On Monday, September 16, nearly 400 students of St Francis Women’s College in Hyderabad protested against the college administration’s bizarre dress code which prohibited them from wearing kurtas above knee length. The dress code was brought in mid-year in August and had been a point of contention over the past few weeks. Things came to a turn when last week videos of Sister Sandra, the principal of the college checking the length of the girls’ kurtas near the college gate the went viral. The videos showed students being stopped at the gate and turned away from attending classes and parents being screamed at. The college had also appointed female security guards to enforce the dress code strictly. Calling the administration’s practices regressive and a violation of their basic rights, the students collectively demanded for the dress code to be lifted. But this is not the first time that St Francis College has been in the news over its controversial dress code or its need to control the students agency over their body. In this episode of The Suno India Show we bring to you voices of students who participated in the protest and also that of Dipanjali Rao, an alumnus of St Francis College who had written about the dress code and moral policing by the college nearly 2 decades ago.
Many colleges take to shaming the students when the rules aren’t being followed. When approached, the college authorities were not open for comments.