Story By: Sarah Agyekum (Level 300JNB)
The Dean of students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Mr. Stephen Frimpong Manso has disclosed that decency is all that counts as appropriate in a student’s appearance for lectures.
GIJ, a professional and an academic university that trains individuals with the desire to work in the media has enshrined in its Students’ Handbook, the dress code for lectures. According to section 7.8 of the Handbook ‘students should dress respectably for lectures.’
In an interview with gijonlinenews, Mr. Frimpong Manso revealed that there is no specific dress code for lectures. “The presumption is that there must be a prescribed sort of dress code. However, you will realize that GIJ is a university and as a tertiary institution, there isn’t anything like a cut and paste dress code like that of the high schools,” he said.
“By our very convention of tertiary education in the country, students are supposed to appear in decent dresses. Decency is cardinal in terms of understanding and modeling. Students are to dress well so that nobody will raise issues about their dressing when they get to the job market,” he added.
He further stated that it is now prescribed in the university’s Students’ Handbook that students should be decently dressed saying, “so now decency is the goal of the dress.”
Mr. Frimpong Manso mentioned that the word decency is perhaps misunderstood. “Unfortunately, students probably do not understand decency. Therefore, the students appear in certain forms of dresses that to them, there isn’t anything wrong with,” he said.
“On a couple of occasions, I have interacted with students in the form of confrontation in some of my lectures on the dress they put on. From all indications, they didn’t see anything wrong with what they had put on, so, I asked them to read a portion of the Handbook to know if they were decently dressed or not and report back to me. The revelation was that they still believed they were well dressed,” he added.
He explained decent dressing as not being about wearing expensive dresses. “When we say one is decently dressed, it doesn’t connote expensive and flamboyant dresses. Decent dressing means putting on something that will not bring up issues,” he said.
“GIJ is a professional and an academic university that requires its students to dress according to their profession,” he emphasized.
According to Mr. Frimpong Manso, a decently dressed lady should cover herself up and not reveal much of her curves. “To me a decently dressed lady should wear something like a skirt and a blouse or a pair of trousers and a blouse. The trousers should not be the skinny type because they are not decent and cannot be taken to offices. The skinny types are swimming costumes and they belong to the beaches not the campus. These types are problematic,” he added.
He again stated that it does not matter the type of blouse students put on the skinny trousers, these trousers tend to reveal everything about a lady and so they are not good for the office as well as campus.
To the men, he stated that they should not pull down their trousers as it amounts to indecent dressing. In his view, the men should put on a shirt and well-fixed trousers to match.
He explained some measures that can help curb the current situation on students’ dresses. “I believe there should be a way out to this. First, there should be an orientation of fresh students on the dress code and a reorientation of continuing students on how best they should dress. Authorities should be on the lookout for students who do not dress in conformity to the dictates of the Students’ Handbook. Students should also be their own supervisors of their dressing,” he stated.
“A sanction should be prescribed for those who go contrary to the dress code. The student should be made to forfeit lectures for a number of days,” he added.
He advised that students mirror their lecturers. “I believe there shouldn’t be anything like a stick on dressing. Students should model their lecturers because university education is about modeling the students for the job market,” he said.