The continuous attacks on students by various university authorities across the country are increasingly alarming, from the hike in fees across campuses to the imposition of dress code policy to the ban on Students’ Unionism, among others.
Despite students grappling with the burden of increased fees, University management has now gone so low and off the mark on the essence of the ivory tower to confront students with a new wave of attacks under the guise of enforcing “dress code” regulations.
The latest involves Cassandra Michael, a National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) student who was reportedly denied access to the examination hall by an invigilator for being deemed ‘indecently dressed’; even in reality, no part of female features were in the open.
Also, at the University of Benin, the Department of Mass Communication currently enforces a uniform dress code for students. As we write, a 400-level student, Mariam Ahmed, was forced out of the classroom by the security officers of the University for insisting that she was not “indecently dressed”. In fact, the school management is playing smart by having her queried on a case of “Indiscipline, disrespect, and attack on the head of security”— a narrative that is widely off the mark. Not to mention how her right to privacy and dignity was further violated by the security head who handcuffed her to a window for hours after she refused to submit her phone at the security office after being forced to leave the class based on the imposed dress code
We in the Campaign for Students’ and Youths’ Rights (CSYR) condemn these escalating patterns of assaults on students by various university authorities. These incidents underscore a troubling trend where students face multiple challenges, not only in terms of financial burdens but also in the form of restrictive dress codes and limitations on their rights to express dissent.
The University (NOUN) is online based and holds only her examinations physically. By the school rules and regulations, there is no stated mode of dressing by the school authority. Also, the lady (Cassandra Michael) is perceived to be decently dressed, even by the moral police. Though, this is not an excuse to justify the moral police or policies on dress code in the school environment.

The deviation from enhancing research and teaching to become a fashion watchdog infringes on students’ rights to personal liberties. We recognise the individual’s right to expression and believe the University is first a citadel of learning that allows for healthy coexistence, both knowledgeably and otherwise.

Every University should be an intellectual community for the free, universal expression of ideas— of which dressing is an important material component. Even the nature of dressing reflects how it has changed over time. Hence, dictating a form of dressing is not recognising their expressive and transitory nature in time.

Within this background, even the government has failed to improve the state of public education in the country. If education is properly funded and qualitatively harnessed, the definition of morals, decency, character, and integrity would relatively change scientifically. In fact, adequately funded education can act as a catalyst for economic development and scientific civilisation, a stark contrast to the current dilapidated state of public universities and education.

We demand that Ms Cassandra Michael be granted access to write her examinations with no cause for an extra year—an apology from the management for the embarrassment and inconvenience.

We want to say a society where the necessaries of life are evenly planned, distributed, and democratically controlled by workers and the working masses— who remain the backbone for economic developments, not the ruling capitalists, politicians and merchandise— such moral incoherence as established by the management’s act will be completely withered.

In conclusion, we call on students and unions in the education sector (ASUU, SSANU, etc.) to join in condemning these waves of attacks on students. It is imperative to address these issues collectively and advocate for an educational environment that respects the rights and individuality of students.
Every change-seeking person coming across our perspectives on issues relating to education, economics, etc., via our social media links is called to join the Campaign for Students’ and Youths’ Rights (CSYR), a revolutionary organisation for youths, students, and the masses generally. We believe the only way forward out of these crises is an end to capitalism.

After reading this statement, you believe a common struggle can be built. Kindly reach us with these numbers: (08147476620, 08133927663, 07067125125). Only a struggle with a clear programme can win concessions and victories. JOIN US TO FIGHT, BUILD AND ORGANISE!

Seyi Struggle Bestman Michael
Coordinator Secretary