- Youth Correspondent - http://youthcorrespondent.com -

NUST’s Dress Code: What They Are Saying

“I have visited the world’s top universities for days at a stretch. In none of them did I see restrictions on clothes and nobody banned eating in corridors and places. In some, people went around in shorts and sandals, and even barefoot for a short time in the summer, without raising eyebrows. At Berkeley and Heidelberg even faculty wore jeans at times. The overall value which was practiced was that you are free to choose the clothes you wear. A student is a grownup and grownups are not treated like schoolchildren. In Pakistan, faculty and administration treat students as if they are five-year-olds.” – Dr Tariq Rehman, at Tribune.

“The dress-code was applicable to the NUST Business School since its inception in 1999. It is mentioned in the prospectus, and also discussed in the orientation. Boys have to wear ties and dress pants, while girls have to wear shalwar kameez while we train them for a future in the corporate sector, where they have to look a certain way. They cannot go in the field with their beards and jeans.” – Dr. Ashfaq Hasan Khan, of the NBS Administration.

“While the conservatives praised the varsity, terming it as one of its kind by highlighting its academic side, others spoke about the suffocation felt by students who deal with the stress on a daily basis. Whether jeans pose a threat to security or whether the varsity has an alumnus making it bigger in the industry than Steve Jobs – who happened to have a beard, are some of the questions poking fun at the university’s decision that takes away personal choices from the students.” – Maha Musaddaq, at Tribune.

“The Harvard Business School explicitly states on its website that its dress code is business casual attire during the school year for most of their departments. Bring this into context with Nust, jeans and tights do not necessarily scream formal business attire, which the students at NBS are expected to conform to. The subsequent linkage of the fines to stifling the creative and intellectual freedom of the students at NUST is not.” – Raja Omer, at Tribune.

“Universities generally are expected to offer far more freedom to students than schools. Partly this is because it is universally accepted that those attending universities are young adults who are about to enter practical life, and secondly, because unlike schools, institutes of higher education are also supposed to encourage original thought. And it is generally accepted that free thought flourishes in the opposite of a regimented lifestyle. But sadly universities in Pakistan do not aim for these goals.” – Anonymous, at Dawn.

“Girls were not fined for being vulgar or whatever terms you are calling them or because NUST wants to establish a certain religion’s teachings. They were fined because they violated a code of conduct which they had agreed to follow when they took admission. Every university and organization has certain rules and regulations and a way to impose and implement them.” – Fahaad Humayun, of YC and NUST.

“People who have been saying it’s just at NBS to train students for the corporate sector are wrong. It isn’t just at NBS. It’s in Pindi and in Karachi too. And it’s growing. At PNEC and at EME, civilian students are treated as if they have registered for the navy or the army. PNEC recently reintroduced the uniform [white shirt and grey pants] for its civilian students. EME already has it, I think.” – Sarah Raza, on a private blog.

“It does not matter that NUST has had its dress code defined since the 90s, or the stone-age for that matter. It also does not matter that the prospectus mentions the dress-code, or that the students signed it. The whole point of the debate is that universities need to create an environment for their students that is constructive, and not detrimental to their professional development. People who have been pointing out dress codes of other universities failed to notice that not even one of them has banned jeans or told the students to wear a certain set of clothes. Forget about the jeans. The other day, I was fined five hundred bucks for wearing a dress pant that was not the right shade of grey. Is NUST really defining futures with that kind of attitude? You be the judge.” – Ali Qamber, a NUST student and YC Editor.