The Brazilian government sought an explanation on Monday from the private university that expelled a woman for wearing a short, pink dress to class, creating an uproar on the internet and throughout a nation where skimpy attire is common.
The Brazilian Education Ministry said it will give Bandeirante University – in Sao Bernando do Campo, near Sao Paolo – 10 days to clarify its reasoning for kicking out 20-year-old Geisy Arruda after she was ridiculed by other students for going to class with the short dress on 22 October. She had to put on a professor's white coat and was escorted away by police amid a hail of insults and curses.
A video of the incident was posted on YouTube and quickly made headlines across Brazil. The university's decision on Sunday to expel the student prompted complaints from the national student union and the country's minister in charge of women's policy.
The university published newspaper advertisements on Sunday saying it expelled Arruda for allegedly disrespecting "ethical principles, academic dignity and morality". The ads also alleged that Arruda acted in a provocative manner incompatible with the university environment. The university's lawyer Decio Lencioni told Globo TV: "The problem is not her clothes: it's her behaviour, her attitude." The college said it had previously warned Arruda to change her behaviour and decided to expel her after talking to students, staff and Arruda herself.
Arruda, who was studying tourism, said on Monday she was disheartened by the decision. "What I wanted the most was to go back to school," she told Globo TV. "My entire year is gone now. It's a great injustice. I always dressed in a way that makes me feel good and that doesn't offend anybody."
Although Brazil is known for revealing clothing, most college students dress more modestly on campus, commonly in jeans and T-shirts. apReuse content