Amid Protest, St Francis College Lifts its New Dress Code

On Monday, the management of St Francis College decided to lift its new dress code which made it mandatory for students to wear knee-length kurtis.

According to the News Minute, students blocked the college’s main gate to talk to the college management. Later that day, the college informed student representatives about doing away with the dress code. “We are now allowed to dress as per the undertaking which allows us to wear clothes except mini-skirts and crop tops,” a student said.

The decision, students say, came as a result of the protest staged the same day and a series of resistance movements put forth by students in the preceding months. The new dress code was implemented on August 1, 2019.

In mid-July, the college had issued a circular instructing students to wear knee-length kurtis to college. When student representatives tried to strike a dialogue with the administration for imposing, what they called, a “regressive” dress code, they were moral policed.

Last week, on Friday, the college deployed a lady security guard at the entrance who didn’t allow those students whose kurtis were not of the right length. In a video that went viral, the college’s principal, sister Sandra Horta, is seen questioning a group of students whose kurtis were above their knees.

Agitated, students came out in huge numbers, filled up the lane leading up to the college gate and demanded the administration to scrap the rule.

“We don’t have a problem with restrictions on wearing sleeveless, cold shoulder or crop tops. However, the administration cannot decide the length of our kurtis. We have a problem with the mentality, not with the dress code rule,” Hadia Rafeeq – vice president of first-year bachelor of commerce batch – told the Times of India.

After a two-hour long discussion with the student representatives, the college’s principal announced that the rule stands cancelled. However, students will have to follow the undertaking (on dress code) signed by them while joining the college.

All in all, students are happy with the decision. The Hans India quoted one of them as saying: “It is the first war that we have fought in our lives.”

Featured image credit: Video screengrab