Sexual misconduct is not something that should be taken lightly.
And relating this topic, you may have heard the dismissal of former NUS lecturer, Dr Jeremy Fernando.
On 18 Oct, NUS announced that it had fired Fernando on 7 Oct after receiving complaints of sexual misconduct by two students.
The students reported him to the school and did not lodge a police report.
NUS, however, actually went ahead and made a police report of their own.
But, according to the students, they were only informed after the report was made, The Straits Times reported.
So what happens now?
NUS has provided more details regarding this case.
On 23 Oct, Associate Professor Leong Ching, NUS Dean of Students, said that both students had been contacted before the police report was made.
However, only one was successfully contacted.
Both students were still made known of the report after it was filed.
The school would like to clear up the idea that had only informed one of them before the police report.
The school also clarified what it had told the student they had successfully reached.
They told her that it was their “legal duty” to file a police report, and would do so in accordance with NUS’ policy if she chose not to do so.
In fact, the school claimed to have advised the students to file their own reports.
Considering how serious the allegations were, too.
NUS proceeded to file the police report on 21 Oct.
They felt that due to some information being public already, a police report would’ve happened regardless.
The school said that this was done in the interest of students’ safety, and the police would be the better judge “if an offence was committed.”
In a small twist of events, it was also reported that Fernando had made his own police report related to the case.
The contents of his report are unknown.
The Allegations Against Fernando
We’ve talked at length about how serious the allegations were.
But here’s a little breakdown for those who’ve missed it.
The first student said that Fernando had been making non-consensual sexual advances towards her since Oct 2019.
This continued until the start of the circuit breaker.
Fernando allegedly kissed and groped her without consent as well, and performed oral sex while she was drunk.
He approached the second student online classes and privately messaged her on Zoom.
The two met with another male student a week later for drinks at a restaurant.
When the trio went to her apartment, the lecturer tried touching and kissed her while the male student was in the bathroom.
While Fernando was fired on 7 Oct, the news was only made public on 18 Oct. NUS has since promised to be more transparent and to disseminate information faster.