A university in Lahore has barred male and female students from sitting together as a ‘couple’, terming it against ‘cultural and religious’ norms. They are, however, allowed to sit in a group of three or more. A notice issued by the University of Sargodha, Lahore (UoSL) campus prohibits ‘inappropriate interaction between male and female students’, citing complaints by parents for the move.
Some other Universities have also issued strict dress codes along with the notice that if two students would be sitting together it would be considered as inappropriate interaction between them. It is ridiculous, highly absurd that the instead of putting all concentration to enhance educational environment for the students, administration is only obsessed with how students, particularly female students conduct themselves.
Their focus should be to ensure that there is no gender discrimination and sexual harassment and better educational standards. They should not complicate simple matters. Along with providing better educational opportunities, it also falls into the responsibilities of varsities to encourage interaction of students from diverse backgrounds which would help students for better understanding of the world and people.
The purpose of the university is to open minds of students, but in the above case University has instead attempted to close the minds of students. Successful universities polish their students; boost up their confidence so they can be successful in the real world. Studies have revealed that by encouraging interaction with students from diverse backgrounds, students have better understanding of people. Universities are meant to be spaces for higher learning and critical thinking. They are not there to impose a regressive, twisted ideology.
University’s job is to enhance critical thinking of students and not to regulate their interaction or choice of attire.