Graduation ceremony 'not a forum for advocacy': NUS on student who held paper with anti-death penalty message

The official response from the university.

Zhangxin Zheng | July 14, 2022, 10:43 PM

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A graduating student of the National University of Singapore (NUS) held up a paper with an anti-death penalty message on stage during his commencement.

Luke Levy, 25, then tweeted that the video of the ceremony -- which has been privatised on YouTube -- did not include him walking across the stage with the printed paper.

He also claimed that an official photo he bought of the graduation event censored the words on the paper.

A police report was lodged against the student.

In response to the incident, an NUS spokesperson issued the following statement:

"The NUS Commencement is an important ceremony celebrating the achievements of our 13,975 graduates and the completion of their NUS journey. All graduates and guests are expected to conduct themselves appropriately during the occasion. It is not a forum for advocacy."

What law he could've broken

Lawyers that Today spoke to were divided in their assessment regarding whether there was a violation of the law.

Knowingly holding a public assembly of one person to demonstrate support for or oppose the views or actions of any group of persons or government, publicise a cause or campaign or commemorate an event, can be considered a violation of the Public Order Act, which regulates assemblies and processions in public places, one lawyer argued.

However, it is debatable if NUS could be considered a public space.

Another lawyer said "it really depends on investigations into the whole matter, and not just based on his tweets”.

Top image via Luke Levy's Twitter