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ULB faculty apologises for 'décolleté' comment

14:49 29/05/2017

An email from the Faculty of Medicine at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) has caused uproar for urging its female students to show up to the graduation ceremony 'with a nice decolleté', writes De Standaard.

The email, which is believed to have been sent by one of the faculty secretaries, gave dress code instructions for the final year students' graduation ceremony on 28 June: "My colleagues and I expect to see you at 13.00 behind the Paul Emile Janson auditorium. From an aesthetic point of view, we recommend the young ladies wear a dress or skirt, as well as a nice décolleté, and for the gentlemen, a suit. Of course, dear ladies, this is not mandatory,” the message reads.

Outraged students immediately took to social media to express their dismay about the university's comment. "After six years of studies, they just want to see our chest. Unbelievable,” said a student on Facebook.

The content of the email came as a surprise to Marco Schetgen, dean of the Faculty of Medicine: "The email was probably written by a woman, as our secretarial staff consists exclusively of women. It's hard to believe."

According to ULB spokesperson Nicolas Dassonville, the message “is clearly an inappropriate email that is in violation of ULB's principles. The dean has therefore already sent an email to the students to apologise in the name of the faculty.”

Written by Robyn Boyle

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