story | The Octant
photo | The Octant
After months of campaigning by the Student Government and commenters on the Yale-NUS College Community Facebook page, the Administration announced last week that Yale-NUS will offer an “opt-out” option to students. The new “opt-out” policy, effective since the announcement, allows students the freedom to “opt-out” of any school programme they feel does not serve their needs.
This policy came after weeks of turmoil in the student body sparked by a poster that was found in the Oculus, reading ‘i am not going to yale nus because i am afraid i will step on a snail. i want an opt-out option’. In response, the Infrastructure Office called the police, who called the school’s security guards, who removed the poster. This incident caused an uproar in the college community, with 12 different memes about the incident posted on the college meme Facebook page within the same day.
Student Government President Crocs Chua ’20 said, “Initially, we were disappointed with the response of the school to a student’s exercise of free speech in a public space. However, after multiple Town Halls, we have reached a good understanding and are very pleased with the new policy.”
President Din Tai Fung said, “We want to be flexible, you know. Some students are not comfortable with various aspects of college life, you know. And, we want them to be comfortable, you know.”
Some students that The Octant spoke to were happy with the new policy.
“Before, I was afraid to go to common curriculum lectures because the tokens gave me gastric issues, but now, I can just opt-out of the tokens. Thanks, President Din!” said Endowment Happyduke ’22.
“I realized that I was not really enjoying my time at Yale-NUS in general, so I decided to opt-out entirely! Now, I am a full-time barista at Brewhouse and am having the time of my life! Unfortunately, after I opted out of Yale-NUS, my parents opted out of being my parents.” said Katrina Koh ’21.
Many other students, however, have expressed dissatisfaction with the policy, citing cancelled classes as a reason. According to an informal Facebook poll taken by Em See Ess ’19, around 80% of professors have opted out of teaching.
Associate Professor of Philosophy Andy Snailey said, “My calling has always been to research the metaphysical aesthetics of limit experience. Teaching is simply a distraction. With the opt-out option, there is no requirement to teach. I have finally had time to take my research to the next level. I have been experimenting with a much greater range of limit experiences. Just last week, I beat myself with a rubber chicken to the point of unconsciousness and I’m pretty sure I reached the noumenal realm. Absolutely extraordinary.”
The Student Effort Contribution is not included in the “opt-out” scheme. Every student is still required to pay the mandatory fee of SGD $1500 by 2359 on April 1st, 2019.
(Happy April Fools’ Day.)