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Dress code irks students

Anna University students object to the Vice Chancellor's decision of banning jeans and t-shirts in college.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2006 18:10 IST

President APJ Kalam has a campus puzzle to solve. In an unprecedented step, some students of Anna University have complained to the President about "the harsh dress code and blanket ban on mobile phones in the academic zones" of the university campus.

In a five-page letter to Kalam, a former student and visiting professor of the university till be became President, the students, while welcoming the ban on revealing outfits, have objected to university vice-chancellor D Viswanathan’s decision banning jeans and T-shirts in college, even though they aren’t revealing in nature.

"We students, who have the right to decide whom to elect and the ability to design microsatellites, surely should be given the right to decide what we wear," they said.

Furthermore, they pointed out that the VC had, during an interview on national television, lied by saying that "the dress code has been welcomed by all students, thus painting a false picture about our reactions". They also protested the VC’s directive that all students proceed to the playgrounds in formal wear and change to sports wear only at the ground, and then change back to formal wear before returning to the hostel.

On the ban on mobile phones, students said they had no objection to cell phones being banned in the academic zone -— in classrooms, lecture hall, laboratories and examination halls. But they did not welcome the ban on cellphones during lunch break in the canteen and after college hours in the playground.

They alleged that when some students had been compelled to stay back in hostel after the first semester due to floods, their phones had been confiscated when they were proceeding to their hometown.

The students said the Vice Chancellor could install signal jammers in the academic zone if he so desired but had no right to invade students’ privacy and subject them to the “humiliation of unjustified frisking”, as if they were terrorists.

Describing Kalam as a President with a difference, as someone with a keen interest in the welfare of the student community, they urged him "to direct the VC to reconsider and repeal these utterly unreasonable rules".

First Published: Jan 20, 2006 15:30 IST