NUS Students “Choped” Seats in Library Overnight with Snacks & Laptop


Last Updated on 2023-05-05 , 10:36 pm

We all know that chope-ing is an integral part of Singaporean culture. It is intertwined with our kiasu mindsets where we die-die must get something before somebody else does.

And, of course, the exam period is when everyone starts chiong-ing, and the true Singaporean-ness jumps out. All these practices of chope-ing, being kiasu and mugging late into the night unite.

Chope-ing is most common at hawker centres where tissue packs are left behind on tables. Still, it happens often elsewhere, especially during national exam periods at public libraries.

Hence, it is no surprise that NUS students do this during exam season, except they went way over the line.

Using a Monitor to Chope

In a TikTok video uploaded by user @cataddict2001 on 19 April, several photos of how students chope-d desks at a National University of Singapore (NUS) library were included.

Honestly, it was laughable that students were full-on personalising the desks there so they looked like their own study tables at home.

In the first photo in the video, the desk could’ve been mistaken as an office cubicle as there was somehow a whole monitor. That is some abnormal level of effort.

Another student kept it simple, leaving just a few pieces of paper and a water bottle on the desk.

Another left the quintessential tissue pack, plus their pencil case and mask, on their table.

Some tables looked like study tables at home, with stacks of paper in one corner, a Macbook-iPad set up in the centre, a huge mineral water bottle next to it, snacks and canned drinks.


And as if one backpack to chope the entire table wasn’t enough, a student left multiple plastic bags full of things on the chair as if they were staying overnight.

The caption said that the things have been at the library since the previous week.

@cataddict2001the best thing is that these items have been here since last week 😄🤡♬ hotline bling – hellaxgay

Met With Online Frustration

What the students are doing is selfish. Tons of other students need a conducive place to study but these spaces are already occupied.

This is just a reflection of how far chope-ing culture can go. Sometimes, other people slip our minds once we get something that benefits us.

Many in the comments were appalled at the objects used to chope and the extent of it.

Image: TikTok

We are thinking the exact same thing.

Image: TikTok

It’s definitely a frustrating sight.

Image: TikTok

Some students clearly aren’t doing enough to stop others from sitting at their personally designated seats.

Image: TikTok

Also, it’s highly irresponsible of them to leave valuables behind like that, as if they couldn’t be easily stolen.


NUS Librarian’s Response

Librarian Natalie Pang told the Straits Times that checks are now being conducted every hour between 8:30 am and 6 pm to ensure students do not hog the seats.

The library is open 24 hours from 3 April to 5 May, the school’s examination period and all unattended items are removed from tables at 8:30 am the following day.

Dr Pang said bookmarks are also placed on these items to warn their owners.

Chope-ing Not Exclusive to Hawker Centres and Libraries

Apparently, people are chope-ing their spots in queues to get into clinics too.

Shin Min Daily News reported that at Thong Chai Medical Institution’s clinic in Bukit Batok, patients were using all sorts of objects, from bottles to backpacks to chope seats outside the clinic while waiting for their appointment.

Some visitors have noted that this practice is unfair, as the owners leave their belongings there and leave while others behind them in the queue have to wait while they’re gone.


But others, being kiasu, stated that they had to chope the seats in the morning as appointments for acupuncture at the clinic later in the day were limited.