Do you remember the last time you heard the phrase “Bond of good behavior?” I guess that was way back in Senior High School probably when the disciplinary committee decided to punish a vagabond.

Like a joke, students of the Faculty of Social Sciences did not take it serious when they heard the phrase recently. It was being heard from friends and little by little it gained public attention. It got much attention through an article titled Is Dr. Amuza Right? by King Midas Amoateng (a fun of Fufu and Energy drink) who condemned the action of one female lecturer who seized students slippers at the Central Classroom Block (CCB).

Dr. Azumah, Patron of Discipline and Career Development Unit, Faculty of Social Sciences-KNUST started seizing slippers at the CCB last week. Some students had to abandon lectures simply because they were afraid to stand the shame of the act and others for fear of dismissal on grounds that they engaged in a holy fight.

I’m not against the idea of decent dressing but the definition of decent seems unclear and the approach, outmoded at birth. If authorities are saying that Students “who wear ‘SLIPPERS’ will be asked to go back to their rooms to change after one of the slippers has been confiscated” then I think it isn’t a fair deal at all. Are the victims expected to walk with one slipper like a “mad man” and as an instrument of mockery to passers by? what if the victim ends up stepping on a sharp object that may cause injury? You see, the sad aspect is that you will be asked to present a letter endorsed by yourself and your HoD as a bond of good behaviour”. Are they telling us that wearing slippers henceforth is synonymous to putting up bad behaviour or they just lack a better way to express what they mean? what would be the relevance of signing the bond anyway?

In the same communiqué issued by the authorities (signed by authorities of the faculty administration and the leadership of SOCIOSO) it was also noted that guys who ” ‘SAG’ their pants and ladies who highly exposed certain vital parts” of the body would be prevented from entering the CCB. I do not know, unless I’m yet to be enlightened, how they tend to distinguish between vital body parts and non vital body parts. Which part of the body isn’t vital and which is? Are they now implying that “privates parts” are now vital and non-private parts have become irrelevant? suppose that’s what they mean then I think they should explain and pin point those parts that aren’t vital so we can start cutting of some parts.

Dressing I believe is a language and also a way of expression. If students are restricted from wearing what they desire to put on due to morality (good and bad or decent and indecent) sake then I’m afraid many would find it difficult to comply. I wouldn’t be surprised to see students demonstrating against such an immature policy. If the Authorities expect compliance and legitimacy then they should think of the physically challenged who have problem with using sandals and shoes, they should make provision for the injured, they should define clearly what it meant to say “decent dressing” with the notion of students’ right and freedoms in mind.

My question to the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) Discipline and Career Development Unit is; do students have to write letters or seek permission before they wear what they feel would best suit them? Is the freedom of expression of students now dependent on the dictates of the Faculty administration? Where in the student guide has it been stated that slippers and short wears are to be seized? Are we going to have a prospectus that would now spell out what to wear and what not to wear?

The firm dictates of a leader may silence his resisters but the resistance of the masses would penetrate.

Posted by Mathias Aheto

A Columnist, a poet and social commentator. I.T and Website manger for KNUST-Social Sciences Society

One comment on this post

  1. Mercy Adoley Addo says:

    I believe that in every institution, there are norms,rules and regulations governing it so if the faculty of social science society is setting out these rules,as members of the faculty, we have to abide by it and respect it. However I think they should make it clear to students before they apply for any course from the social science faculty just like that of d business school, where they make it clear about their prescribed attire. With this, student who choose to offer the course are already aware of the fact that any other attire apart from the proscribed one will not be tolerated. Hence student have the right to choose to apply or not to apply to that particular course because he or she wants to have the freedom of wearing what he or she pleases if not,the university should set standards and state clearly what and what not students are supposed to wear. Thank you

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