs at the universities. This process takes several months, and any inappropriate or unsafe activities are revised or removed during this process.

NUS is currently conducting a review of its orientation processes in consultation with the NUS community, which is expected to take some time. NTU has recently completed a comprehensive overview of its orientation programmes to make them more inclusive.

More generally, measures are in place to prevent the recurrence of recent activities. Student leaders and facilitators are carefully selected and briefed, and university staff are also on hand to ensure that activities are run in line with plans, and with students’ safety and interests in mind. In addition, all students are governed by the respective universities’ Student Codes of Conduct, where banned activities and their concomitant penalties are explicitly stated.

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