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Benue State University bans dreadlocks, armless shirts

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The management of Benue State University (BSU) has enacted a comprehensive ban on various dress codes it deems inappropriate and indecent, including dreadlock hairs, make-up, skirts above the knees, and other styles.

A task force committee, established by the university, issued a statement on Saturday detailing the new guidelines and warning of potential sanctions for students found violating the approved dress code. The directive covers both on-campus and off-campus scenarios.

According to the statement released by the committee, male students are prohibited from sagging, wearing make-up, dreadlocking hair, dyeing hair, wearing shorts or three-quarter trousers to lectures, leaving hair uncombed, wearing armless shirts, earrings, plaiting hair, keeping heavy beards, and other indecent practices.

Female students, on the other hand, are instructed against wearing body-hugging outfits, armless clothes, dyed hair, short skirts, exposing sensitive body parts, leg chains, nose rings, and multiple earrings.

The guidelines also specify no folding of shirts on trousers or skirts, restricting attachments to black and brown colors only, avoiding crazy trousers, skirts above the knees, and leggings without a long top (shirt).

The statement concludes with a stern warning that failure to comply with these rules will result in sanctions imposed by the university management.

This move by Benue State University aligns with a trend seen in other Nigerian universities, such as Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, and Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, which have recently implemented dress codes for students. Notably, these policies have sparked public discussions and controversies.

Earlier in August 2023, SaharaReporters highlighted the dress code enforcement at Obafemi Awolowo University, where sexually provocative dresses were banned, and a range of restrictions were imposed on hairstyles, accessories, and clothing choices for both male and female students.

As universities across Nigeria take steps to regulate student attire, the balance between enforcing discipline and respecting individual expression remains a topic of ongoing debate.

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