Nothing in the way they stood by the bus stop of the New Hall Hostel of the
‘’You should’ve looked closer’’, Adebowale Ayobade who teaches Sociology at that University told me. ‘’What you just saw at that bus stop perfectly demonstrates the concept, ‘appearance and reality’. When some of these girls show up for classes, there is no difference between them and the provocative come-get-me attires of the ladies of the oldest profession. Because we’ve had a hell of a time chasing them away from classes, they’ve devised all sorts of methods to fool us. The black shawls you saw on those girls is a cover for the ‘spaghetti tops’, ‘wicked straps’, ‘mono straps’, and ‘show-me-your-belly’ dresses they put on’’, she explained. Ayobade says that a lot of the female lecturers in her school who constituted themselves in a vigilante and mounted a crusade against indecent and provocative dressing are getting tired of chasing indecently dressed female students about. According to her, ‘’most of us are just trying to be in loco parentis for the irresponsible parents who hardly did their homework with these wayward girls. I hope you know that we were not employed as dress vigilantes, were we?’’ she asked. What about the male teachers? Their condition is a difficult one, says Simon Omoake, a final year student of English who claims to know why male lecturers don’t get involved with the issue of dress concerning female students. According to him, some of these girls dress to seduce either the lecturers or those he referred to as ‘aristos’. A lot of times, many a lecturer had been slapped with a sexual harassment accusation, much to their consternation and embarrassment. ‘You see most of them strutting about in these revealing clothes? Some are from polygamous, poor homes who can barely feed well daily. They go out to meet men and try to carry on like their room mates’’, he says of them. He also claims the others are virgins who wear provocative gear as a defense mechanism to scare lecturers and students alike.
But is there anything intrinsically wrong with the manner of dress of students who live in a city as
One glance at the document provided by the Dean of Students Affairs dubbed ‘DRESS CODE FOR STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, reveals that it includes all such values like cleanliness, neatness, modesty and decency ‘’which reflect individual dignity and sobriety through which students as well as staff and faculty represent the professional status of their respective disciplines’’. Those for which it was apparently made, like Oyewusi Abimbola, masters’ student in survey and geo-informatics department insists that the code is an irrelevant document. According to her, ‘’well dressing is something embedded in our culture and in our religion even though you shouldn’t be religious to dress well. So why take the pains to force students to dress well when they should’ve been taught that in their kindergarten classes?’’, she asks. John Stevens, 30, ex-student of LASU, says the same thing. ‘’Indecent dressing is a reflection of the larger society. Some students are just copycats of what they see their mummies and daddies do outside and at their homes’’, he told the magazine. But as far as Agape Dom who is a businessman and pastor is concerned, a dress code embedded in a document to regulate the dress culture of students is a waste of everybody’s time. While waiting to register his wife for a degree programme with the Lagos State University, LASU, Anthony Campus, Dom told the magazine, ‘’there’s not one university in the south, east and western parts of this country that should have any claim to decency in the way students dress’’. According to him, only the universities in the North have students who are not provocatively and vivaciously dressed because of their rigid Sharia stipulation for ‘ado mekyo’, well dressing. ‘’Policy makers are the people making these girls dress outlandishly when they pick them up for wild orgies in town. How then can you expect them to be either incorrigible or well shod when the basis for being picked up by wealthy people is outlandish dressing?