FROM white, to gray, to white again.

After 40 years, the Faculty of Engineering has come to realize that the traditional white-colored uniform is more “professional-looking” for its students.

Just in time for the opening of the new academic year, Engineering changed its gray-and-black female uniform to white, similar to what students in the faculty wore in the 1970s.

In a referendum last January, 85 percent of students from the faculty voted to change the uniform.

“Our old uniform drew criticisms. People said it looked like those of a helper and utility personnel,” said Engineering Student Council President Airalynne Torres. “We in the student council were aware of the students’ complaints, so we proposed to change [the uniform] to something professional. [In white,] we can be identified as college students.”

But Engineering Dean Josefin de Alban said the new uniform design was approved not because of criticisms but due to the need to “inspire students to do good” while in school.

“We changed the uniform not because the students looked like janitors or factory workers. This violates the virtue of labor dignity,” he said. “We changed it for them to be motivated on their studies [without being distracted by negative comments].”

The gray-colored female uniform was replaced by a white blouse accented by gray linings between the collar. The upper-left side pocket of the uniform now bears the faculty’s seal and additional pockets are placed on the lower part of the blouse. Pants were also changed from black to gray.

Torres said the students’ clamor for a uniform change in 2007 did not succeed due to the former dean’s disapproval and low student participation.

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“Last year, we again petitioned to change the uniform and presented different designs to Dean [De Alban]. It is good to know that, finally, our proposal was granted in time for the University’s Quadricentennial,” she said.

Only minor changes were made to the males’ uniform—the gray lining above the chest pocket replaced the old black lining.

Psychology of colors

De Alban said the new uniform design, the 10th revision since 1907, followed the “psychology of colors,” where white is “enlightening.”

“The color white is pure and it also motivates students to study better,” he said.

The new design will be easier for tailors to replicate.

“The color white was approved because students are complaining that the gray-colored cloth [for the previous uniform] is not easy to find,” he said.

The new uniform is compulsory only for freshmen and optional for those in higher years.

Meanwhile, the colleges of Rehabilitation Sciences and Science have added their college logos on their uniforms, also for identification purposes. R. D. Madrid


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