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THE OFFICE of the Secretary General has reiterated a ban on “unconventional” hair colors on campus, drawing mixed reactions from students.

The ban, contained in a memorandum dated Feb. 19, prescribed a range of hair colors, from level 1 (darkest black) to level 5 (dark brown).

The Faculty of Arts and Letters earlier released a memorandum enforcing the uniform and grooming policy provided under Letter D, Section 4 of PPS (Policies, Procedures and Standards) 1027 of the UST Student Handbook, which requires students to have “clean, combed, and neatly trimmed or fixed” hair styles.

“Unconventional hair colors are not permitted. Male students are not allowed to sport long hair. Hair should not touch the collar or neckline of the uniform. The use of hairpins, pony tails, headbands, etc., by male students is likewise not allowed,” the Student Handbook states.

Assoc. Prof. Fleurdeliz Albela, coordinator of the Artlets Student Welfare and Development Board (SWDB), said there was a growing number of violations of the grooming and uniform policy.

“There have been many ways of misusing the uniform and students are starting to do it,” Albela  told the Varsitarian.

Albela said the memorandum provided a clear and written policy that would also serve as a guide to security guards at entrances.

The guard will have the discretion to confiscate the IDs of violators, but the SWDB will provide a “second level” of judgement. she said.

‘Mixed reactions’

Philosophy student Christian Zeus Suazo questioned the policy and said hair grooming should not define students.

“Personal choice and freedom for self-esteem does not necessarily mar the person’s self-discipline,” he said.

For philosophy sophomore Neil Sabastian, it is the University’s right to implement grooming policies.

“I think it is by nature a university’s right to have policies that it deems best for the institution,” he said.

Sebastian said abiding by the University’s policies was a small price to pay in contrast to the education it gives.

“The University has excellent education, so for me it seems like a fair trade-off,” he said.

Economics student Althea Marisse Noble said it would be best for students to just follow these “simple rules.”

“A part of me is telling na parang it disrespects my freedom of expression or my liberty. Pero it wouldn’t be a hassle rin naman to follow simple rules. If this is the policy, then I should comply with it. If I don’t like it, then I should leave the system,” Noble said.

Signature campaign launched

A signature campaign launched by the UST League of Filipino Students (LFS), an unrecognized student organization, has obtained some 1,000 signatures from Artlets and other colleges.

“If we look back in 2015, naipanalo po ito ng mga students na payagan ang hair color sa AB. They also led a petition campaign and held a snake rally inside the building,” Trisha Ifurung of LFS-UST told the Varsitarian.

“We will not let that victory of ours be taken away… The least the University admin can do is hayaan i-exercise ng students ang kanilang democratic rights and freedom to express,” she said.

Ifurung argued that hair color and haircut are personal statements of the students’ “individuality” and such practices do not harm others.

Abela pointed out that the memos were not a change of rules but were “reminders” for clearer implementation of the policies already stated in the UST Student Handbook.

“It has always been in the handbook,” she said.

Albela said students would not be penalized without proper justification. with reports from Camille M. Marcelo, Leigh Anne E. Dispo and Nadine Anne M. Deang


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