OOU kicks students out of class for wearing sandals

…management says the policy is not new

On Monday, the management of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ijebu Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State banned hundreds of students from attending classes for donning pam sandals.

Our correspondent understood that the students had been stopped at the gate of the school’s permanent site in Ago-Iwoye and told to go home to wear shoes.

Recounting his ordeal, a student, who identified himself simply as Durotimi, said he missed class because he was not allowed on school campus for wearing pam sandals.

He said, “It’s disheartening. When we arrived at the school gate this morning, we discovered that the school administration had an unknown policy in place asking students not to wear Pam and other sandals in the school environment, except except for shoes.

“It’s so sad for a school like OOU with a very high reputation and standard implementing such a policy knowing full well the situation of things in the country. Even not everyone can afford a pair of shoes right now.

“A lot of us had lessons at 8am and some of us were supposed to take a test this morning but when we got to the gate this morning we were delayed for over 2 hours. It even got to a point where they had to call in a policeman just to make sure we didn’t enter the school.

Another student, who identified himself simply as Ademola, said he had not been informed beforehand of the draconian dress code after returning to school since the month-long ASUU strike.

He said: ‘We arrived at school today and over a hundred of us were stopped at the school gate and told to go home for wearing pam sandals. Unfortunately, we had not been informed beforehand that palm sandals were no longer allowed on the school campus. It’s really sad and unpleasant for the 21st century.

Another student, Chidinma, told our correspondent that she and other students were harassed by the school’s private security guards for putting on pam sandals, and were sent home.

“I’ve never seen this before. How do you force university students not to wear pam sandals but only shoes? It’s unjustified, and it’s against human decency and it’s a violation of our rights. We hope the school management will rethink,” she said.

When contacted, the school’s head of security, Mr Adekunle Rasheed, justifying the policy, said it was enshrined in the school’s code of conduct.

Rasheed said: “Students were aware of this policy before as it is enshrined in the school’s code of conduct. Also, they were made aware of this earlier during last week’s orientation program.

“There are so many things that are not allowed on the school campus – dyeing hair, wearing shorts, using tinted glasses for cars, and wearing pam sandals, among others.”

The school’s dean of student affairs, Dr MS Oladimeji, declined to comment on the matter, noting that he never expected the matter to escalate.

He said, “I’m sorry, I can’t speak on the matter right now, because I didn’t expect this trivial matter to escalate to the point of reaching a national daily. I will contact the vice-chancellor and get back to you.

The president of the Students’ Union, Mr. Akorede Afeez, did not respond to calls and text messages from our correspondent.

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