University of Eldoret joins Kemu in enforcing student dress code

The main gate to University of Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County on January 23, 2023. The university issued a memo warning students against dressing inappropriately. 

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya I Nation Media Group

The University of Eldoret (UoE) management and its student body-University of Eldoret Student Organisation (UoESO) have explained why the institution decided to regulate how learners should dress while within the varsity’s precincts.

The university’s Dean of Students Dr Lelei Kiboiy and UoESO chairman Evans Kipchumba told Nation on Monday that whereas the acceptable dress code is prescribed in the institution’s rules and regulations, the students have over time abdicated from it.

“The memo on dress code is nothing new thing but a reminder to our students to adhere to the institution’s rules and regulations. There should be no speculation over the directive,” said Dr Kiboiy.

The UoESO chairman said students need to send the correct signal to those outside the institution, and that even if it was personal, their dressing must be appropriate and acceptable.

“The policy has been there since the inception of the institution but a look at how some of the students dress is a sad tale. We are leaders of tomorrow and the university is nurturing us, but the way we dress is sending a wrong signal to the outside world,” stated the students’ leader.

Role models

“Many young people who want to join universities after their high school education, ought to have role models. Some of the students dress inappropriately, which is alarming even to us as their colleagues and something had to be done to correct the habit," he stated.

He said the students were part of the organ that sanctioned the dress code and the majority of them welcomed it.

“Some of the ladies are still adamant but they cannot be allowed into the institution because the management is very strict about the dress code at the moment. I call on my colleagues to collaborate and wear proper clothing,” he urged.

Other students also welcomed the decision to ban 'inappropriate dressing.'

"This is a good move...but it is a rule that students will follow for few months but after that, it will be forgotten...the university therefore ought to enforce it to the letter," said Kibet Kipchirchir, a third-year student.

The institution in a recent memo warned students against donning inappropriate dress codes within the varsity premises. Of particular concern was that learners were donning miniskirts, sagging trousers, or putting on clothes meant for the opposite sex.

"It has come to our attention that some students are not observing the university dress code as contained in the Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct and Discipline of students. All students are expected to dress in simple, decent, modest, and appropriate attire that facilitates an atmosphere conducive for students," stated the memo signed by Dr Kiboiy.

The Students Dean stated that Article 3.1 (e) of Rules and Regulations governing conduct and discipline of students at the University of Eldoret prohibits wearing miniskirts, skin-tight dresses, ragged/torn, ripped, tumbo-cut blouses/T-shirts, low-cut blouses/dresses, micro-shorts and transparent dresses, attires showing bra straps or sleeveless T-shirts prohibited.

For male students, sagging trousers, wearing clothes revealing the chest, and ragged or torn/ ripped jeans are outlawed on the learning premises.

The institution warned those who fault the rules that they risk facing disciplinary action.

"All students are therefore advised to, at all times, desist from inappropriate dressing while at the university as this may warrant disciplinary action," the management stated.

"Students are also advised to maintain gender-compliant attire which should reflect their details as documented in the university records," the memo stated.

On January 5, Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) through the Dean of Students Dr Esther Mbaabu dispatched a memo to the effect that students reporting after holidays should adhere to the prescribed dress code.

According to the memo, male students are not supposed to have dreadlocks, plaited hair, or earrings or walk around with their shirts untucked or exposing their chests.

Female students, should not wear tops exposing their bellies, navel, or backs while the skirts must be below the knee.

The skirt slits should be below the knee with the blouse neckline “running down no more than four inches” leaving the cleavage exposed. See-through dresses and body-tight trousers are outlawed.