Debates galore on this subject. The pendulum swings from freedom of expression on the one side to regimental discipline on the other; the topic has been flogged so severely I believe the issue has now gone limp. Yet, here’s an opportunity to air my views and here they go. Defining dress code would probably be a good way to start. To me, dress code includes the kind of dress one wears along with the styling, design, colours, what have you. It also includes other accessories that go with the dress including footwear, grooming, overall appearance etc. The other is a caveat, by dress code; I am NOT referring to uniforms.
One of the prime objectives of dress code in our institution is to bring about uniformity among the students in matters of dress. Our student community hails from various walks of life and it is imperative that a sense of uniformity and parity permeates amongst the entire student community. We believe that a dress code eliminates any room for discrimination or differentiation on any count. And provides every student with a standardised platform to learn and grow, reflecting the culture we Indians follow. The other is, of course, to sensitise them on the importance of grooming, proper attire and its social significance.
It is well accepted that a neat, well dressed individual radiates a confident personality and a neat organised mind. Clothes do speak your character.Dress code also prepares the student to face the corporate world with dignity. Interaction with industry is a norm is these days and the industry interface is almost on a daily basis. Being dressed appropriately and groomed well exudes self-confidence at its best while on the other side, it helps minimise awkward and hesitant interaction. Let’s not forget that the college is the last portal before the student faces the industry for employment. Hence, dress code presents the best opportunity to the students to familiarise themselves on the expectations of and practices in the industry.
A four-year term is long enough for the student to come to feel comfortable with oneself and a structured dress code as prevalent in the chosen industry. Specialists recruited to impart soft skills to student community often emphasise on the obvious. A well dressed individual radiates a positive attitude to boot. A healthy mind is a consequence of proper attire and careful grooming. The healthy mind channelises the student energy to focus better on the academics at the college, the job they do inside an organisation and the external community they come into contact with as a consequence of the jobs handled. In the process, it makes the students perform better as secure and successful individuals.
Now to the obvious. Does it mean a strict ‘no-no’ to be oneself in matters of dress? We do read the pulse of our students well. Occasions such as culturals and festivals present the students with an excellent opportunity to reflect their individuality and style, besides adding a dash of colour and gaiety to the environment. One final point: At our institutions, the dress code applies equally to our faculty and the management as well; a healthy example for students to follow.
Annie Jacob is Director, KCG College of Technology (a unit of Hindustan Group of Institutions) and the views reflected here are her own, as an educationist and a student as well.
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