Message on the NUS orientation saga

Warning: Offensive material, especially to persons I am targeting

NUS is in the spotlight again, after receiving media coverage about indecent acts during orientation camps. With regard to this, netizens are fueling the fire by spreading rumours be it true or untrue and taking this opportunity to slam NUS. As a graduate from the school, I think I should say some words of fairness.

To the netizens who attribute every indecent act that occurred in an orientation of a “tertiary institution” to NUS, you are no different from the people who cry terrorist at every Muslim they see. Get your facts right, find out the exact school of that particular photo or video. If you are wrong, you look dumb.

To the netizens who say things like,

“NUS students study so much but no brains.”

“So NUS students are like that.”

“NUS is a disgrace.”

“Thank God I did not enter university.” (Yes, thank God because we wouldn’t have to deal with idiots like you)

If you have no constructive comments, you just made yourself look stupid and uneducated by saying such things. How about stop generalizing? How about saying things like, “Thankfully the main bulk of our students are sane enough.” Sure, there are bound to be troublemakers and jokers everywhere. That doesn’t mean all of us behave like that. Sorry to burst your bubble but it seems like you guys have an inferiority complex. You don’t have to say things like, “To think it is Asia’s top university.” If you are better than us NUS students, you give constructive comments, period. Please do not slam the whole school to make yourself look superior but in fact you appear inferior to us.

To the organizers/seniors who are responsible for this nonsense. Seriously, I have no other word except, stupid. There isn’t a need to even debate about what activities constitute as decent or not. This is common sense. If you think the activity plays at the borderline, then stop it. Freaking dunking freshies into the pool of water isn’t okay. Asking whose semen you would like to drink isn’t okay. Much less the simulated rape-scene. THIS IS FREAKING COMMON SENSE ISN’T IT? I was talking with my friend and wondering why my faculty did not have such problems. Business School doesn’t have such nonsense because we use common sense. I was shocked that the incident blew so much out of proportion that even O-week had to be cancelled, just because of the few of you jokers who spoiled the fun for the incoming freshies.

*When I was a councilor for my faculty camp, we had this girl who refused to hold hands with her “secret pal” (we didn’t have sitting on laps by the way). And so be it, although it was awkward for her partner. We didn’t force her, we didn’t ostracize her. And then we had this perverted guy who on the other hand, loved holding his partner’s hand so much he began to caress her hand. We separated them for the rest of the “SP” activities and allocated them to seniors who became their new “SP”. Well the female senior had to sacrifice herself slightly. This is what you seniors are supposed to do; to protect the freshies and as much as possible, keep things discrete.

To you seniors who are responsible, I have to say the netizens’ words are not unfounded. “Study so much but no brains,”this is for you. You didn’t think of the consequences before you act. This will be your downfall sooner or later, if you still do not realise your errors.

To the kids who complain. University is a place for young adults to grow up. At the age of 19-21, if you can’t even think for yourself, please go back to secondary school. Why give consensus when you feel uncomfortable about it? Afraid of being ostracized? Is being ostracized worse that getting your modesty outraged? No senior is going to grab you by your neck and force you to get dunked. If there is, he or she is going to get into deep trouble. They know that and they won’t force you. You know girls always use the same excuse to avoid going into water, be it true or untrue — my period is here.

Okay say, you are really really afraid of being left out. Then, weigh the severity of the activities. Things like simulated rape scene are out of the question obviously. I don’t understand how you can even give consensus to do it, unless of course you don’t mind doing it. IT BLEW MY MIND. Things like pole-dancing forfeits, not that bad right? How did pole-dancing forfeits become sexualized? I am not against complaining. In fact I think we should raise nonsense activities to the school. Indecent activities got to stop, but what constitute indecent activities? Think before you complain.

Did I experience uncomfortable moments? Yes I did. When I was a freshie, the seniors followed this tradition of waking us up in the middle of the night and conduct the initiation, which was smearing everyone with condiments, creams and food products as we went through an “obstacle course” with our eyes blind-folded. It stopped after my year though. Yes it was uncomfortable, but at the end of the day (or rather at sunrise), no one was hurt (I don’t think anyone was hurt), people who wanted out opted out, all was well. This activity could be considered a form of ragging I guess, but hey, life doesn’t always give you what you want. Yes this is university, where you will learn that life doesn’t adhere to your wishes. If you are able to take part in decent activities that make you uncomfortable, then congratulations, you have made it out of your comfort zone.

To parents who say stuff like, “I am considering twice about sending my child to NUS (because of such acts).” Erm, I don’t know to laugh at you or to cry for your child. As a parent of the previous generation, you should have more wisdom than me and therefore, I shouldn’t even have to explain myself. These acts probably happened only in a couple of faculty camps and you want to deprive your child the rest of the wonders the school can offer? In light of this incident, by the time your child enters NUS, he or she will probably be surrounded by bodyguards. So rest assured, in safe hands. Gosh.

What if your child was the perpetrator? Will you defend him/her or call the police on him/her? Think before you criticize the children of others please. Fancy saying such stuff like, “Oh start paying for your school fees if you are old enough.” Where is the link. If you think we are not old enough, blame the parents! Since the parents are the one “paying for tuition fees”, blame the parents for not bringing up their kids well! And of course, indirectly you are blaming yourself as a failed parent.

To the media. I believe your reporters and journalists are well-versed in writing. If you can censor the race of a rapist in your news to maintain racial harmony, why can’t you make this saga a little milder? You have something against NUS or what? Don’t say shit like giving truthful accounts or whatsoever. The Singapore media is already infamous for heavy censorship. Boosting readership by sacrificing your own national university’s reputation isn’t a very wise thing to do. Looks like you don’t feel for your fellow countrymen. So sad.

Lastly to everyone. NUS is a university. We do not have form teachers or discipline masters to maintain the discipline and order of the undergraduates. Stop asking the school to babysit the students because it doesn’t solve the problem. What can the school do? As young adults, undergraduates are supposed to be responsible for their actions and learn to plan activities appropriately. Tell me, how can the school strike a balance on this? It can’t! It heavily relies on the maturity of the seniors to make camps appropriate for freshmen. Otherwise, we get what happened today; cancellation of the entire orientation. So who is responsible? Every single one of the undergraduates involved. Seniors are responsible, so are the freshmen, for their own safety. Tell the senior they are going overboard. Tell your fellow OGL to stop his rubbish ideas. Nobody will ask you to fuck off. The university staff is not free to babysit us for 24 hours.

We were not there, we don’t know what actually happened, and we don’t know whether the claims were exaggerated. To those who make noise but have know idea what went on, sorry but SHUT THE FUCK UP. You have no business poking your nose into this matter and adding more fuel to the fire. You can tell the undergraduates, “Study so much but cannot think.” How about I tell you, “Only know how to make noise but talk without thinking.” So chill people, let the school decide the next course of action, and please stop condemning NUS.

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