Freshmen doing push-ups on top of girls

From ‘Girls in tears over touchy-feely games’, 17 Sept 2011, article in translated from LHZB

A female student recently burst into tears when taking part in a 3-day 2-night orientation camp held by a local university. According to an insider at the camp, the girl had been uncomfortable with the physical contact in bonding games and had excused herself by saying she had a headache. However, she could not stand the peer pressure and eventually broke down into tears.

…The insider also expressed objections to the games. He said, “The push up game was especially inappropriate. The boys and girls were up close and face to face with each other. If the boy wanted to take advantage of the girl, he could pretend to collapse and lie on top of her.”

The insider also felt that many of the bonding games were meaningless, inappropriate and displayed little concern for how the students feel. Some girls have been uncomfortable with the excessive physical contact and more than one have broken down and cried.

Some of the games are played in these ways:

– The girl lies flat on the ground while the boy does push ups on top of her.

– A boy and a girl stand back to back. The girl has to stretch her arms behind her to hug the boy.

– A boy and a girl have to eat a biscuit together from two ends while holding it up with only their mouths. They have to finish the biscuit.

…In a camp hosted by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 2004, girls were made to take off the swimming trunks of some boys. A “human pole dancing game” required a person to pole dance with another person of the opposite sex acting as the “pole”. Another game required girls to lick whipped cream off the topless bodies of boys.

If only they had this in the Army

Sexual ‘ragging’ seems to have become a fad since the 2000s. Although according to the Stomp website SIM was responsible for the above bawdiness, a similar complaint against exactly the same activity was brought against NUS in 2008 . It would probably be alright if freshmen were mutually agreeable and sporting enough to participate in games distinguishable from an orgy only by the wearing of clothes, though such arousing physical tasks may develop into something else post-orientation. But what really bugs me about orientation games is not so much the simulations of rough, fetishist sex, but the unsanitary contact with someone else’s bodily secretions, especially if the object to be transferred in a makeshift oral conveyor belt is an MnM the size of a five cent coin. I wouldn’t do it even of they supplied free vaccinations against herpes and bird flu.

Here’s my ranking of anecdotal orientation games in descending ‘yuck-factor’.

1.The ‘sandwich’ (NTU, 2005)

2. Passing MnM chocolates using mouths only (NUS, 2006)

3. Washing one’s armpit hair (NUS, 2006)

4. Wearing napkins and sucking baby teats (‘local medical college’, 1977)

5. Licking whipped cream off bare skin (NTU, 2008)

Ragging as a form of freshmen taunting has been raising controversy ever since the days of the Univeristy of Malaya, with calls to ban it altogether in the fifties to no avail. In most instances all it took to get inaugurated into varsity was solo public humiliation, like imitating Marilyn Monroe, singing and dancing, or bizarrely, go round SUCKING A BABY’S DUMMY. In 1957, however, there were already isolated reports of obscene acts and religious taboo being committed. Victims of ragging also sought vengeance on seniors by tossing them into the Bukit Timah canal. I would be surprised if no one got killed in the process.

Later in the sixties, there were anecdotal cases of physical abuse, with freshmen being ‘slapped and having their ears twisted’, and even medical graduates were not spared in following decade, being made to dress and behave like babies. The ragging trend spilled into Singapore Polytechnic as well, with victims forced to stand on chairs, belted with verbal abuse and forced to walk around campus topless. ‘Taupoking’ was the planking of varsity games in 2005, which involved freshmen piling one of top of another like how footballers celebrate a goal except less enjoyable and you’re likely to emerge from the bottom of the pack unable to move your bowels for the next couple of days.

Abu Taupok

Silliness and risk of injury aside, the whole purpose of such group torture was to develop a lasting camaraderie among freshmen who could talk about their suffering for years after they graduate. It’s obvious from the history of orientation that it was never just ice-breakers and good, clean fun,  but a series of controlled humiliation and abuse meted by individuals in a position of power where the thought of group ‘bonding’ is really secondary. Anyone familiar with the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment would know that ragging is really a mild exercise in sadism that is innate in humans if given access to total domination. Unlike the satisfying rush of power that comes with ragging of the past, today’s inauguration games have become  symptomatic of a voyeur complex as well. Or these raunchy acts could actually be the clandestine nudgings of the SDU to encourage early university pairings, if its infiltration of campus orientation programs in 2007 is anything to go by.

Dogs do it better


6 Responses

  1. […] Flesh-man Orientation – Everything Also Complain: Freshmen doing push-ups on top of girls […]

  2. wah. so on?
    Can i sign up now? Last time not so siong leh?

  3. I find these so disgusting. Sadistic indeed and recall the time when I was at Uni and felt like an oddball as one of the few people who thought so. Thanks for raising this issue and telling it like it is.

  4. […] Everythingalsocomplain expresses his feelings about this incident. He calls it as it is – a case of sadism and […]

  5. Everythingalsocomplain, thank you for this post and thank you again for showing that I am not the only one whose blood is boiling right now reading what was reported in the Singaporean media recently. Ragging, doesn’t matter in whatever form it is, is appalling and barbaric. This sort of ragging is not just a form of bullying but also a form of sexual harassment.

  6. So have the unis take any actions on removing all these disgusting activities?

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