#NoToUSTHairPolicy: Separation of Administration and Self-Expression

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Self-expression comes in different media and forms. It can be through music and other kinds of art. It can be that little rant on your facebook status about how heavy the traffic jam is, or how kilig you got when Aldub finally met in person and tweet it for the world to know.

It can be the way you dress or the way you wear your hair. It’s a way of being a bit rebellious.

Speaking of hairstyle as self-expression, this week, the #NoToUSTHairPolicy went viral with photos of students from the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters with signage on hand. The #NoToUSTHairPolicy is a movement that was launched by the Union of Journalists of the Philippines – UST (UJP-UST) to give voice to the students that doesn’t agree to the University’s hair policy.

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I’m actually torn between the issue of the students and the authority of the administration. Well because I have personally experienced (…and experiencing) these. I’m from the UST-College of Fine Arts and Design, long-haired guys, redheads, blondes, and students with pink, green and other eccentric hair colors wearing wrinkled and paint-stained uniforms, black jeans and sneakers is just a usual sight on our side of España, and every time the college tightens the implementation of the Good Grooming Policy, it’s a pain in the ass to pass through the Manong Guard in our building façade without our ID being confiscated.

It’s funny actually. We are young, radical, hormonal and full of angst. Self-expression is our main game and we sure are acing in this field. We are artists. We do what we want. We do us – even if a bunch of you might get weirded by how we act, how we think or how we look. We are different.

But as a sensible and reasonable person, I totally understand why UST implements these kinds of policies because the students reflect the University, a 404-year-old institution that has a vibrant history and has withstand centuries of catastrophic calamities, invasions and world wars. It’s their job to maintain the image of the school as well as the students’ and employees’ and to prepare us, students, to the corporate world which is way more strict and judgmental.

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I completely know that our hair style is more than mere vanity and how we look doesn’t affect our academic abilities and standings, but calling out UST’s administration to worry about more important issues rather than the hair styles is just so ironic.

Isn’t it hypocritical to tell them to worry about other major problems when their students are busy campaigning against them over some petty things like hair style? On the internet? Yes, it is petty. We’ve agreed to their policies before we enroll and we have to follow it whether we like it or not.

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Do you really think they’ll change their own rule for you just because you dyed your hair pink? Seeking for compassion in a very hopeful (or hopeless) place like the internet won’t really help. Yes it’s causing quite a stir now and earned tons of unsolicited opinions from the netizens that actually worsen the situation. The admin has the final say in this, and they’re telling us to either follow or leave. As simple as that.

But every cloud has silver lining so let’s just look forward on the day of our graduation when we can finally dye our hair the brightest colors we can imagine. Grow it, shave it, do whatever the hell we want with it. They can’t kick us out when we’re all made-up and marching, right? Lol! So shoutout to the CFAD, AB and Music students that’s struggling with these self-expression issues, let’s get this over with, shall we?

The thing is, social media is a vast platform to start something sensational, your little outburst about something can spark a bigger fire and you might find yourself entangled in a hot mess. We have to think something through before opening our mouth….or our WiFi, in this matter.

P.S. This is just MY *unsolicited* opinion in this matter, this is a blog and a mean of self-expression after all lol!


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