AB to keep type A uniform design

But Artlets dean says admin open to offering alternatives
Art by Janssen Judd Romero/THE FLAME

THE FACULTY of Arts and Letters (AB) administration is not changing the Artlets type A uniform to preserve history and tradition but is open to offering alternatives for students seeking “inclusivity,” AB Dean Prof. Melanie Turingan said.

In October last year, the Artlets Student Council (ABSC) launched a poll on whether to redesign the type A uniform, citing calls to make it “more inclusive” and aligned with “progressive ideals.”

READ: ABSC launches poll on changing the Artlets’ type A uniform

Turingan, also a history professor, said the administration would consider allowing students to wear an alternative attire but cited the importance of retaining the current design.

“There are people who express, ‘I wish we could wear pants.’ Of course, we are inclusive so we entertain that, right? But there are still those who want to preserve tradition,” Turingan told The Flame.

“As much as possible, what we can promise are alternatives. So students would have the option of what they would wear. But let’s not remove what we’re used to. Let us not throw away the tradition, but it does not mean that we are not open to change,” she added.

The type A uniform for male Artlets comprises black pants and a polo barong adorned with ten folds to symbolize the number of programs AB used to offer at the time it was created.

Female Artlets wear a pleated royal blue skirt and a white blouse with a lambda that represents “letters” in reference to the faculty name. The skirt’s shade of blue depicts the “liberal spirit, tradition and stability” of AB, according to its designer, the late Artlets dean Prof. Magdalena Alonso-Villaba.

Turingan said the type A design carries the faculty’s history even if others have likened it to elementary or high school uniforms. Suggestions to change the type A uniform should not only depend on the present members of the Artlets community, she added.

“We should consider generations, especially our alumni [who] would react, saying, ‘Why weren’t we consulted?’ So I told ABSC to present us the results (of the survey) so that we could have a meeting with alumni,” the dean said.

Last Jan. 28, the ABSC Research and Publications Affairs Committee released the summary of the survey on Facebook. About 93% of respondents expressed desire for a uniform that promotes gender expression, 91% believe the uniform requires changes, while 89% deemed the effort to modify the uniform worthwhile.

There have been numerous efforts from students to alter the Artlets type A uniform since it was introduced in 1964.

Students wear the Artlets Student Council’s proposed type A uniform design during the college’s parade in February 2011. Photo retrieved from The Flame’s Magazine Issue, Year 46, Issue No.1

In 2011, ABSC proposed a design that replaced the female Artlets’ type A uniform with a black pencil skirt, while those for male Artlets included a black necktie. Both had the addition of a royal blue vest embroidered with the faculty patch on the upper left side of the garment. The latest official adjustments to the Artlets type A uniform were increasing the pleats in the males’ polo barongs from six to ten and decreasing the pleats in the girls’ skirts from five to two.

ABSC’s poll, which sought a participation rate of at least 70%, ran until January this year. It also held a faculty-wide contest to redesign the type A uniform from Jan. 29 to Feb. 17. The three entries with the highest scores will then be shown to the faculty administration for final voting.

According to ABSC, the survey for the Artlets type A uniform gathered 2,493 responses and is in its final stages of review. The UST Faculty of Arts and Letters has 3,510 enrolled students as of the second term of the academic year 2023-2024, lower than the 3,600 during the previous term. F – with reports from Jade Alecksandra Bagas and Venerando Pagaduan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Contact Us