NUS fires fellow Jeremy Fernado at Tembusu College for sexual assault

By now most of you have heard: Jeremy Fernando was fired from his position as a fellow at Tembusu College, NUS, because he sexually assaulted two women. I will add here that we have heard, and have raised, that there are very likely other women affected, though this remains speculation unless they come forward.

Two things have come to mind:

It’s disturbing to me how the very people in a liberal bubble, who audaciously celebrate women’s day and who claim to take women’s voices seriously, and I also refer to its students, forget their mantras of “believe women” when it comes to someone they know. Where is everyone who usually speaks up hiding now? The confidentiality shrouding the women is there for their protection, not for your selfish sureties.

Secondly, Tembusu’s directors have been disturbingly distant. The victims have been extremely traumatised throughout the process: the directors have remained detached. They cried out for a statement (as I have heard many tembusu students have too, it is only right) and gave permission for them to disclose select facts to explain his firing. Instead they chose to let misinformation spread and ignored the victims’ email for almost a week. It has been almost two weeks since Jeremy got fired. They have resisted making a clarifying statement, and avoided answering the victims’ requests head-on.

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