DOS Update #13 - Once more, with teeth

  PUBLISHED: 9 February 2020, 7:00 p.m. 

Dear Students:


  1. Three students remain in GQF. They are well and show no symptoms. ROD of the last student is expected to be 15 February.
  2. One student has been suspended for breaking his Leave of Absence (LOA) and others are under investigation.

  3. We are at DORSCON Orange. NUS will move to e-learning for classes larger than 50. The same total event size of 50 will guide our planning.

  4. Here’s a quick way to remember the many changes NUS will implement. Think TATT: Temperature taking, attendance-taking, travel declaration and total event size.

  5. Supermarkets are full once again, although as I pointed out in my update yesterday, the real essentials never ran out.

Magnets and Dining Halls

Under D-Orange, the organising parameter for NUS is 50 pax – whether in classes or events, we keep it at that number or under. But it is a function also of the size of the room and the capacity to track attendance.

Across campuses and especially for the 11,000 students living in halls and residences, you will see some innovative ways by which this 50 pax is tracked.

In some RCs, you will see a board with 50 magnets outside the dining hall. Each person going in will take one, have his meal and put it back. If all 50 are taken, the next person will have to wait till someone inside finishes up. In another Hall, study rooms will now have only 50 chairs. Others will see 50 chairs marked with stickers, and students will be allowed only to sit on these.

Life will change at NUS.

Some measures – including the taking and logging of temperatures – will be mandatory. Others – like the magnets – will be nudges. Throughout NUS, these behavioural guides are designed to keep us safe. Let’s all keep to them.


Outside the dining hall at Tembusu College: If all 50 blue magnets are taken, the next person will have to wait till someone inside finishes up. Photo: Kim Hyoju, Graduate Fellow, Tembusu College. 

Video: Kim Hyoju, Graduate Fellow, Tembusu College


New seating arrangement in the dining hall at King Edward VII (KEVII) Hall – 45 seats on the right, 44 on the left, separated by a stage platform. Photo: KEVII Hall

With Teeth: Suspension and reprimand

One student has breached LOA by attending lectures and was called for a hearing by the Board of Discipline over a Skype call.

The Board’s decision was to:

  • Suspend the student for one month starting one day after the LOA period ends.
  • An official reprimand from the University.

These sanctions will be part of the student’s formal educational record at the University. The official reprimand was sent to the student on 7 February 2020.

The Board concluded that the student committed a disciplinary offence contravening Clause 3(a) of the NUS Statute 6 Discipline with respect to Students by violating NUS’ Isolation Procedures when the student attended classes during the LOA period.

LOA is a precautionary measure to prevent the potential transmission of infection in the community. Students on LOA must stay at home or in their hostel rooms, and minimise contact with others. All students who have travelled to China within the last 14 days are required to be on LOA and to comply with measures in OSHE Circular 4.

Lies and Virus: Both die in sunlight

Studies show that “regular” coronavirus (one of the causes of the common cold) die faster in high temperatures and high humidity.

They can survive on surfaces 30 times longer with temperatures of 6 degrees Celsius compared higher temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius and where humidity levels are high. The 2019-nCoV is predicted to slow down when the sun starts to shine more and the weather warms up in temperate and subtropical countries.

In Singapore, the sun is hot and humidity high, so the external factors are with us. But we need to keep our hands clean, our immunity high and practise good social hygiene.

Under DORSCON Orange, the virus is severe and spreads easily from person to person. This new virus spreads more easily than SARS, but SARS is 50 times deadlier. The mortality rate for SARS is 10%, for influenza 0.1% and this virus 0.2%. So, we should think of it as being closer to the flu than SARS.

The best way to fight the flu is not to get it in the first place – as always, stay strong, eat an orange and go out into the sun.

Associate Professor Leong Ching
NUS Dean of Students

#QOTD Questions of the Day

Answers by Assoc Prof Stella Tan, Senior Director, Office of Student Conduct

Question: “Is it true that NUS can take action against students who are in contravention with any of the control measures implemented by NUS?”

Answer: Yes. The disciplinary sanctions for students are provided for under Statute 6 (Discipline with Respect to Students). First-time offender will be suspended immediately for up to a month. Non-compliance with any of the control measures implemented by NUS is considered an offence, and disciplinary action will be taken against staff and students. All non-compliance will be dealt with in accordance to the NUS Code of Conduct and the NUS student disciplinary procedures. You can refer to Circular 4 for details.

Question: “What happens if a student contravenes the measures twice?”

Answer: Sanctions will include suspension and expulsion.

Question: “How to report errant students?”

Answer: You can email to