College Notice 9,2532839&_dad=portallive&_schema=PORTALLIVE of the 2005/06 academic year details the new College Dress Code which is now in effect.
The Dress Code was put forward for consideration to the College Management Board which consists of: The Rector (Chairman), Deputy Rector, Faculty Principals, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Finance, Director of Strategy and Planning, Pro Rector, Development and Corporate Affairs and the College Secretary. Stating that the document was considered "in the light of security concerns raised by the terrorist incidents which had occurred over the Summer" and that "the Board was mindful that the health, safety and security of members of the College community must be the College?s prime consideration at all times" the new dress code was approved with immediate effect as of the 2nd November.
The ?Security? section details that "At all times while on campus staff, students and visitors must wear their College Identity Cards or visitors? cards and these must be visible." with the aim being that "Security, Reception and other staff and students should be able to identify a person on campus, usually by comparing their face to the photograph on their College Identity Card." This supposedly ensures that uninvited strangers are not able to gain access to college buildings. However, many of the buildings in college experience very high volumes of traffic, in particular those such as Roderic Hill and the ACE Extension which lie on conveniently dry routes to the centre of the campus. Whilst some departments have forwarded this requirement to all their staff and students many college members still have no knowledge of this new enforcement of policy. In fact the first some members have heard of the whole dress code is when they have been greeted by a security guard spot check on their way into college!
There is also a comment made on ?Offensive Dress? where if "it is perceived that a particular slogan or symbol is offensive" then wearing clothing incorporating such devices "may be considered as a disciplinary offence and dealt with accordingly". Although, nowhere in the document is it detailed just who makes the decision as to whether a given symbol or slogan is offensive. After all if any student, either with or without grounds as seen by others, takes offence at any symbol, then it can be said that it is ?perceived? as offensive even if by a minority of one! Where is the line drawn...?
In line of course with equality regulations the code states that "Imperial College values the diversity of its staff and students and aims to create an environment where the cultural, religious and non-religious or similar philosophical beliefs of all are respected." and "The College welcomes the variety of appearance brought by individual styles and choices. The wearing of items arising from particular cultural/ religious norms (including, for example, saris, turbans, skullcaps, hijabs, kippahs and clerical collars) is seen as part of this welcome diversity". This is accompanied by point 10 of the code which outlines that if a conflict between an individual?s religious beliefs and the dress code arises, the issue will be "sympathetically" considered and a "satisfactory compromise" sought. Live! sources however have indicated that this is directly in conflict with the policy imposed on students in the Faculty of Medicine earlier this year.
This aside, those individuals who do not feel the need to dress according to particular religious or cultural beliefs "should refrain" from wearing clothing such as "scarves worn across their face", and in a similar manner to that of the management of the Bluewater Shopping & Leisure complex which aroused national media attention "hooded tops" are also listed as being unsuitable.
Whilst some departments have already forwarded this on to all of their staff and students, others are still unaware that this document even exists. This is probably not surprising given that the security guards within college probably have enough on their plates without chasing large portions of the student population around campus insisting they remove their ?hoodie? immediately or they?ll be removed from the campus?.