Friday, September 7, 2007

On School Uniforms & Dress Codes (Part I)

My middle daughter goes to an all-girl Catholic college, a true-blue colegiala, so I won't mention her school nalang. I want to believe that she's in her comfort zone, but I'm fooling myself. I knew right off (she told me herself) that she just preferred going to somewhere that required a uniform. She was always serious about school, so having to don the same outfit everyday gave her time for the more important stuff. And when your head is fuzzy in the mornings, like hers is, it's clearly a no-brainer.


My son goes to DLSU. Typically, I never noticed &/or he never brought up the fact that he's been wearing the same set of clothes I got him in his freshman year (he's a senior). Though he claims he doesn't care, he still looks put together. Everyone else in the campus dresses very well. As DLSU remains a Catholic learning institution with tuition a premium, it's no surprise. Last year though, there was a move to impose a dress code. Most vehemently opposed were the proposed bans on certain types of footwear. The males would have been disallowed to wear their sandals and the female coeds, their precious Havaianas. The horror!! The student body won that round.


My other two daughters go to Silliman University where the vibe is more bohemian. (Think UP in the late 70's before the rich kids started enrolling there). There's a diverse demographic represented in the campus. Only a small percentage of the population is actually based in Dumaguete. Students come from all over the country and recently, from different parts of the world. With increased cultural exposure, the youth became more sophisticated. Knowing what's current is easy with the advent of real-time information transmission. Telecommunications giant Globe Telecoms has recognized this upcoming force and came up with the MySilliman SIM. Further, it has made wireless connectivity available in the campus.

Silliman is hip, in a laid-back sort of way. (Am I making sense?)

At the heels of Foundation Week festivities however, yesterday's issue of The Weekly Sillimanian reported somber news:

"The proposed dress code policy states that men should not wear sleeveless shirts; tank tops; flimsy or see-through pants, shorts, or shirts; "porontong;" and short shorts.

On the other hand, women should not wear micro-mini skirts; mini skirts; backless, strapless, or off-shoulder attire; see-through blouses and skirts; skirts with slits reaching the upper thighs; hanging, tube or spaghetti [sic!] blouses and dresses; plunging necklines; leggings; short shorts; PE shorts; and bra-less outfits.

Moreover, both men and women are prohibited from wearing rubber, bedroom or bathroom slippers; tattered or torn pants; and items of clothing that show foul language and/or graphics."

If approved, the proposed dress code will take effect next school year.

Who draws the line and defines decency and modesty? The same piece of clothing may look cute on one girl and obscene on another. Is it then all a matter of bra size? The only answer to this issue is ban these clothing altogether, with no partiality to age, creed, race, or dress size. This is what SU plans to do.

If parents do not censor their children's clothes, can the school take over? Given, most these students stay in dormitories away from home. They observe an extraordinary amount of independence and responsibility until graduation. Should we not grant them at least the freedom to choose what they wear?

End of Part One.

1 comment:

  1. i like my school.., its my comfort zone,
    thankyouverymuch.. :)