Clothes are body languages. One of the definitions of human being is that human beings are clothed creatures. Humans express themselves in different languages among them clothes and it’s a part of the identity of
the individuals. A policeman wearing short and t-shirt will no more be recognized as a policeman.
This is also true for a college student who should wear clothes suitable for educational environment. Regardless of the motives, AUI-S is careless of the educational policies for clothing and students are careful of attractive dressing.
The dead academic catalogue
Annually, AUI-S publishes a violet-cover booklet that contains AUI-S policies and guidelines. The content is no more than a frozen university code modified yearly with new cover and designs same as a dead body inside a tomb with elaborated decoration and ornaments.
It is written in the catalogue, “clothing worn at AUI-S should be clean and neat and appropriate to an educational environment”. Well -stated. “Any student deemed by any administrator or faculty member to be inappropriately dressed will be sent home to change”. It has never been implemented after it was written. “All shirts, tops, and dresses shall have sleeves and cover the shoulders”, it is explicitly disobeyed and oppositely done. “Skirts and dresses are allowed but be knee length or longer”. This policy should be changed to mini-skirts or shorter -to- no to be implemented. I doubt that if any administrator or faculty staff has read these policies or they are blind in front of the “flappers”.
The fashion show
Once after the classes, one of my friends told me “let’s go to the fashion show”. At the moment, I was perplexed. I couldn’t get what he is saying until we sat on the green benches. I realized that it is a real stage for shows. Boys were sitting like audiences on the green benches and girls with mini-skirts were showing off, staggering on the stairs like “puppets”. The scene was fascinating but at the same time confusing.
I found myself among the audiences without reservation. An argument started among the students while they were staring at the stage. One of the audiences spoke, “I always feel like I’m in a party but not at Oscar hall at AUI-S campus”. Another replied “Definitely right, I swear some never wear the same clothes again in a month”. Another entered “no panic, winter is coming; they will be wrapped in thick clothes”. It was a funny statement. I have never heard before in ethic and philosophy classes that climate has a great impact on human identity. I thought it was worth contemplating and formulating a theory between climate and ethics. Then we will be famous in the world for an upcoming hypothesis in ethics and philosophy. Later on, I figured out the whole hypothesis is wrong and the main reason is not climate but imitation. It came to my mind that AUI-S student are much concerned about the way of dressing rather than their education. Probably, the goal is not critical thinking but attractive dressing. With no emphasis, AUI-S has already achieved that goal in a short period of time even if it was a long-term goal.
Consequently, the threat will be more dedicated to the goal and future of the university to educate liberal minds and the cultural and traditional identity of the students. At the end, we might be empty- handed of both education and our identity. My last words end with a Kurdish proverb, “we came for beard, we lost our moustaches instead”.
*Daner Rashid is an International Studies and Political Science Sophomore at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani.