What is in a dress anyway!
A rule made by a women’s college in Hyderabad, a few weeks ago about the dress code of students has raised questions regarding their freedom of choice
'Dress in a modest way, or otherwise, we would not let you enter the college premises', these were the words told to students at one of the women's degree college in Hyderabad.
Dress code has been a rule in many colleges, but then forcing students to wear a kurta that is below the knee length with sleeves that have to be three-quarters of the arm – a guideline sprung by the all-girls college from out of the blue was quite an upsetting one for the girls studying in the college.
St Francis College located in a posh area of Begumpet, imposed this rule on students that was not anywhere in the rule books of the college; and it turns out that students, who preferred to join the college for certain criteria are bound to follow rules that were never even mentioned in the rule book, which led to a few students protesting.
The college was so particular about the dress code that it refused to address students who were in the protest. Womenia has confirmed reports from the students of the college, who wished to remain anonymous.
The students said that while the principal of the college, Sister Sandra mentioned emphatically about the college dress code and was strict about it, the lecturers and the HOD's of the college made statements where they told students that they will not be getting good marriage proposals if they would not dress yourself in a certain way considered modest and quite shockingly, a few also made remarks that the male lecturers would not be comfortable if students wore sleeveless kurtis. Those not abiding by the rule are not allowed into the college.
Students of the college were more than ready to share their displeasure towards the new rule. One of the students, Ishita (name changed) said, "St Francis had an amazing reputation for having progressive thoughts for its young women.
However, the new rules set by the college have taken us by surprise over recent times."
"I hail from Sikkim and had a positive opinion about the conduct in the college. But I find it very inconvenient due to the new dress code rule as I am forced to renew my wardrobe," added another student.
Sometimes students get mentally affected when they get to hear some bizarre rules made by educational institutions. "Personally, I have no issues with the dress code rule.
However, rumours of some regressive statements made by a few members of the faculty have a negative impact on me," said Sammy (named changed).
While some of the girls got along with the idea that college could come up with any rules at any time, few of the girls feel that it is being unfair to all the students in the college.
"I would like to address the fact that St Francis being a women's college should not trample the way young women want to dress, think, etc.
Also adding to this is the fact that the rule was nonexistent before this year and it feels a little unfair," said Pooja (name changed).
Is the dress code in college really necessary? Is wearing a sleeveless top an offence made by a young woman? Does a dress of woman judge the character of a woman?
All these questions are being raised by the students, who are shocked to see the college they believed to be progressive reaffirm the cliché of how a woman is judged based on her dress.
Although the college has now stopped a strict impose on students due to the uproar and widespread protest on social media, the fear within the students that they would not be allowed in class because of what they are wearing has still not left their minds.
One of the students spoke to The Wire and mentioned how there are several issues with the college which includes a regular shortage of water in the washrooms, and how the non-concern to make students cover-up is chosen instead to be addressed.
Students dress over welfare surely seems to be the new focus for this popular college.