Nigeran undergraduates have embraced fashion trends that appear a little extravagant for students who are supposed to be certified worthy in character and learning upon graduation. The so-called civilisation and the reality that one who has secured university admission seems to be accountable to this trend which is fast becoming a norm among young people, despite several efforts by various school authorities to tame it.
The Guardian checks revealed that enforcing a decent dress code among undergraduates is one aspect that has not been successfully regulated by tertiary institutions owing to students’ defiance to laid down rules. Several schools have adopted different strategies to control students’ inappropriate dressings, yet little or no success has been achieved.
However, some students that spoke with our reporters have suggested that enacting strict regulations, empowering a body to enforce it and sanctioning offenders are one sure way of curbing the act. Others said it could be tamed by orientation and reorientation of students on the need to dress decently at all times, while a few suggested that mandating departmental wears for all students might be the solution, even though it may seem to negate the liberties that should be enjoyed by the students.
A student of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Sasere Taiwo, said universities should create and strengthen a regulatory body so as to enforce stricter rules on dressing. “They should ensure that students are regularly monitored by the student affairs official upon entrance into the premises.”
Ayoola Ore, a student of Tai Solarin University of Education,(TASUED), said regular inspection of students as well as strict punishment to offenders, will sure help. For Ejimofor Gloria, from University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), “students should be lectured on good dress ethics since they are in the learning field.”Chimezie Fortunatus, also from UNN, recommended continuous sensitisation of students on the need of proper dress ethics, saying, “there should be orientation and reorientation on the need for decency in dressing.”
Affirming that offensive dressing is fast becoming a tradition in most Nigerian universities, Uwaoma Adimchi, also a UNN student said: “Improper dressing is nothing new on campus as more than half of the students dress inappropriately. Ranging from sagging and raggedy dressing for males to wearing of revealing dresses among females.”
But, Obunike Christopher from UNN thinks differently as he described dressing as a thing of choice mainly based on different personalities. For him, “what I may regard as indecent might not be what some other person sees as indecent.”A student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), who identified herself as Gbemisola, said, “we are at liberty to select clothing according to preference as long as it is not unsuitable.”
Speaking on the impact of dress code, a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) who identified himself as Abana, disclosed that a lot of students use departmental wears as permissible impropriety.A student of Abia State University (ABSU), Onyinye Kemakolam, stated that dress codes have done so little to curb indecent dressing on campuses.
“There are cases where female students wear revealing blouses on tiny skirts and the males fly-out, sag and go as far as wearing bathroom slippers which is both ridiculous and improper.”Tosin Adebogun from UNILAG said that their school’s management had released a circular preaching to students to endeavour to dress appropriately, yet “most students still dress like they were attending casual parties and not lectures.”
However, most religious-based institutions have succeeded in inculcating moderation in their students through regulatory bodies like disciplinary committees, panels and the likes, which is to the disappointment of some of these students, as they have alleged infringement on their rights to freedom of expression.A student of Kano State Polytechnic, Ibrahim Mariam, revealed that only cover-up dresses are acceptable as decent dresses in their institution. “For females, sleeveless dresses, skimpy gowns, and trousers are prohibited except with long hijabs,” she said.