For the record, this is exactly how I went dressed for my talk at RMD College of Engineering. (minus the mustache). I still can’t believe they would send me back for ‘inappropriate dressing’.
BTW, this incident has made it to today’s edition of The Hindu Newspaper. Here is the full article in verbatim.
Discrimination over denims?
CHENNAI: Dress code is serious business in many city colleges – so much so that even prominent guests invited to deliver lectures are asked to leave if they are not dressed ‘appropriately’.
On Wednesday at 8:30a.m, when city based blogger Kiruba Shankar arrived at R.M.D College of Engineering to deliver a lecture on entrepreneurship, he was informed by college officials that the pair of denims he was wearing was ‘not allowed’ on the college campus and that he would need to change into a pair of formal trousers before he gave his lecture.
“I was dressed in my signature attire – formal shirt, corduroy jacket, blue denims and suede leather shoes. This is the similar attire I have worn for all my teaching assignments and corporate meetings….Never once had I faced a problem.” wrote Mr.Shankar on Facebook. When contracted, Mr.Shankar said he had no problems with the college, but was upset that the authorities refused to let him speak to students.
He said he was offered formal clothes to change into but refused to do so. “You cannot impose your dress code rules on a visiting entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to Bangalore are dressed in casuals. What matters is how hard they work, and how different they think.” he also said he had never been told about the college’s dress code.
R.M.D College officials however, said that they had informed Mr.Shankar about the dress code. “We are very particular about our rules and expect everyone, including guest lecturers to follow them,” said a senior official.
The last paragraph is very interesting. All this time, the college professors were apologizing to me for not letting me know about the dress code beforehand. Now, as soon as a press correspondent called them, they did not hesitate to lie otherwise. Hmm!
Other than this, I have nothing against the college or the authorities. The staff have been kind and cordial. I only hope they start respecting their guests better and put their students’ interest before lame rules.
276 comments. 559 shares. 1322 Likes for the FB update on the incident. There is clearly a message from the public and the students. I sincerely hope the college authorities are listening and have the positive attitude to change.
The Hindu Newspaper Article link: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-blogger-kiruba-shankar-not-allowed-in-college-for-wearing-jeans/article5023240.ece