SINGAPORE: Twenty-eight Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) students have been disciplined by the school after they were found to have been involved in a hazing incident. A video, which went viral earlier this year, showed six males urinating on two other males in a toilet.
An NP spokesperson said it had launched an internal disciplinary inquiry and offered counselling support to the students involved after it learned of the video, which the school noted featured a group of students from the NP Student Union (NPSU) engaged in hazing and “inappropriate behaviour”.
A group of 28 male students, all in their second and third years at NP, were investigated for their involvement in the incident, which took place on Mar 20.
They had participated in a “trial programme”, which was aimed at helping them prepare for the NPSU freshmen bonding programme which was to have taken place in late March.
“After the trial programme, they gathered in a toilet on campus and participated in an inappropriate act purportedly for ‘fun’, led by one of the students,” the spokesperson said.
The video, which made its rounds on Instagram and TikTok, showed two males kneeling in a shower cubicle, naked and facing the wall, while three pairs of males took turns to urinate on them.
In the video, voices can be heard exclaiming: “Pee the hair, pee the hair,” and “Make sure you all pee.”
Another voice can also be heard shouting “No showering, no showering.” when one of the males on the floor tries to turn on the shower.
READ: Police investigating voyeurism case at Ngee Ann Poly after video surfaces of students urinating on two others
“The act was indecent and disrespectful, and in violation of NP’s Code of Conduct. The students were also found to have breached safe management measures such as not wearing masks or keeping a safe distance from one another,” said the polytechnic.
It added that videos and photographs of the act were shared with friends of the students in a WhatsApp chat group and later uploaded to social media by “someone whose identity can not be ascertained”.
“The polytechnic does not condone any form of misconduct and has sanctioned all 28 students by meting out appropriate disciplinary actions in accordance with the extent of their involvements,” said the NP spokesperson, adding that these disciplinary measures ranged from corrective work orders to suspensions.
The freshmen bonding programme was cancelled, while all NPSU activities have been suspended since Mar 25 and will remain suspended indefinitely.
The polytechnic said it is strengthening its efforts to “emphasise the importance of mutual respect and responsible behaviour”.
“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,” said the NP spokesperson.
An “anti-hazing policy” has been added to the student code of conduct, outlining what constitutes inappropriate activities and behaviours as well as the sanctions against such practices.
“Any student clubs or societies found to violate the policy may face an indefinite suspension of their activities, and the student offenders will be severely dealt with,” the polytechnic said.
It added that it was reviewing its practices to strengthen its supervision of student activities on campus - including the selection and training of student leaders and volunteers - to prevent such incidents from recurring.
NP said it was committed to providing a “safe and conducive learning and teaching environment for all”, adding that students who have witnessed, experienced or are aware of “any form of misconduct or inappropriate behaviour” should talk to their lecturers or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social media posts at the time of the incident claimed that such “toxic culture” and bullying was a common occurrence in NPSU activities.
NP did not address questions posed by CNA regarding these allegations, though The Straits Times reported that the school had said in an email to students that it needed more time to complete investigations into these past activities and that it would not hesitate to “take all necessary actions” should it uncover any wrongdoing.
In response to queries, the police - who said at the time that they were alerted to a case of voyeurism at 535 Clementi Road, which is NP’s address - said investigations are ongoing.