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Monday, January 19, 2009

Wearing shorts and tank-tops is akin to prostitution???

Original comments from a reporter when MDIS came out with this rule

WHEN the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) enforced a dress code for its students two months ago, it led to an uproar among the students.

Much as I would like to say I support such a rule, I found, unfortunately, that I was more inclined towards indignation.

Why? Because having graduated not long ago, I was one of those students who dressed casually.

Shorts, micro-skirts, tank-tops ? I wore them all.

I understand the conservatives who protest that a tertiary institution deserves respect, and that dressing appropriately on the premises is required.

But I take offence when people say that wearing shorts and tank-tops is akin to prostitution.

The dress code prompted a Stomp contributor to comment: ?You go (to school) to get an education, not to prostitute yourself.?

I believe Singapore has not come to the point where having long hair and wearing a tank-top constitutes prostitution.

Besides, isn't a tertiary institution one which promotes independence, creativity and exploration?

My university years were among the best times of my life – well, partly because I did not have to wake up early.

Rouse me from bed before 7am and I turn into an emotionally-unstable grouch.

More importantly, it marked for me my first tentative steps as an adult.

I was happy because of the freedom that I was enjoying for the first time.

To me, university is a time when you break away from the constraints of secondary school and junior college, with their rigid class schedules and uniforms.

It is also the period where you are taught to stand on your own feet; where there is freedom to choose your modules, freedom to study when you want to, freedom to go as you will, freedom to think beyond things that are taken for granted, and freedom to dream.

And, of course, freedom to dress as you like.

During this time, you get to learn discipline as well as manage your time and life in a way that works for you.

We will wear more solemn – and appropriate – clothes for the next 40 years, so do we really have to start so young?

Only in a comfortable and non-restrictive environment can we learn how to express ourselves and build our own identity.

When you bind students to an unforgiving dress code, it is somewhat incongruous with the vision universities have of nurturing creativity and critical thinking in their students.

My take on the matter?

Give tertiary students a break. Allow them to enjoy this period of their life, and let them grow up at their own pace. Because, trust me, they will in due time.


The reply from a reader...

Fine to dress down - outside school

I REFER to the commentary, 'Wearing shorts sluttish? Give me a break' (my paper, Jan 14).

I am aware of the situation the columnist refers to, having graduated from a tertiary institution not long ago.

When I was in campus, there were many students who dressed casually in shorts, micro- skirts and tank-tops. Some students sported dyed hair and came to classes with thick make-up.

I am not for or against their style of dress, which is now common. However, I wish to point out the fact that most local tertiary institutions and universities (except junior colleges, which have uniforms) uphold a common dress code.

Many students in these institutions pursue higher learning for the sake of professional advancement.

Thus, I hope that these students would be responsible when it comes to their actions, moral obligations and, yes, dressing.

As pointed out by the writer, students' university years mark their first steps into adulthood. Dress is an important indicator of one's image, regardless of one's race, religion or social background.

Students should be grateful that they have the opportunity to further their studies and contribute to Singapore's progress.

Dressing sloppily in class could project a negative image not only to lecturers, but also to the general public.

My question is: What is so wrong about dressing appropriately for school?

Everyone has many opportunities in their private lives, such as at home and at outings with friends, to dress casually and let their hair down.

I hope that my honest opinion on the issue will not be seen in a negative light.

Mr Muhammad Dzul Azhan Haji Sahban


bebek said...

i cannot fathom and understand why girls like to wear sexy clothes?? don't they fear men or boys with excessive and explosive libido????

Pu-3 said...

Dressing sloppily does not necessarily equates to wearing shorts. The proper word should be "skimpily". Note the malapropism. In my opinion, I think it depends on the socioculture practiced by the institution. Imagine being smartly dressed in long sleeve smart shirt and long smart pants EVERYDAY to school when you are supposed to be dressed casually. We shouldn't be too rigid about this as this will only impede creativity thus producing a robot-like society.

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