Submitted on Fri, 2017-02-10 15:38
Students at an elite Thai university are campaigning against outdated uniform regulations, arguing they stifle creativity and intellect. The university is threatening those who fail to comply with disqualification from receiving scholarships.
On 8 February 2017, a group of students from Chulalongkorn University’s Engineering Faculty released a declaration calling on the faculty to abolish regulations requiring students to wear school uniforms both inside and outside of the classroom. The students are also collecting signatures for a petition opposing the uniform regulations.
The Faculty also threatened that if students do not comply with the new regulations, they might be disqualified from receiving scholarships and honour degrees.
The campaign has generated significant online support, giving birth to the hashtag #ChulassicPark. A video in which the Engineering Faculty’s ‘prehistoric’ workshop smocks are edited into a scene from Jurassic Park has received almost 100,000 views.
Student uproar peaked on 7 February when four Chulalongkorn students were harshly reprimanded for wearing ‘improper’ clothing. The first two students were punished for wearing their workshop smocks outside of the classroom, while the other two students were not wearing uniforms in the faculty area. Though it was outside class hours, the students had their student cards confiscated.
The petition maintains that universities seeking to promote creative thinking and cultures of intellect should be open to differences and respect freedom of choice.
‘[Students] are not livestock that must all act the same. This is a university aiming to be world class, where freedom of thought and creativity should be more important than the superficial look of a uniform,’ commented well-known student activist Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal.
Students argued there is no necessary reason for the Engineering Faculty to demand that students wear uniforms during times where classes are not being held. The statement also says that university students are mature enough to dress themselves.
Engineering students sign a petition to abolish the new uniform regulation (Photo from Facebook)