Dress diktat irks Kolkata's Scottish Church College students

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Jun 29, 2015 15:24 IST

The Scottish Church College campus is on the boil following a notice on dress code put up by the authorities on the college website. The website bars boys from wearing round neck T-shirts and asks girls to wear skirts knee length and below. Scottish Church authorities recommend that students come to college in simple dress suitable for an academic environment, taking into account the heritage of the college and Indian culture in general.

The notice dated June 27 and signed by rector John Abraham says, clothing worn to the college should reflect the seriousness and importance of the learning environment. Therefore, students’ attire is expected to be based on modesty, neatness, cleanliness, good taste and safety on the campus.

The authorities recommends that students come to college in simple and unostentatious dress suitable for an academic environment, taking into account the heritage of the college and Indian culture in general.

The notice then goes on to point out what students are allowed and barred from wearing in details. The students have been asked to avoid wearing T-shirts with any kind of captions and writings on them. While students will be allowed to wear only full length trousers girls choosing to wear sarees and salwar would have to wear them ‘properly’. And those wanting to wear skirts to college will have to ensure that it is below knee length. Boys have been specifically asked to avoid wearing round neck T-shirts. Also, the college has made it clear that boys with earrings or ear, chin and nose studs will not be allowed on campus.

While the notice has become the cause of hue and cry among former and present students calling the move a medieval age diktat but Abraham fails to understand why students have such extreme reaction.

“The dress code put up in the college website was always there. Every year, during orientation in the first year, students are enlightened about this including other rules and regulations of the college. This is a heritage institution. It has some regulations and everyone has to abide by them,” he said.

“Moreover, this is not new. This dress code was always there. Only this year, the college council felt that the notice should be put up on the college website so that parents get to know about them and see that their children don’t flout the norms,” Abraham added.

Abhisek Dutta, an alumnus of the college currently working in the IT sector in Sector V like many of his friends has been taken aback. “What! Boys cannot wear round neck t-shirts? Even offices allow it!” he exclaimed on Facebook. Anjum Baba, another former student of the college, however, feels that dress code is necessary. “I agree with my college. To some extent, our dress sense reflects our personality and seriousness. I remember how a decade back two girls were thrown out of campus because of their eyebrow piercing. My college has always promoted discipline and modesty. Round neck T-shirts should have been allowed,” she said.

College authorities claim that students would not face any serious penal action and that the disciplinary action has been mentioned with a view to making it act as a deterrent for unwilling students.

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