TAIPEI, Taiwan — National Taiwan Normal University said on Saturday that it is “not appropriate” for students to wear flip-flops under their graduation gowns, after a photo showed one of its students dressed that way.
The controversy arose after a professor posted a photo from the university’s College of Sciences commencement ceremony on Friday showing a student on stage for the tassel-turning ceremony wearing flip-flops.
The professor lamented in his Facebook post that students today have become too casual and show little regard for how they dress.
The school issued a statement Saturday to stress that the commencement ceremony was a solemn occasion and that it was “not appropriate” to wear sandals or slippers under the graduation gown, which stands for honor.
It said it issued a dress code for graduation ceremonies, but the school respected all colleges and would not try to establish unified regulations.
In its statement, the school also showed some empathy for the student, suggesting that his other shoes may have all been soaked during the recent rain and he had no choice but to wear flip-flops.
“(Wearing the flip-flops) was not appropriate, but we don’t have the heart to take him to task,” the school said.
The event took place just days of another professor lashed out at the students for showing “scant respect” for teachers.
Lee Chia-tung (李家同), the former president of National Chi Nan University, was the speaker at National Quemoy University’s graduation ceremony last Saturday, but he was displeased when he found students entering and exiting the school’s gymnasium at will, leaving many seats empty half way through his speech.
Lee demanded that the students “act like a university student.”
His comment was supported by a lot of netizens, who said “character education” needed to be strengthened or society will be weakened.
But some students disagreed, explaining that it was an especially hot day, and the gymnasium was like a big oven, leading them to worry they might get heat stroke.