After Peeping Tom episode, NTU, SMU gear up to deal with sexual harassment cases seriously

A view of the Nanyang Technological University campus in Singapore August 2, 2016.

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU) have sent internal circulars to their students on Wednesday after the 23-year-old student of National University of Singapore (NUS) sought tougher action against the man who filmed her when she was taking her shower in her hostel.

SMU reassured its students and the staffs that the university is reviewing its own disciplinary process related to sexual misconduct, while NTU's Student Life team stated that they have recently strengthened the policy and procedures related to such harassment cases.

As per the reports, SMU president Lily Kong said that the university has already started the process to improve its policies by reviewing and seeking inputs from stakeholders. She spoke about the ongoing process after NUS was criticised by the public for the way they handled the sexual misconduct case.

In an email, which was sent to the employees and students, Kong also stated that SMU is committed to providing a diverse, inclusive and safer environment for working, teaching and learning.

She added that in terms of the security measures, the SMU campus has CCTV cameras at building access points and in common areas and all the buildings have 24/7 physical security presence.

However, NTU stated that the revised policy, which was implemented in January this year includes what to do and where to seek help if someone becomes a victim of harassment. The institution also introduced a similar policy for its employees.

NTU mentioned that they are also looking for the implementation of an online module on anti-harassment in July during the orientation program to its freshmen and student organizers.

In a newsletter, the institution stated that the policy and procedure ensure that all harassment reports "will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with under the University's disciplinary procedures. Anyone facing or witnessing harassment should report it immediately."

The university also added that in case of harassment, the students may call the security hotline number, the Director of Student Affairs, or they can talk to any professor or official to seek assistance. NTU assured that due support will be provided by the counsellors from the University Wellbeing Centre and by the respective school's pastoral care team. They also asked students to go and explore the workplace harassment policies.

NUS sexual misconduct case:

Monica Baey, who reported that sexual misconduct case, took to her Instagram account on April 19 seeking tougher action, prompting the institution to react immediately and a panel to conduct disciplinary proceedings and review the case. She wrote on her social media post that even though she filed a police complaint and a CCTV footage was taken as evidence, the outcome of the entire investigation was a 12-month conditional warning to the accused, which she did not find justified and urged for real action against the man who filmed her when she was inside hostel's washroom.

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A view of the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Law campus in Singapore Reuters
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