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Luqmanul Hakim Ismail
The Straits Times
May 18, 2021
The students behind a hazing incident in Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) have been disciplined after an investigation.
In an e-mail sent to its students on Monday (May 17), NP said the disciplinary inquiry, held from April 19 to 21, had found that 28 students were responsible.
Punishments ranging from corrective work orders to suspension were meted out to the 28, all male students in their second or third year.
On March 22, a video clip of some NP students urinating on two other male students, who were naked and squatting in a campus toilet, made the rounds on social media.
The school launched an investigation the same day and offered counselling support to students involved.
NP said in the e-mail that the 28 students had participated in a trial programme on March 20 for student facilitators to prepare for an NP Students' Union (NPSU) freshmen bonding programme.
"After the trial programme, the group of 28 students gathered in a campus toilet and participated in an inappropriate act purportedly for 'fun', led by one of the students," the e-mail said. "The act was indecent and disrespectful, and in violation of NP's student code of conduct."
It said the students took videos and photographs of the act and shared them with friends in a WhatsApp chat group and later uploaded them on other social media platforms.
NP said all activities by the students' union have been suspended since March 25 until further notice.
Other allegations of bullying and sexual harassment have also been made against NPSU on social media.
The school said: "On the allegations against the NPSU's past activities and conduct, which surfaced on social media after the incident, we will need more time to complete the investigations as we gather feedback and facts of these past activities. Should any wrongdoing be found, we will not hesitate to take all necessary actions."
The students involved in the hazing incident were also found to have breached Covid-19 restrictions by not wearing masks or keeping a safe distance from one another.
NP has added an anti-hazing policy in its student code of conduct, which outlines what constitutes inappropriate activities and behaviour.
The school said it will be stepping up educational efforts to emphasise the importance of mutual respect and responsible behaviour.
Staff will remain vigilant and step up their supervision of student activities on campus. This will cover the selection and training of student leaders and volunteers.
NP added: "All students are encouraged to come forward and report activities or incidents that they are not comfortable with, even if these activities might appear to be consensual."
The Straits Times has approached the school for further comments regarding the matter.