20 December 2018 | A recent tightening of the dress code at an Adventist university in Uganda has caused an uproar on social media. Bugema University has banned women from wearing pants, sleeveless tops, miniskirts, lipstick, earrings and nail polish next semester.
“No student should come back with the above mentioned next semester. Culprits will face university disciplinary committee for serious action,” said part of a December 12 notice from administration.
“We have been taking these students through these rules, especially during their orientations but to our disappointment, some of them end up falling culprits of indecent dressing,” said Bugema’s dean of students, George Mupaghasi to Uganda’s New Vision newspaper.
Mupaghasi said that students needed to dress “respectfully.”
Face2Face Africa featured strong social media reactions to the new dress code. Critics pointed out that the new regulations were especially focused on female attire and compared the rules to those of high schools.
“It’s targeting female students and that makes it cultic and absolutely outrageous,” said Twitter user @onguisaac.
“Such restrictions actually urge the students to do exactly what is being restricted,” tweeted @MirembeLaura.
Another response came in the form of a one-word critique from @MichaekBakii: “Dictatorship.”
Bugema University opened in 1948 as Bugema Missionary College with the goal of training Adventist teachers and pastors. It is located in Uganda’s Luwero district, close to Kampala, the country’s capital city.
According to the denomination’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, there were 325,135 Adventists and 1,043 churches in Uganda as of June 30, 2017.