Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

LASU: No to Harassment of Students by Campus Marshals for Indecent Dressing

LASU: No to Harassment of Students by Campus Marshals for Indecent Dressing

For a Students Congress Now!

By IBS Duroorike Coordinator, ERC LASU

It is no news that Lagos State University (LASU) is one of the most militarized campuses anywhere in Nigeria with fully armed Campus marshals patrolling round the campus, extorting and harassing students with impunity under the pretext of enforcing a so-called dress code which is actually a crude violation of the fundamental rights of students. This harassment has become so widespread and there is now palpable anger on campus among students.

Items of clothing banned by LASU authorities include face caps, body hugs, spaghetti wears, mini and skimpy skirts, boob tubes, hair attachment beyond shoulder length, knickers, low neckline shirts, tattered, dirty jeans with holes and subliminal messages, leggings, wearing of loose tie, rolling of sleeves and flying of collars, piercing of body and tattooing, plaiting and bonding of hair by male students, wearing of earrings by male students, wearing of nose ring, very big dropping ear rings and necklaces by female students, wearing of stiletto etc.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) is completely opposed to the University’s dress code because it is only a ploy by a group of people to impose their own ideas of morality on others. People should have a right to how they want to dress so far they are not naked. Especially in a University environment which is home to young people, we believe that rules must not be so stringent as to inhibit students’ freedom to express themselves creatively and positively.

The question of what is decent dressing is very relative. The reality is that a variety of factors dictates people’s choice of dress style. This includes culture, religion, age, gender, exposure, personal preference, ideology and health condition. Therefore, while the University has a right to set rules for the running of the university, this must be done with cognizance for fundamental human rights and the Constitution which guarantees citizen’s personal freedom.

We therefore demand a review of the dress code. This review must be done with the involvement of the mass of students through a democratic committee involving elected representatives of students. We also believe that instead of imposition, the university can only encourage what it considers responsible way of dressing through a variety of activities like awareness and advocacy programme, annual award for best dressed students etc.

The ERC agrees that the activities of the arm campus marshal has been useful to LASU in the past when cultism and gangsterism was rife. But now the university is now a relatively sane environment


1) Demilitarization of the campus.

2) Campus marshal should be unarmed and that elected representatives of students must be involved in a joint security committee.

3) A review of the dress code and an end to harassment of students

4) An end to victimization of students and staff and interference in the running of unions on campus

5) LASUSU should convene an EMERGENCY STUDENTS CONGRESS to address the issue of indecent dressing and harassment of students by campus marshals.