OSS on dress code: ‘These are not new rules’

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IN RESPONSE to students’ comments on the stricter implementation of the Loyola Schools (LS) dress code during ID-related transactions, OSS Director Cholo Mallillin said that their office is just reinforcing policy already stated in the LS Undergraduate Student Handbook.

On August 8, the Ateneo Student Blueboard Facebook page posted an infographic on the dress code guidelines, along with the caption, “Please take note of the proper guidelines of the dress code for the Loyola Schools.” This prompted confusion and elicited various reactions among some Ateneans.

Blueboard then edited the caption on the same day to clarify that the dress code guidelines are relevant to ongoing ID services and that they are strictly enforced in LS offices and departments.

The new caption read: “Please take note of the Guidelines on Dress Code for the Loyola Schools pertinent to ID Services to to be rendered by the OSS. The LS Dresscode is enforced in all LS Offices. Schools and Departments may also issue more specific guidelines to be enforced within their area of jurisdiction.”

“ID application is an official function of the OSS. Basta kaya kami naglabas ng guidelines with pictures para people know na when they’re dressed like this, automatically, we cannot serve them. Hindi namin sila papalayasin, but we will not render them the service, which they are also responsible for,” said Mallillin.

(ID application is an official function of the OSS. The only reason why we released the guidelines is for people to know that when they’re dressed like this, automatically, we cannot serve them. We won’t send them away, but we will not render them the service, which they are also responsible for.)

“These are not new rules. Whatever is on the Student Blueboard is a reminder of guidelines that have been enforced for the longest time in the Loyola Schools,” he added.

Mallillin also said that OSS should be “strict” in implementing the dress code since they are the office in charge of the handbook.

According to the Implementing Guidelines on the Loyola Schools Dress Code released on December 6, 2007 by then-Vice President for the Loyola Schools, the dress code is enforced in all offices of all Ateneo administrators and Xavier Hall offices. This includes the OSS and all its transactions.

Consultations

Sanggunian officers are currently holding consultations regarding the dress code’s stricter implementation.

Some have questioned the sudden stricter implementation, while some thought that it was an unnecessary convenience, especially if students will only validate or claim their IDs.

[G]ets kung bakit kailangan [ang dress code] sa ID application, pero sa ID validation where you just give your ID and they put a sticker on it? [B]aka kailangan pang umuwi ng bahay para lang sa sticker sa ID? [S]ame goes for transactions kung top up lang kailangan,” tweeted communication junior Maia Dapul in response to Sanggunian President Ia Marañon’s crowdsourcing tweet.

(I get [why the dress code is needed] for ID application, but for ID validation where you just give your ID and they put a sticker on it? They might even need to go home just for the ID sticker? Same goes for transactions if only the top is needed.)

Others questioned the need for a dress code in the first place by adding their comments upon sharing Blueboard’s Facebook post.

“It's like Ateneo forgets how hot the campus can be. We're supposed to be old enough to make decisions that affect our lives for the rest of time, but we apparently can't make the decisions on what we wear [or] how we want others to perceive us,” said communications technology management supersenior Justine Lara Chua.

“After years of hounding the Rizal Library for having a dress code, we were so happy when they finally discontinued it. Now, all of the Loyola Schools apparently have a dress code. Dress codes are stupid and sexist, and my hemline is none of your business. Stay out of our closets, Ateneo,” said Marianne Vitug (AB POS ‘15).

In a separate statement, Mallillin said that while he believed that the school should “maintain some standard of strictness” regarding the dress code, he agreed that it “may need” updating since the rules were drafted more than a decade ago.

“I welcome any move of the Sanggu to initiate such discussions,” he said. Mallillin also said that he will await the results of the consultation before discussing the matter with the administration.

Selective enforcement?

On reports that there was selective enforcement between men and women, Mallillin apologized for not being able to oversee this personally, and that measures will be taken to ensure that the dress code is fairly imposed to all.

Mallillin also said that clearer reinforcement of the dress code guidelines is “part of  formation.”

He also mentioned that he did not want the freshmen to have a wrong impression of the Ateneo. “I don’t want them to come on the first day of class and see na parang the rules aren’t really that serious. I don’t want them to have that perception,” he added.

“The Loyola Schools dress code is particularly in place, as all the rules are, to provide a perspective of formation on our students. The formation here is that you should dress accordingly according to the academic nature of the school,” he said.

Students' rights

Meanwhile, School of Social Sciences Representative Dasha Uy believes that students have the right to receive education and services in school regardless of what they wear.

She also said that the Sanggunian is currently discussing the matter and that students must be able to voice their concerns should the dress code be implemented more strictly.

“Having a dress code implies that respectability lies in the clothes, and not in the person him[self] or herself. I think that's a dangerous thing to even implicitly teach the student body. What we wear doesn't have any bearing on how well we learn in the first place, which is what we're here for. We don't stop being students if we don't comply with the dress code; so why should we, students, be denied services which are supposed to be for students?” she said.

“Suffice it to say the Sanggu is talking about it, and will keep talking about it. If admin wants to begin strictly implementing, I think it's only fair that students be involved and have a say in what they can and can't wear,” she added.

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