Level 400 PR A
Mapping The Limits of Fashion on GIJ Campus
Writer: Phyliss N. L. Lamptey
The widely recognized prestigious school of communication studies in the Sub-Sahara, the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) is making news once again regarding the Rector’s open declaration of a ban on the wearing of mini-skirts and shorts. This declaration of the Rector, Dr. Wilberforce S. Dzisah, made on the 23rd of September, 2016 under the 16th Matriculation ceremony for freshmen for the 2016/2017 academic year, has attracted a lot of media attention to the institute. There has been various publications in print media concerning the Rector’s statement while interviews have been granted to some students and staff of the Institution.
One may wonder, what has really aroused this open declaration by the Rector himself after years of having this issue linger around? Is management now awake from its deep slumber and if so what or who startled it out of sleep? Is it a decision arrived at from genuine concern or are there external forces applying overly intolerable pressure to the neck of management? Is this resolve a nine-day wonder or one that will really last till eternity? These are questions yet to be answered, some of which need immediate responses and others that will need time to tell.
I do not need to be a guy or a male lecturer or a proud alumnus who deems it fit that the image of the school be held in high esteem in order to express my sentiments about this canker of indecent dressing among the students of GIJ. I may be a Student leader or just a lay student with no extra responsibilities but let’s call a spade a spade. I have been personally appalled, in my past 3 years of stay in GIJ, by the way some students, especially the “ladies” dress to campus. Some of them can actually attract a headache, trust me. I indicated them as “Ladies” because there is a lot that goes into calling a female a lady. To me, lady is a female who has courtesy, where courtesy here covers polite language and intonation of speech, decently dressing to cover the vital parts of the body which could be seductive, as well as your mannerisms and the way you carry yourself about, making a conscious effort not to flaunt your body around when walking and avoiding making a public spectacle of yourself in every way possible.
GIJ is a university but I think some of us need to be constantly reminded that it also couples as a specialized university and if you don’t know what that means let me educate you a bit on it. A Specialized University implies that when you pass through GIJ and graduate, the world expects you to reek of excellent communication like a drunkard will reek of alcohol on any given day if encountered. You are being trained to become the professional communicator that the world will grow to revere and be unable to do away with. If that is the case, why not start psyching yourself and emulating the life of a professional now instead of living a careless life on campus in the name of socializing only to later take time off after school to rebrand and reshape your views and thinking of the world to suit what is expected of you. Yes, I may sound harsh or too emotional at this point but seriously I see indecent dressing to lectures/campus as careless and reckless living.
Careless and reckless because you don’t come to school indecently dressed and expect the male students, lecturers and staff to turn a blind eye to you. The point is, are you in school to learn and work hard to graduate with a deserving class or you are in to receive flattering words and deceptive lies from the ‘guys’ or seduce the male lecturers and staff in order to be awarded underserving grades. If the latter is your aim, then of what substance would you be to the society and the world at large when all is said and done.
Photo credit: Campus_gij/ Instagram
As a Public Relations (PR) student, you are taught that “image is everything” and if indecent dressing puts a dent on the image or first impression creation of an individual then one can only imagine what great harm students who engage in these obscene presentation of themselves cause the school on a daily basis as they walk the streets of Cantonments and encounter diplomats and prominent figures in our society. We all know that situated around the school is the highly revered British High Commission as well as estates and residential abodes of diplomats and ministers of the state and it is a shame to imagine the eye saws that they have to put up with seeing these young girls expose themselves to devourers in such a manner. Some of these men who can’t keep their trousers up and their libido under control tend to end up engaging some of these young girls which in the long run leads into sexual relationships that may only attract unwanted rippling effects like unwanted pregnancy and attraction of St Is. This act may go a long way to curtail the educational discourse of some of these girls. Now, tell me if that is not reckless living; that your parents or guardians should exert the stressful energy of enrolling you in a professional university like GIJ and you go home at the end of the day with a certificate in Pregnancy, Multiple Abortion Expertise or STIs.
Ladies, if it is ‘links’ or connections that you seek to build by dressing that way (indecently) in order to attract the opposite sex of higher social standings and offer your bodies as leverage to be capitalized on in the future then there is a better option for you. Our noble institution now offers a Masters Degree program for older professionals who want to add more value to themselves but it is also an avenue for undergraduates to some extent explore their skills of networking and relationship building. Most of these Masters students are top managers and prominent figures in society who may hold the ticket to your immediate employment after school and I believe many of them wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or personally employ undergraduates they deem fit or cut for a job offer. Why, because they are passing through the system and they are observing and they are considering what fine communicators the system can churn out if only the students being taught take their lessons seriously.
So my dear lady, why not rather dress decently and put yourself across as a purposeful, serious minded and aimful person who wants to build a real time career for herself. You never know who may spot you and recommend you for a job offer that may be your breakthrough to becoming the next ‘Komla Dumor’ of our time (may his beautiful soul rest in perfect peace). Truth is, the men never consider indecently dressed ladies as wife material so why become a stress release object rather than a substantial and revered woman of virtue. And if you still hold on to the statement that wearing “crop tops, skimpy dresses and beach shorts on any occasion is my style” then my fellow lady you’re in the wrong place and pursuing the wrong profession and you need to rethink.
Big ups to Dr. Wilberforce Dzisah and management for making known their clear stand on the matter and making efforts to put measures in place to curb the issue which was going way out of hand. The well-meaning stakeholders are beginning to experience some peace and serenity within and it is the hope of many that this rule will hold forever.
Phyliss N.L Lamptey
President, Yaa Asantewaa Hall
Level 400 PR A
Level 400 PR A